this week’s ralphie report…

the following can be read this wednesday in the weekender.

Hold the opinions that you will, but you cannot deny that Kanye West knows how to get people chatting. Two weekends ago, the rapper/producer rescinded on his 2007 award-losing rant that he’d “never go back to MTV.” ‘Ye turned in a spectacle of a performance at this year’s Video Music Awards with a new song, “Love Lockdown.” The track features a “vocoded” West (ala T-Pain) – all singing, and no rapping.

“I’m not loving you, way I wanted to, see I had to go, see I had to move,” Kanye croons, seemingly about his ex-fiancé Alexis Phifer, who he parted ways with before heading out on last spring’s Glow In The Dark Tour. A few online media outlets reported last week that the two may have reconciled.

West will release a new CD before the end of the year – a rumored November release called, “808’s and Heartbreaks.” The emcee flew to Honolulu a few days after the VMA’s – as later said in a blog post, to work on the album.

But before boarding the plane, Kanye and his manager/road manager Don Crowley managed to snag a little more publicity. Angered by the aggressiveness of a paparazzo, the two men grabbed and damaged a camera worth thousands, en route to checking in. West’s manager then noticed that another photographer filmed the entire incident. Crowley immediately attacked that photographer as well, throwing his lens and microphone to the ground, breaking the camera in the tussle. 

To the misfortune of the rapper, the videographer was Erik – who films for TMZ. The footage survived the havoc, and instantaneously appeared on the celebrity news’ website, as well as television affiliates across the country.

Meanwhile, West and manager were booked at Los Angeles International Airport for vandalism, and released on $20,000 bail. ‘Ye, in typical fashion, took to his blog after arriving via private jet in Hawaii, saying that he’s cool with the paparazzi, and back “in the shop,” working on the aforementioned forthcoming LP.

Although two cameras worth thousands were destroyed, no members of the media were harmed as a result of the story.


Havertown’s Brendan Hansen should be counting his lucky stars, perhaps even playing the lottery at this hour. Earlier in the week – after his relay-mate Michael Phelps hosted Saturday Night Live – Hansen flew from Austin to Philadelphia, where he would make the media rounds and receive the Liberty Bell Award. The plane stopped in Nashville, and that’s when the gold medalist realized he couldn’t find his medal.

Hansen told officials he slept for two hours on the flight, and believed the prized possession scurried away during his nap.

Forget the terror threat rising to “Yellow” – the FBI felt the need to investigate. Thankfully for Hansen, as well as our country’s security resources, the gold turned up. A passenger who left the plane in Nashville found the missing medal and reported it to authorities.

Hansen won the medal in the 400-meter men’s relay of the Beijing Olympics. No word on if the International Olympic Committee will revoke it due to “incompetence.”

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