In the lead up to Sunday’s show, the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards were pushing a new statuette and another opportunity for Kanye West to give us all what for. West was to be presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award by his old pal, Taylor Swift. Their onstage meeting went off without a hitch (probably to some producer’s chagrin) so that Kanye could get down to the business of announcing his 2020 campaign for President of these United States.
Swift and MTV’s writers cracked wise about the last time she and West shared the stage, but she made it clear that they have no bad blood. Then the lights dimmed—or rather, centered on Kanye—and the rapper began his 13-minute acceptance speech by talking about the 2009 “awardus interruptus” moment, theorizing about what had prompted him to behave that way. He recalled a tearful, disappointed Justin Timberlake before criticizing MTV and award shows in general for creating a situation wherein talented and other well-adjusted artists briefly feel like “losers” for not winning. He then noted that MTV had promoted his second onstage meeting with Swift to increase viewership before imploring everyone to “listen to the kids, bro!”
Kanye had a lot to say about life as a new dad and children in general, advising everyone to build their kids’ confidence. He admitted to getting high before the show—to take the edge off—while describing himself and his contemporaries as “the millennials.” After admitting he feared that possible backlash to his outrageous pro-kid stance, he said what we’d all been expecting to hear (according to Kanye): he’s running for president in 2020.
The tweets began to pour in, with West quickly earning Jaden Smith’s endorsement.
There’s still no word from Beck about how he feels about any of this, but you can watch the video of the speech below.