Jay-Z Actually Defended Kanye West After the Infamous Taylor Swift Controversy

There have been many infamous moments in hip hop history, but few have been as parodied as that time that Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs.

While West’s strange behavior seems more normal nowadays, it was a shock to the system back then. Furthermore, despite over a decade passing since then, that controversy still rears its head up every now and again. Regardless, West’s actions were criticized by many people in hip hop as well as outside of hip hop.

However, one person that didn’t really criticize him was Jay-Z, and that was because of their complicated relationship with one another.

Kanye West and Jay-Z
Kanye West and Jay-Z | Johnny Nunez/WireImage

The Kanye West controversy

The 2009 VMAs were stacked, and there were many hit songs that could’ve swept everything including the likes of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” and Katy Perry’s “Hot n Cold” among others. However, for the Best Female Video category, Swift’s music video for “You Belong with Me” ultimately won. 

But, when the then 17-year-old Swift went up to accept her award and give her speech, West infamous jumped on stage, grabbed her mic, and then uttered some of the most meme’d words in the last decade.

He said, among other things: “I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”

West got booed until he got off the stage, but the damage was done. 

How Jay-Z and Beyoncé responded to this

RELATED: Why Did Jay-Z and Beyoncé Skip Out on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Wedding?

As the podcast Even the Rich discussed, Beyoncé felt terrible for Swift as she had no idea that West would do this. That said, when her music video for “Single Ladies” won the award for Video of the Year, she tried to make things right by inviting Swift on stage so that she could finish her acceptance speech.

Beyoncé was partially motivated to do this because she was very sympathetic to Swift since she won her first VMA at 17, just like Swift did. 

That said, Jay-Z was more defensive of West. As the BBC reported, Jay-Z said that West’s actions were obviously “rude,” however, he felt that the reaction and the backlash toward West was overblown. Jay-Z said: “He’s on the cover of every paper. He didn’t kill anybody. No one got harmed.”

Instead, Jay-Z explained that West was “just a super passionate person” who did something that was inappropriate for the moment. 

While Beyoncé’s actions were definitely the classy way to handle the situation, Jay-Z’s defense of West shouldn’t be too surprising, either. 

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s complicated history with one another

Like ‘Even the Rich’ talked about, Jay-Z, who’s significantly older than West is, has a very close relationship with West. West has been a talented musician for some time now, but like a lot of things in the music industry, it took a while before anyone recognized his talents. Jay-Z was one of those people who did recognize West’s skills early on. 

Not only that, but Jay-Z also worked with West a lot for Jay-Z’s ‘The Blueprint,’ which was a very successful album. The two worked with one another more and more, and in a way, their relationship evolved from being a work relationship to a more familiar one.

Due to his age and experience, Jay-Z was basically West’s big brother for many years, and like many big brothers, Jay-Z couldn’t help but defend his little brother during this controversy. 

That said, their relationship has soured as of late, and like many great hip hop feuds, they both spat a few lines at one another. But, feuds don’t last forever, and it’s possible that the two have reconciled. Regardless, rocky moments like that just show how complicated their relationship with one another truly is.