News, Culture & Society

The REAL reason Kanye West called Sam Burgess ‘poor’ to his face

Former NRL star Sam Burgess made headlines last week when he revealed that rapper Kanye West had called him ‘poor’ to his face at a London hotel five years ago.

Many Australians were left baffled by the anecdote – not least because Sam is in fact quite wealthy – but now the truth behind the pair’s bizarre run-in has been revealed.

According to New Idea, the American musician, 43, dismissed the now-retired South Sydney Rabbitohs prop, 31, as poor simply because ‘he had no idea who he was’.

The reason Kanye West called Sam Burgess ‘poor’ to his face: A source has revealed the bizarre truth behind the rapper’s run-in with the NRL star (pictured) at a London hotel five years ago

A source with knowledge of the situation said that Kanye didn’t quite know how to handle the ‘boorish’ Yorkshireman, who had had a few drinks by the time they met. 

The pair were joined at the table by actor Russell Crowe, who apparently found the conversation hilarious because of Sam’s total lack of deference towards the Yeezy founder.

‘The whole thing was funny to Rusty,’ said the insider. ‘He’d had some dealings with Kanye [in the past] and knew that stepping on his ego means social death. But Sam failed spectacularly to read the room when Kanye was with them.’

They added: ‘Kanye just stared at him like he was some boorish kid because he had no idea who Sam was.’

Who are you? According to New Idea, the American musician (pictured) dismissed the now-retired South Sydney Rabbitohs prop, 31, as poor simply because 'he had no idea who he was'

Who are you? According to New Idea, the American musician (pictured) dismissed the now-retired South Sydney Rabbitohs prop, 31, as poor simply because ‘he had no idea who he was’

The saga involving Kanye and Sam began last week, when Russell shared a surprising story about an encounter he’d witnessed between the two men at a London hotel five years ago.

The Gladiator star, 56, claimed that Kanye had become annoyed with the rugby league player for drunkenly singing along to his hit single FourFiveSeconds.

Days later, Sam confirmed that the meeting did indeed happen – and claimed the Grammy winner had actually called him ‘poor’ to his face.

Speaking to Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa, the English sportsman said: ‘It was a weird night!’

'It was a weird night!' A source with knowledge of the situation said that Kanye didn't quite know how to handle the 'boorish' Yorkshireman, who had had a few drinks by the time they met

‘It was a weird night!’ A source with knowledge of the situation said that Kanye didn’t quite know how to handle the ‘boorish’ Yorkshireman, who had had a few drinks by the time they met

He explained: ‘I had driven from Bath over to the Dorchester for a session with Rusty at China Tong down there and we were just sitting there and the drinks were flowing, as usual as they are with me and Rusty.

‘Kanye just walked in the room and sat down… I didn’t think it was Kanye at the start because he was so small. I couldn’t believe it!’

He said the Gold Digger hitmaker was showing everyone in the room his designs for Yeezy sneakers, and Sam asked him what his inspiration was.  

Ouch! Recounting the incident on breakfast radio last week, Sam said that Kanye was showing everyone in the room his designs for Yeezy sneakers. The sportsman asked him what his inspiration was. 'He goes, "I'm making clothes for poor people just like you,"' Sam laughed

Ouch! Recounting the incident on breakfast radio last week, Sam said that Kanye was showing everyone in the room his designs for Yeezy sneakers. The sportsman asked him what his inspiration was. ‘He goes, “I’m making clothes for poor people just like you,”‘ Sam laughed

‘He goes, “Oh, I’m making clothes for poor people just like you,”‘ Sam laughed. 

He continued: ‘I was kind of chuffed that he called me poor. I thought, “Oh yeah, I’m a peasant! Come and eat dinner at my table if you want, Kanye. It’s fine!”‘ 

Oscar-winning actor Russell had first revealed the unlikely feud between Sam and the presidential hopeful on the Fitzy and Wippa show last Monday.

