Bro! An Abridged Look at Kanye West’s Antics at the 2015 VMAs
Well, we didn’t get any more details surrounding Kanye West’s long-awaited (or, a stressful two years) Swish, but we did get his bid for the 2020 presidency.
Last night’s (Aug. 30) MTV VMAs appeared to be a virtual battle between artists vying for the most viral GIFs, but West walked away with more than a few limelight-stealing moments. First, when he danced his way through the Weeknd’s performance of “Can’t Feel My Face,” then again when he gave a very deadpan and unimpressed reaction to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Downtown,” and finally, when he pretended to rush the stage and take a nap during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video:
But none better than when West took the stage to accept the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which was presented by Swift (watch below). The 1989 singer immediately addressed the elephant in the room -- the fact that, at the VMAs six years prior, West infamously snatched the microphone out of her hand during her win for Video of the Year.
“So I guess I have to say to all the other winners tonight,” Swift said during her introduction, “I’m really happy for you, and I’mma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time!”
When West finally made it to the stage, what ensued was 13 minutes (the first two and a half of which were spent in silence) of classic Kanye stream of consciousness, culminating in an announcement that he will run for president in 2020.
West kind of addressed why he so frequently and impassionedly steals the stage from other award recipients (“The contradiction is I do fight for artists, but in that fight, I somehow was disrespectful to artists”) and offered what might be the most succinct thesis statement for his behavior yet (“I still don’t understand award shows”):
Listen to the kids, bro! I still don’t understand awards shows. I don’t understand how they get five people who worked their entire life … sold records, sold concert tickets to come stand on the carpet and for the first time in they life be judged on the chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser! I don’t understand it, bruh! … I just wanted people to like me more. “But f--- that, bro! … I will die for the art! For what I believe in. And the art ain’t always gonna be polite!
And while earlier in the speech West adamantly claimed, “I’m no politician, bro,” he wrapped up by articulating what a brave new world led by a West-Kardashian White House might look like:
We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We not gonna teach low self-esteem and hate to our kids. We gonna teach our kids that they can be something. We gonna teach our kids that they can stand up for theyself! We gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves! … It don’t matter though, cuz it ain’t about me. It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.
Watch West’s entire speech in the video at the top of the page, and you can read the transcript over at MTV.