Did Kanye West Say He's 'The Next Nelson Mandela'? Satire Generates Controversy

It seems that a new controversy over Kanye West making insensitive, wacky or grandiose comments crops up pretty much every week, and last week was no different.

A Friday article by The Daily Currant went viral over the weekend as it appeared to quote Yeezus as saying he's "the next Nelson Mandela," just days after the South African leader had passed away at the age of 95.

But there was just one problem. The Daily Currant is a satirical website, and the article and incendiary quote in question are 100 percent fake. Kanye may be one of this generation's most prominent provocateurs, famously stating that "George Bush doesn't care about black people" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and going on multiple rants of late about how he should be given a platform for his fashion ideas, but he didn't compare himself to Mandela. Here's the lengthy concocted quote that got the ball rolling on the whole controversy:

"I am the next Nelson Mandela. I'm only 36 years old, and when I look at everything I've accomplished, it's the only comparison that makes any sense. By the time I'm 95, I'm going to be a bigger hero than he ever was. Nelson Mandela did a lot of good work, don't get me wrong. But I think I'm on track to do something even bigger. I liberate minds with my music. That's more important than liberating a few people from apartheid or whatever. Not to say Mandela wasn't for real. I have mad respect. I just think we need to keep things in perspective here. Anyone can be replaced. And I think I'm well on my way towards being the next great black leader. I'm already worshiped around the world. And there's more to come. ... What have you actually done for civil rights? I've blazed a trail with my career. I faced immeasurable racism when I entered this profession. I mean how many black rappers can you name that came before me? I was a pioneer. And now I'm doing the same thing in the fashion world. Not to mention I have a bigger market than he ever did. Mandela was working in South Africa, which has, like what, six people? I started my magic here in the USA and then I took my business global. Worldwide baby. Have you been involved in any campaigns? Any political activities? It seems to me comparing yourself to Mandela is a bit of a stretch I just want everyone out there to know. I see y'all crying on the TV. Being all sad. Just know that Kanye's gonna carry on Mandela's legacy. There's nothing to worry about. I got this."

The satirical piece played on Kanye's ego, and it likely appeared to be real to many readers because of West's well-deserved reputation for being an unabashed braggart. But, as has been the case with a number of other Daily Currant stories -- including a recent one that satirized the frenzy of Black Friday shopping by asserting that a woman killed three people over an X-Box in a Best Buy in West's hometown of Chicago -- the story went viral despite its being a satire in the vein of the stories written by The Onion.

Unfortunately, even some news organizations took the piece at face value, breathlessly reporting the news that Kanye had apparently descended to a new low. The Costa Rican Times may have gone the furthest down this road, posting an inflammatory article called "Piece of S**t Kanye: I Am the Next Nelson Mandela."

The takeaway is you shouldn't believe everything you read, even if it's about Kanye West.

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