Earlier in the week, MTV announced they were giving Kanye West four minutes to do whatever he wanted during Sunday's (Aug. 28) Video Music Awards. And while fans speculated he may perform a surprise track, what ended up transpiring was an unfocused speech regarding his song, "Famous."
“I am Kanye West, and that feels really great to say, especially this year," West began. "I came here to present my new video, but before I do that, I’ma talk.” And talk, he did.
“Now, later tonight, ‘Famous' might lose to Beyonce, but I can’t be mad. I’m always wishing for Beyonce to win,” West continued. “But for people to understand just how blessed we are, it was an expression of our now, our fame right now, us on the inside of the TV. Just the audacity to put Anna Wintour next to Donald Trump — I put Ray J in there, bro!”
This statement led to cheers from the audience and laughter from Kim Kardashian, who accompanied West to the ceremony.
West wasn't done: “This is fame, bro! I see you Amber! My wife is a G. Not a lot of people’s wives would let them say that right there. We came over on the same boat, now we all in the same bed. Well, maybe different boats."
"But if you think about last week," West continues. "it was 22 people murdered in Chicago. People come up to me, like, ‘That’s right, tell Taylor!’ I’m like, ‘Bro, I love all y’all! That’s why I called her!”
It felt like West was attempting to deliver a poignant message on how fame obsessed our society is -- but his speech never quite reached any real conclusion. After discussing the street violence that continues to happen in his home state, Kanye -- in typical Kanye fashion -- made this all about him.
“If you feel like you seeing people dying right next to you, you might feel like what’s the point. Life might feel worthless in a way. I know for me, I sit down and talk to older, like rich people — a.k.a white — and they tell me, ‘Don’t compare yourself to Steve Jobs. Don’t compare yourself to Walt Disney.'”
While great advice, that's kind of what he ended up doing:
“My roles model are artists, merchants — less than 10 than I can name in history. Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, West,” While he did go on to acknowledge the other influences in the audience, it felt like his speech lacked major focus.
West closed his speech by introducing his new music video for the track, "Fade." While the music video got cheers from the audience, it felt like West should have brought some teleprompters just to stay on track. Then again, going off-book seems to have worked quite well for Donald Trump.