Back in June, footage from Kanye West’s failed 2008 Curb Your Enthusiasm-style pilot leaked online. This was a great day for mankind, because prior to that only a precious few had any idea that you could even put the words “Kanye West” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm-style pilot” near each other without being struck down on the spot by the gods for grossly violating the deadly sin of greed. News like that will change a person. Score one for the dreamers.
Anyway, TV Guide has a brief oral history of how the whole thing came about. Please note this passage, in which Larry Charles — who directed Borat and a bunch of Curb episodes — explains his first meeting with Kanye.
They got in touch with me and said, “Kanye would like to meet you.” I couldn’t imagine what we had in common at all. The first thing he said to me was, “I’m the black Larry David.” He started telling me these stories about how often he puts his foot in his mouth, how often he’s apologizing like the way Larry does on the show for saying the wrong thing or being inappropriate. How he doesn’t really want to be that way, he just sort of is that way.
I proceeded to hang out with him. We would go out to get a bite, and sure enough, he would say the wrong thing to the waiter, inadvertently insulting them and having to apologize, and then it would escalate. I started to see a show here.
If you keep the quote locked squarely in context, “I’m the black Larry David” makes sense, because he’s trying to say that his mouth gets him in all kinds of awkward situations, like the slightly fictionalized version of David’s does on Curb. Fine, great, no argument here. But if you strip the quote of context and let it run free, it becomes something I believe it was always destined to be…
The greatest rap boast of all-time.