On last year’s scorching summer jam, "Mercy," hip-hop hall-of-famer Kanye West bragged about not doing any press. It was a nod to the no-interview policy he’s had in place ever since he realized he’d become the kind of popular (and, yes, arrogant) that transcends the usefulness of traditional interviews. Something happened recently that made Kanye break his policy however.
Last week, MTV revealed its annual "Hottest MCs in the Game" list, with Mr. West positioned at a not-flattering-enough No. 7. It was enough to move 'Ye to call in to the hip-hop gatekeepers at New York’s Hot 97 radio station and go off about MTV’s Sway, an old friend who’d contributed to the list. What followed was a beef that spilled out into social media, dragging the electronics brand Sharp with it—although it all may have concluded on March 14, with a bold gesture of social listening.
One of the always quotable Kanye’s sound bites from his call to Hot 97 included a reference to an old gift the producer/rapper once bequeathed to young Sway: the future MTV VJ’s first TV. The result: #SwaysFirstTV was born and somehow crept up the list of worldwide trending topics on Twitter. This TV was an old-school Sharp, minus a remote control, which has since been rechristened The Sharpeezy. After the mini-beef blew up on social media, Sway brought the actual TV onto his show and revealed that it once adorned Kanye’s bathroom, of all places.
News of what transpired did not escape Sharp nor its social agency Rokkan though. One thing became abundantly clear to the agency: Sway’s 12-year-old hand-me-down TV had to go, no matter from whence it came. During a taping of Sirius’s "Sway in the Morning" show, live from SXSW, the Sharp team showed up in Austin with a surprise beef-squashing gift—the largest LED TV on the planet, Sharp’s new 90-inch AQUOS.
The crew also provided some catharsis for Sway by delivering the original remote for the Sharpeezy, as a gesture of peace—to stop the squabble before it took on 2pac-ian undertones. Although Kanye couldn’t be reached for comment—that no-press policy immediately went back into effect after Hot 97—we suspect he is probably at this moment moving to another planet to find a bigger TV that he can get his hands on.
[Kanye West Image: Flickr user Rodrigo Ferrari]