It's a small world! Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe (pictured) had first revealed the unlikely feud between Sam and the presidential hopeful on the Fitzy and Wippa show last Monday

It’s a small world! Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe (pictured) had first revealed the unlikely feud between Sam and the presidential hopeful on the Fitzy and Wippa show last Monday

Russell explained that he’d been having a drink with Sam at the China Tang restaurant at The Dorchester when Kanye, who happened to be staying at the same hotel, saw them and asked if he could join the conversation 

He told the radio program: ‘[He came down and] brought his computer with him. He was just scrolling through a bunch of stuff he was working on. “Here’s some design stuff I have been doing,” etc.’ 

The hip-hop star told Russell and Sam that he had just produced a song with Sir Paul McCartney, which was later released as FourFiveSeconds in 2015. 

The Romper Stomper star continued: ‘Kanye said, “So, here’s this song I recorded with Paul McCartney.” So he played it and it hadn’t come out yet. And we were like, “Yeah, it’s great.”

Russell said that Sam had had a couple of drinks by this time and decided to sing along to the track, much to Kanye’s annoyance. 

Singalong? Russell explained that he'd been having a drink with Sam at the China Tang restaurant at The Dorchester when Kanye, who happened to be staying at the same hotel, saw them and asked if he could join the conversation

Singalong? Russell explained that he’d been having a drink with Sam at the China Tang restaurant at The Dorchester when Kanye, who happened to be staying at the same hotel, saw them and asked if he could join the conversation

Social: Kanye played them a sample of his new song with Sir Paul McCartney, which was later released as FourFiveSeconds in 2015, but was unimpressed when Sam drunkenly sang along despite not knowing the lyrics

Social: Kanye played them a sample of his new song with Sir Paul McCartney, which was later released as FourFiveSeconds in 2015, but was unimpressed when Sam drunkenly sang along despite not knowing the lyrics

‘So he played it four or five times and at one point Sam is singing along except he doesn’t really know the words,’ Russell explained. 

Unsurprisingly, Sam’s vocal efforts didn’t go down well with Kanye.

Russell continued: ‘I could see a little twitch in Kanye’s eye. I said, “Sam, you know you’re getting the words wrong? And the wrong day?”

‘And Sam was like, “It doesn’t matter what day it is, man.” Then he was like, ‘Kanye, Kanye, does it matter what day it is?”‘

Old friends: Russell explained that he'd met Kanye before the awkward encounter in London. They had spent time together in Sydney, where Kanye met with the actor to discuss using material from Gladiator (pictured) for a project

Old friends: Russell explained that he’d met Kanye before the awkward encounter in London. They had spent time together in Sydney, where Kanye met with the actor to discuss using material from Gladiator (pictured) for a project

The Stronger hitmaker then looked at the outspoken Brit from across the table and muttered angrily: ‘Yeah…’

Russell explained that he’d met Kanye before the awkward encounter, hence why the musician decided to come over and greet him at The Dorchester.

They had spent time together in Sydney, where Kanye met with the actor to discuss using material from Gladiator for a project.

It comes after Kanye held his first rally for his 2020 presidential bid in South Carolina last Sunday.

In a rambling and tearful speech, he claimed that his wife, Kim Kardashian, had considered aborting their daughter North. He also sparked outrage by claiming that abolitionist Harriet Tubman ‘never actually freed the slaves’.

White House bid: It comes after Kanye held his first rally for his 2020 presidential bid in South Carolina last Sunday. In a rambling and tearful speech, he claimed that his wife, Kim Kardashian (left), had considered aborting their daughter North

White House bid: It comes after Kanye held his first rally for his 2020 presidential bid in South Carolina last Sunday. In a rambling and tearful speech, he claimed that his wife, Kim Kardashian (left), had considered aborting their daughter North

The following day, Kanye tweeted that his wife was trying to have him locked up on medical grounds, compared himself to Nelson Mandela, and even suggested that the horror movie Get Out – about a black man being kidnapped by a psychopathic, racist white family – was about him. 

He has since claimed he is ‘trying to get divorced’ from Kim after she allegedly met rapper Meek Mill to talk about prison reform at the Waldorf Hotel.

Kim subsequently released a statement saying she is ‘powerless’ to help her ‘brilliant but complicated’ husband, who has bipolar disorder, adding that ‘his words sometimes do not align with his intentions’.

