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Kanye vs. Kimmel: Real or fake?

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Kanye Kimmel

Nothing is certain in this post-Twerk-Fail world — which may be why Kanye West’s furious Twitter rant against Jimmy Kimmel has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism. The Associated Press puts it best with this headline: “Kimmel and Kanye West Are at War — Or Are They?”

Let’s examine the facts. First and foremost, Kimmel is a notorious prankster known for tricking passersby with his regular “Lie Witness News” segments, encouraging Emmy viewers to convince the Twittersphere that Tracy Morgan had passed out onstage, and challenging parents to pretend they’ve eaten all their children’s Halloween candy. More importantly, Kanye’s “anger” comes just weeks after Kimmel pulled off his greatest practical joke yet: Convincing the news media and the Internet at large that a girl had actually set herself on fire while trying to twerk.

So if any other celebrity picked a big, public feud with Kimmel, we could be pretty certain that the whole thing was a stunt and nothing more. With Kanye West, though, things are just a bit more complicated.

While his raps are filled with sly wordplay and clever turns of phrase, Kanye isn’t exactly the self-aware, self-deprecating type. After South Park skewered him in 2009, West responded with a fairly genial blog post — then threatened to “choke a South Park writer with a fish stick” on 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. And shortly before appearing as musical guest Saturday Night Live last May, he vigorously dismissed the idea that he might appear in a sketch in a lengthy rant: “I ain’t here to apologize to no motherf—ers, man,” West said. “Hell nah, I ain’t doing no motherf—ing SNL skits; this my goddamn life.” Add in a history of sh– stirring and unpredictable public outbursts, and you’ve got all the ingredients for an honest-to-God feud.

Obviously, then, this is for real. Unless it’s fake. Ahhh, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

What do you think? (And just for the record, here’s how Kimmel’s publicist responded when asked for comment: “It is genuine. I even tweeted that it was since so many folks were asking.”)