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Audio leaks of Kanye West’s backstage SNL meltdown

on February 17, 2016, 6:10pm

Despite a last-second Hail Mary from Chance the Rapper, Kanye West’s two-song performance on Saturday Night Live last weekend will be remembered as, at best, unrehearsed, and at worst, downright awful. Perhaps his lackluster appearance can be attributed to some backstage drama.

The New York Post has shared audio of Kanye apparently berating SNL staff members after they tore up his stage because it was reflecting the stage lights and causing problems for the cameras. “Look at the shit, they took my fucking stage off SNL without asking me,” Kanye can be heard saying before threatening to call off his performance altogether. At one point, he calls Taylor Swift a “fake ass,” and proclaims himself to be “50 perfect more influential” than Stanley Kubrick, Paul the Apostle, and both Pablo Picasso and Pablo Escobar. “By 50 percent dead or alive,” he continues, “by 50 percent for the next 1,000 years. Stanley Kubrick, ‘Ye.”

Update – Wednesday, February 17th at 9:50 p.m. CT: A representative for Kanye told Rolling Stone that the recording is edited and taken out of context. “This audio was secretly recorded while he was venting his frustration in a private moment with his team. He found out his stage design was changed and taken apart under the direction of the show’s lighting director without anyone’s approval.”

Listen to the audio below, and stay tuned for Kanye’s Twitter response in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…