Kanye has since apologised to his wife and family for sharing their ‘private’ details, adding: ‘I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me.’

Worrying: Kanye has since claimed he is 'trying to get divorced' from Kim after she allegedly met rapper Meek Mill to talk about prison reform at the Waldorf Hotel. The couple are pictured with their children, North, seven, Saint, four, Chicago, two, and Psalm, 14 months

Worrying: Kanye has since claimed he is ‘trying to get divorced’ from Kim after she allegedly met rapper Meek Mill to talk about prison reform at the Waldorf Hotel. The couple are pictured with their children, North, seven, Saint, four, Chicago, two, and Psalm, 14 months

Meanwhile, Kanye’s supporters have blasted Sam for dredging up the unflattering anecdote about the troubled music mogul.

The backlash against the sportsman comes amid growing fears for Kanye’s mental health due to his erratic behaviour on the campaign trail. 

While Sam wasn’t offended by the ‘poor’ remark and laughed it off, some fans didn’t appreciate the fact that he’d made the story public at a time when Kanye appears to be going through a bipolar episode.

Bad timing: Meanwhile, Kanye's supporters have blasted Sam for dredging up the unflattering anecdote about the troubled hip hop mogul. Pictured: Kanye speaking at his presidential rally in South Carolina last Sunday

Criticism: One supporter wrote on Facebook, 'Kanye's in a mental spiral. They say he is sick and needs help. And yet they are coming out of the woodwork with people's stories of that time Kanye was acting weird. Shame on them!' Pictured: Sam on March 21, 2019

Bad timing: Meanwhile, Kanye’s supporters have blasted Sam for dredging up the unflattering anecdote about the troubled hip hop mogul. Left: Kanye speaking at his presidential rally in South Carolina last Sunday. Right: Sam playing with the Rabbitohs on March 21, 2019

One supporter wrote on Facebook: ‘Kanye’s in a mental spiral. They say he is sick and needs help. And yet they are coming out of the woodwork with people’s stories of that time Kanye was acting weird. Shame on them!’

Another commented: ‘Man, this has really annoyed me. Why bring something up that happened five years ago? Something that was probably taken the wrong way. When did someone’s mental health become everyone’s entertainment? 

‘Stop ripping on people. 2020 has been a whack year. I’m sure a lot of people’s mental health is struggling; I know mine is… My heart goes out to Kanye and anyone else suffering at the moment. Look out and after one another instead of tearing them down further. #be kind.’ 

Troubled: The backlash against Sam comes amid growing fears for Kanye's mental health due to his erratic behaviour on the campaign trail - which has resulted in his own wife, Kim Kardashian (right), saying she is 'powerless' to help her bipolar husband. Pictured in 2018

Troubled: The backlash against Sam comes amid growing fears for Kanye’s mental health due to his erratic behaviour on the campaign trail – which has resulted in his own wife, Kim Kardashian (right), saying she is ‘powerless’ to help her bipolar husband. Pictured in 2018

'Why are you judging?' While the former South Sydney Rabbitohs prop wasn't offended by the 'poor' remark and laughed it off, some fans didn't appreciate the fact that Sam had made the story public at a time when Kanye appears to be going through a manic episode

‘Why are you judging?’ While the former South Sydney Rabbitohs prop wasn’t offended by the ‘poor’ remark and laughed it off, some fans didn’t appreciate the fact that Sam had made the story public at a time when Kanye appears to be going through a manic episode

A third fan wrote: ‘Terrible… all these stories coming out. It’s clear [Kayne] is having a spell of mental illness. I hope his family is able to get him the help he needs and that he accepts it.’ 

A similar comment read: ‘Kanye West is having a terrible episode at the moment and needs serious medical treatment. This is not something to be made light of and these people in the article should be sensitive to that… Make no mistake, this man is ill.’

Another added: ‘Kanye has no filter. And, it was revealed, is literally bipolar (and probably ADHD). I personally see a little (innocent, naive) child in a grown-up world. Give him a chance. Once he gets proper therapy, I am sure he can be a caring, empathetic soul. I’m sure of it.’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk