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Kanye West Rips Matt Lauer Over ‘Today’ Interview: ‘I Feel Tortured’

Rapper’s rant on Twitter pre-empts pre-taped interview, apology to George W. Bush

Kanye West went on a Twitter rant late Tuesday, ripping Matt Lauer over an interview about George W. Bush that the “Today” show host taped with the rapper earlier in the day. (Part of it aired Wednesday morning during Lauer’s live interview with the former president on the “Today” show.)

Lauer wanted West to respond on camera to the revelation in Bush’s “Decision Points” (reiterated in Lauer’s subsequent interview special with Bush) that the rapper’s infamous “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” statement during a telethon in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was the lowest point in his presidency.

West wrote that he agreed to the interview “to express how I was empathetic to Bush because I labeled him a racist and years later I got labeled as a racist.”

Let’s let West’s collected tweets (compiled in paragraph form, lightly-edited for clarity) explain what happened next:

While I was trying to give the interview they started playing the "MTV" [clip] under me with audio! […] HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS. IT WAS VERY BRUTAL AND I CAME THERE WITH ONLY POSITIVE INTENT. […] I feel very alone, very used, very tortured, very forced, very misunderstood, very hollow. […] I don't trust anyone but myself!

Everyone has an agenda. I don't do press anymore. I can't be everything to everybody anymore. I can't be everybody's hero and villain, savior and sinner, Christian and antichrist! I can't take [any more] advice! I create, I'm creative, I have a good heart. [E]veryone will see and understand one day. Everything sounds like noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE NOISE!!!!!!! I don't trust anyone! […] I want everyone to know I have lows all the time but I make it through them!

Yo I really wonder if Matt Lauer thought that shit was cool to play the "MTV" clip while I was speaking about Bush? He played clips of Bush and asked me to look at his face while I was trying to talk to him. I wish Michael Jackson had twitter! Maybe Mike could have explained how the media tried to set him up! It's all a f—ing set up!

This is [a] rock and roll life … you can't stop the truth, you can't stop the music and I have to be strong or "they" win! Sometimes it's not simple, some days it's not easy … I just want to create.

As far as West’s “apology,” Bush told Lauer that he appreciated the rapper’s remorse, adding: “I’m not a hater.”

And it would be understandable if West was feeling a little extra angst yesterday: his forthcoming album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," was leaked.

Perhaps Bush did it.