In one of the most talked about moments of Sunday’s VMAs, Kanye West took the stage to accept his Video Vanguard Award with an epic 12 minute speech that set social media on fire.
During the rambling monologue that had almost everyone (except Jaden Smith) scratching their heads, Kanye talked about his role as an artist, gave “the kids” props, and (jokingly?) announced he was running for president in 2020.
So what did we learn from Ye’s VMA speech? Glad you asked.
#1 The kids have the answers, Sway.
“ Bro. Bro. Listen to the kids….”
In Yeezy’s now-infamous interview on Sway in the Morning, West famously told the radio host he didn’t have the answers. But according to Ye’s VMA speech, we should all be listening to the kids.
#2 He’s still not over that whole Taylor Swift thing.
“First of all, thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening. I often think back to the first day I met you, also. I think about when I’m in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice and at the end, they say, “Oh, you’re not that bad after all.” It crosses my mind a little bit when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 people boo me; crosses my mind a little bit. If I had to do it all again, what would I have done? Would I have worn a leather shirt? Would I have drank a half a bottle of Hennessey and gave the rest of it to the audience? Y’all know you drank that bottle too. If I had a daughter at that time, would I have went onstage and grabbed the mic from someone else?”
I get it, after interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA’s Kanye became sort of a villain. After all, he spoiled the moment of America’s sweetheart with his drunken rant. But it’s been six years, and apparently Ye (and MTV) hasn’t gotten over it yet. Swift was the one to present the rapper with his Video Vanguard Award, and he spent a considerable amount of his 12 minute speech recounting the incident. Things got so weird that I almost wished someone rushed the stage and said, “Kanye…I’ma let you finish, but this speech way too long, bro.”
#3 Justin Timberlake cried after he lost at the Grammys.
“I sat at the Grammys and saw Justin Timberlake and Cee Lo lose; Gnarls Barkley and the FutureSex/LoveSounds album. I ain’t trying to put you on blast, but I saw that man in tears.”
Btw… I JUST watched my man 'Ye's FULL speech… He always has a point. And I support it. #truth
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) August 31, 2015
Umm…way to put your friend on blast, Ye.
#4 He doesn’t understand how award shows work, but he’ll die for his art. Also? He still wants awards.
“I still don’t understand award shows. I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life, won, sell records, sell concert tickets, to come, stand on a carpet and for the first time in their life, be judged on the chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser. I don’t understand it, bro! I’ve been conflicted. I just wanted people to like me more. But fuck that, bro! 2015. I will die for the art — for what I believe in — and the art ain’t always gonna be polite.”
Kanye has often spoken about the industry not recognizing his genius and giving him sufficient props, but according to his epic speech, he couldn’t care less now. Despite winning multiple awards in the past, West said he doesn’t understand how, or why, award shows decide on who’ll take home trophies. Looks like it doesn’t matter anymore, though. Kanye wants the powers to be to know that he’s not afraid to push the envelope and die for his art if necessary. I guess designing $120 plain white tees is risky business.
#5 Kanye West doesn’t know what a millennial is, but he’s totally one anyway.
“I’m confident. I believe in myself. We the millenials, bruh. This is a new mentality.”
Kanye West was born in 1977. He’s clearly not a millennial, but that didn’t stop Yeezy from claiming to be down with the crew, or just changing the definition of millennial to fit his needs. Whatever works.