An uninvited Kanye West gets escorted out of Skechers HQ in Manhattan Beach, California, in this 2007 file photo. Getty/iStockphoto
I got to Los Angeles the day that Kanye West was set to make his debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and I was more excited than a girl with an undescended testicle. I was, however, prepared for the worst. I remember what he did for the Grammys that year, and the fact that I had never heard of him. But there was something in his voice on the phone that made me believe that I would be able to watch the whole thing unfold.
And that’s when he started talking about being from the “West Coast.” I had never heard that term used before, or even seen West describe it since, so I just assumed he meant the coastal region of Los Angeles — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, whatever, even Hawaii. I was wrong.
“I just think a couple of the east Coast people are from the West Coast,” he began. “Not East Coast, West Coast. … And I’m really glad they’ve figured that out.”
The conversation continued:
“Now, I like L.A.,” West continued. “I love you. I’m sorry you don’t love me. You should really love me. In fact, I want to do an arena tour that just happens to be in L.A. And I would be great on that, for sure.”
He said this while taking questions from the audience, with West leaning into the mic and whispering in his ear until people started laughing. I hadn’t laughed in a year at the end of my senior year in high school, and I don’t think I’d ever been the one to crack the mic and give a shout-out to West. But it would have been pretty weird to be the only one laughing, unless at the same time he said, “For sure.”
It wasn’t a joke. It was earnestly genuine. He was talking about doing arenas. He had been playing arenas in L.A. for over a decade. He was talking about bringing a tour to L.A. that happened to take place