Kanye West has numerous rap battles coming up on Fox’s ‘The Cleveland Show’ – taking on both Clevelands Jr. and Sr., and spanning two seasons.
“He has already done his second episode,” executive producer Rich Appel told Fancast at Tuesday’s PaleyFest 2010 panel for ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane. “There was so much between Kanye’s character and Cleveland Jr., is what the first episode is kind of about. We only touched upon Kanye’s character and Cleveland. So, we thought there is a whole other story we want to tell.”
The hip-hop producer and rapper – who has been on self-imposed exile after the backlash over storming Taylor Swift’s onstage award acceptance speech at last September’s MTV Music Awards – will appear first on May 2’s ‘Cleveland Show’ as the character Kenny West, and again next season.
“The rap in the first episode turned out so well, there is a rap battle between Kanye’s character and Cleveland Jr. that’s hysterical,” Appel says. “So wanted to do a rap between Kanye and Cleveland with a whole different story. We did that and left it now open, so I hope he comes back in season 3.”
EW.com recently posted advance photos of the Kenny West character, wearing sunglasses, but not looking like an obvious version of West himself. ‘Cleveland Show’ producers are stressing it isn’t the actual Kanye.
“On our show, I think if we had a celebrity playing a celebrity, it would most likely be in a cutaway or some quick gag,” Appel says. “Obviously, the shows are hyper-real. They are not that real. But, we don’t want to necessarily think Kanye West has moved into [fictional] Stoolbend, Virginia. We do occasionally throw in something like that … Also, I have found that a lot of actors prefer to play characters. I think part of the appeal of doing one of these animated shows is losing yourself completely in this character. Obviously, it’s not going to look like you. Even if we did base Kanye’s character a little on him, it’s still a cartoon. It’s not him. I think it added attraction as to play a character. Someone you can vary your voice a little bit, and escape the role everyone has to play because of your physical body.”