Kanye West left the thousands in attendance inside the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the MTV Video Awards in awe. Accepting the coveted Video Vanguard Award, Mr. West was honored by Taylor Swift and delivered quite the headline-making speech.
Touching on the infamous 2009 incident on the VMA stage as well as what he's learned thus far, Kanye was raw, passionate, and more importantly honest. But other than reflecting on the notable moment, the G.O.O.D. Music star, who placed an emphasis on confidence and touching the sky, also surprised the audience with the next set of words that will be circulating news circuits for the next coming days: "I have decided in 2020 to run for president."
Yes, that happened.
Check out Kanye's speech above and read our transcript below:
"Listen to the kids, bruh.
First of all, Thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening. And 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 that end they say, "You’re not that bad after all." And like, I think about it sometimes like when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 people boo me, it crosses my mind a little bit. And I think if I had to do it all again, what would I have done? Would I have worn a leather shirt? Would I have drank half a bottle of Hennessy. If I had a daughter, would I have stepped on that stage and grabbed the mic from someone else.
You know, this arena tomorrow it’s gonna be a completely different setup. Some concert, something like that. The stage will be gone. After that night, the stage was gone, but the effect that it had on people remained. The problem was the contradiction, the contraction is I do fight for artists. But, somehow I didn’t know how to say the right thing, the perfect thing. [At the time] I just sat at the Grammys and saw Justin Timberlake and Cee-Lo [Green] lose. Gnarls Barkley and Future Sex/Love Sounds… Justin I saw that man in tears, bro. And I said, he deserved to win Album of the Year. And this small box that we are as the entertainers of the evening… How could you explain that? Sometimes I feel like all this s* they run about beef and all that? Sometimes I feel like I died for the artist’s opinion. For artist’s to be able to have an opinion after they were successful. I’m not no politician, bruh!
And look at that, you know how many times MTV ran that footage? Because it got them more ratings. You know how many times they ran Taylor[Swift] is giving me this award? Because it got them more ratings. Listen to the kids, bruh. 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!... Fuck that bro. 2015 I will die for the art for what I believe in and that art ain’t always going to be polite. Ya’ll might be thinking right now, 'Did he smoke something before he came out here?’ The answer is yes, I rolled up a little something. I knocked the edge off!
I don’t know what’s gonna happen tonight, I don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow. But all I can say to my artists, to my fellow artists, just worry how you feel all the time, man... I'm confident I believe in myself. We the millennials, bruh. This is a new mentality. We not going to 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. That they can stand up for themselves.
If my grandfather was here right now he would not let me back down . I don’t know what I’m finna lose after this, but it doesn’t matter. It’s about ideas. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president."
Bro!!!— Sean Don (@BigSean) August 31, 2015