Kanye West is never one to shy away from the spotlight and took the opportunity while accepting the Video Vanguard Award from his one-time nemesis Taylor Swift at Sunday’s MTV VMA ceremony to announce he was running for president in 2020. Was he serious? Sure sounded like that to us. Take a look at his acceptance speech below and then weigh in with your thoughts in our red-hot forums.
West droppd this bombshell at the conclusion of his long-winded speech. He had kicked it off by thanking Swift, who he had gatecrashed during her acceptance of Best Female Video at the 2009 VMAs. She already had made merry with that moment when introducing him: “It seemed like everyone knew about our infamous encounter at the VMAs,” she said, and echoed his words when he interrupted to insist Beyonce should have won, “I’m really happy for you and imma let you finish.”
This time around, West was more coherent as he spoke on a range of topics. He apologized for that bad behavior. “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.” He explained his passion. “I will die for the art, for what I believe in, and art ain’t always going to be polite.” And he inspired. “We gotta teach our kids that they can be something. That they can stand up for themselves. If my grandfather was here, he would not let me back down.”
West was being honored because of “his career-spanning groundbreaking videos, legendary VMA performances, and continued impact on music, art, fashion, and culture.” Among those previously feted with this top award have been: Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Guns N’ Roses, Beastie Boys, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce.
While West won over the powers that be at MTV by being accorded this prize, he has not been so successful with the general public that votes on the awards. He has only won two of his 32 competitive bids — Best Male Video (“Jesus Walks,” 2005) and Best Special Effects (“Good Life,” 2008). Only three of his videos — “Jesus Walks,” “Stronger” (2007) and “Love Lockdown” (2009) — have been nominated for Video of the Year and none has won. (And for those keeping track, Swift claimed that award Sunday for “Bad Blood” as well as three more bringing her career haul to six.)