Kanye West 2020?
The rapper announced his 2020 presidential bid (whether he was serious or not is debatable), took aim at awards shows, addressed the Taylor Swift incident and more at the MTV Video Music Awards as he accepted the Video Vanguard Award, making for undoubtedly one of the most memorable VMA speeches ever.
“I still don’t understand award shows,” he said on stage. “I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life to come, stand on a carpet, and for the first time in their life, stand up on a chopping block and be considered a loser. I don’t understand it, bro! I’ve been conflicted, bro! I just wanted people to like me more!”
“I will die for the art, for what I believe in,” he went on. “And the art ain’t always going to be polite! Ya’ll might be thinking, I wonder, ‘Did he smoke something before he came out?’ The answer is yes, I rolled up something. I knocked the edge off.”
West got philosophical, talking about the next generation.
“We’re going to teach our kids to believe in themselves,” he said.” I don’t know what I’m going to lose after this. It don’t matter, though. It ain’t about me. It’s about 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.”
Swift presented him with the Vanguard award, six years after West jumped on stage to take the microphone from her and declare that Beyonce should have won the VMA over Swift.
“It seems like everyone in the world knew about our infamous encounter at the VMAs,” she said of the 2009 incident. “What you may not know is ‘College Dropout’ was the first album my brother and I bought on iTunes when I was 12 years old. “
The pop superstar went on to praise West’s achievements in fashion, music and pop culture, acknowledging both his hardships and his successes.
“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,” Swift told the audience.
To officially squash the beef, the two hugged on stage, and West went on to address the incident himself. West explained some of his actions in criticizing award winners.
“Thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening,” he said. “And I often think back to the first day I met you also.”
“After that night, the stage was gone but the affect it had on people remained,” he said. “The problem was the contradiction. The contradiction is I do fight for artists but in that fight I was somehow disrespectful to artists. I didn’t know how to say the right thing, the perfect thing.”
Past recipients of the Vanguard Award include Michael Jackson, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2.