One of the fundamental differences between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian is that the former lacks a filter. When many described his notorious outburst at the 2009 VMAs as rude, others --such as Jay-Z, who called his pal "super-passionate" -- defended Kanye for speaking his mind. Kardashian, on the other hand, makes every bat of her criminally long eyelashes appear calculated. When she demurely coos bromides such as "I believe in love," it seems as contrived as most of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" storylines. So it's easy, then, to hold Kim solely responsible for orchestrating the publicity generated by their rumored relationship. And West is an artist, having repeatedly proved himself to be a formidable force in music; unlike Kardashian, he's capable of generating buzz without having to exploit his personal life. Yet he's clearly game to do so anyway (remember 2007's fabricated 50 Cent feud?).
Kris Humphries has said that he's "not sure" if production of "Kourtney and Kim Take New York" during his 72-day marriage to Kardashian is responsible for its demise (um, we're guessing it wasn't exactly therapeutic). In fact, even Kim admitted to Cosmopolitan UK, "I wouldn't have another relationship shown on the show." She continued, "That might be too personal, especially when you're just meeting someone. It's taught me to be more private." While Kim is reportedly "leery" about broadcasting another relationship after the fiasco of her failed marriage to Kris Humphries, according to RadarOnline Kanye's told Kim that he "would love to appear" on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
Kanye, of course, is no stranger to the publicity mill. "Don't do no press but I get the most press, kid," he brags on "Mercy," released earlier this month. And he presumably understands that thrusting his burgeoning romance with Kim into the spotlight could likely have similarly detrimental effects. If he truly wanted to keep their hookup under the radar, he wouldn't want to appear on her show. And he certainly wouldn't be inclined to release a song in which he waxes lyrical about his feelings for her, complete with catty references to her soon-to-be ex, on the very same day of their first high-profile date ("lucky I ain't have Jay drop him from the team," he raps on "Way Too Cold," implying that he could ask Jay-Z to fire Humphries from the New Jersey Nets. Classy.)
And speaking of said rendezvous, the pair hasn't tried very hard to conceal their courtship. Renting out FAO Schwarz's giant-piano floor to reenact a scene from "Big" isn't really our idea of inconspicuous. Neither is grabbing ice cream in Soho on a Saturday (in tourist season!) or posing happily for photos at a high-profile Chanel dinner. Protecting their relationship from intrusive cameras and media speculation doesn't seem to be a priority for Kanye; but as suggests his recent statement, "If I don't say something in a rap or on Twitter, it's not true," he's just not prone to keeping his feelings private.
While Kim lacks Kanye's cultural cred, their brand of fame is not entirely dissimilar: Both are notorious attention seekers. Despite all of Kim's entrepreneurship, everyone knows that she first became a household name by appearing in a sex tape. And though West has won -- and earned -- a whopping 18 Grammy Awards, he's still associated with the unfortunate 2009 VMA stunt in which he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. Whether blogging in all-caps (a.k.a. yelling), engaging in epic Twitter rants, taking bold sartorial risks (hello, leather kilt), comparing himself to Hitler or making other incendiary statements, Yeezy craves the spotlight just as much as she who televised her wedding on an E! special.
Whether or not the whole episode is merely a PR move to promote Kanye's upcoming album and Kim's upcoming season of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," one thing's for sure: It takes two to make a "showmance."