West's near-invisible performance at the Billboard Music Awards

Despite complaints that the pyrotechnics were overdone to the point of viewing opacity, the stage display for Kanye West’s performance at the Billboard Music Awards this past weekend turned out to be a fairly accurate visual representation of the clarity of the music. As we previously reported, ABC censored West’s performance of “All Day” and “Black Skinhead” so heavily, many people thought there might be something wrong with his mic. Turns out, the network was so overeager with its use of the “mute” button, it’s made the rapper a little over-emotional. As the following statement from a West representative shows, the blinding incandescence of the performance also makes a nice visual metaphor for West’s reaction to discovering the extent of the network’s meddling.

Kanye West was grossly over-censored at the Billboard Music Awards. Non-profane lyrics such as ‘with my leather black jeans on’ were muted for over 30-second intervals. As a result, his voice and performance were seriously misrepresented. It is ridiculous that in 2015, unwarranted censorship is something that artists still have to fight against. Although West was clearly set up to face elements beyond his control during the live broadcast, he would like to apologize to the television audience who were unable to enjoy the performance the way he envisioned.

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Kanye shouldn’t feel too bad about the bizarre censorship, however. After all, ABC allowed everyone to hear the overwhelming chorus of “boo”s that greeted his in-laws Kendall and Kylie Jenner. So that’s something, anyway. You can relive the several minutes of not really seeing nor hearing West all that well by watching the clip of his performance here. [Via Rolling Stone]