On Sunday, August 30, MTV hosted its annual Video Music Awards. It was a night of unforgettable moments such as Justin Bieber crying after his performance, Taylor Swift and Nikki Minaj ending their dispute, and Minaj starting another by calling out Miley Cyrus. Despite everything else, Kanye West stole the show by giving an unexpected speech that ended with the announcement that he has decided to run for president in 2020.
Kanye West is known for many things. He is a rapper, songwriter, business man, record producer, fashion designer, and husband to Kim Kardashian. West’s legacy has been shaped by his opinionated, outspoken, and controversial character. West is notorious for things such as posing as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone, stating that President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people” around the time of Hurricane Katrina, and making unforgettable appearances at award shows.
West’s noted award show incidents started at the American Music Awards of 2004 when he rushed out of the auditorium after Best New Artist was awarded to Gretchen Wilson instead of himself.
In 2006, West believed his “Touch the Sky” music video deserved to win Best Video at MTV’s Europe Music Awards. When the award was given to Justice and Simian, West walked up on stage and argued that he should have won the award.
Britney Spears was invited to open the 2007 MTV VMA’s and West stated that he felt he was overlooked. He implied that it had to do with his race. Later, on a few different radio stations, he explained that it was his dream to open the VMA’s with his song “Stronger”.
West’s most famous award show controversy occurred at the 2009 MTV VMA’s. Taylor Swift was awarded Best Female Video for “You Belong With Me”. While Swift was accepting the award, West went on stage and took the microphone from her. He stated that Beyoncé should have won the award because “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” because it was “one of the best videos of all time”.
While Beck was accepting the award for Album of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards (February 2015), West walked on stage and then right back off. Many people took this as a joke, but West later explained that it was not a joke and that “Beck needs to respect artistry, he should have given his award to Beyoncé”.
In light of West’s 2009 interruption, Taylor Swift presented West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award on Sunday night at the 2015 MTV VMA’s. After taking a minute or two to soak in the audience’s praise, West began his speech. West thanked Swift and then began to explain that he feels like he “died for the artist’s opinion”. The speech continued with phrases such as “I’m not no politician, bro!” and “LISTEN TO THE KIDS, BRO!” West even admitted that he smoked “a little something to knock the edge off“. He told his fellow artists to worry about how they feel at the time. At the end, he said that it does not matter what he loses because “it ain’t about me, bro! It’s about ideas!” However, West was not finished, “And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.” He dropped the mic and walked off stage.
Will Kanye West run for president? Will America call the man who used the word “bro” at least eight times in his speech President West? Could it be another award show publicity stunt? Whether West’s intentions are serious or not remains unknown. In the meantime, West has left the world with advice, maybe even an order:
Listen to the kids, bro.
The full length speech is available on:
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