“And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
So sayeth Yeezus, your future (hopeful) commander-in-chief.
Yes, while accepting the Video Vanguard Award during MTV’s Video Music Awards ceremony, the inimitable Kanye West announced plans to make America great again, running for the highest office in the land in 2020. If true—and it probably isn’t, but still—it would undoubtedly make for a far more entertaining and polarizing campaign than Donald Trump’s.
Where’s Jon Stewart when you need him?
Prior to the announcement that #BrokeTheInternet, Taylor Swift was tasked by MTV with giving the Vanguard to West, harking back to their fateful evening six years ago when an inebriated West stormed the stage, yanked the VMA out of Swift’s hand, big-upped Beyoncé, and immortalized the phrase Imma let you finish, but… Having Swift present the VMA to West on Sunday night was an odd, ratings-influenced choice. It was also disrespectful to West—making even his lifetime achievement award be about Swift, when so much of the evening had already been dedicated to America’s Sweetheart.
“I first met Kanye West six years ago—at this show, actually! Since then, we’ve had a lot of time to talk about a lot of different things,” announced Swift. “I have been a fan of his since I can remember, because Kanye defines what it means to be a creative force in music, fashion, and, well, life. So I guess I have to say to all the other winners tonight: I’m really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time!”
After presenting the award to her “friend Kanye West” (yeah, right), Swift took a place next to West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, to cheer him on—later placing her arm precariously around the pregnant reality star turned entrepreneur. A visibly humbled West then took the stage, and, with tears welling in his eyes, soaked in the applause for what seemed like eons before launching into a speech. This is without question the longest West has been silent with a mic in his hand in perhaps ever.
“Bro… bro! Listen to the kids!” West said.Here is the rest of his thrilling, improvised, marijuana-influenced speech, which took aim at MTV, awards shows, and more:“First of all, thank you, Taylor, for being so gracious in giving me this award this evening. And I often think back to the first day I met you, also. You know, I think about when I’m in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice at the… ya know… and at the end they say, ‘Oh, you’re not that bad after all.’ I think about it sometimes—it crosses my mind a little bit, 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 a half a bottle of Hennessy and gave the rest of it to the audience? Y’all know you drank that bottle, too! If I had a daughter at that time, would I have gone onstage and grabbed the mic from someone else. You know, this arena tomorrow, it’s gonna be a completely different setup. Some concert or something like that. This stage will be gone. After that night, the stage was gone, but the effect that it had on people remained.“The… The problem was the contradiction. The contradiction is I do fight for artists, but in that fight I somehow was disrespectful to artists. I didn’t know how to say the right thing, the perfect thing. I just… I sat at the Grammys and saw Justin Timberlake and Cee-Lo lose. Gnarls Barkley and FutureLove/SexyBack album, and bro, Justin, I ain’t tryin’ to put you on blast, but I saw that man in tears, bro, and I was thinkin’, like, ‘He deserved to win Album of the Year!’ And the small box that we are as the entertainers of the evening, how could you explain that? Sometimes I feel like all this shit they run about ‘beef’ and all that, sometimes I feel like I died for the artists’ opinion—for the artist to have an opinion after they were successful. I’m not no politician, bro! And look at that, you know how many times MTV ran that footage again? ’Cause it got them more ratings? You know how many times they announced that Taylor was gonna give me the award, because it got them more ratings? Listen to the kids, bro! I still don’t understand awards shows. I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life… to come, stand on a carpet, and for the first time in their life be judged on a chopping block, and have the opportunity to be considered a loser? I don’t understand it, bro! I don’t understand when the biggest album or the biggest video… I still don’t understand it! I’ve been conflicted, bro. I just wanted people to like me more. But FUCK THAT, bro! 2015! I will die for the art, for what I believe in, and the art ain’t always gonna be polite. Y’all might be thinkin’ right now, ‘Did he smoke something before he came up here?’ The answer? Yes, I rolled up a little somethin’, I knocked the edge off.“I dunno what’s going to happen tonight, I dunno what’s going to happen tomorrow, bro. But all I can say to my artists, my fellow artists: Just worry how you feel at the time, man. Just worry about how you feel. And don’t never… You know what I’m sayin’? I’m confident. I believe in myself. We the millennials, bro. This is a new mentality. We not gonna 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 somethin’! That they can stand up for they self. We gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves. If my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down. I dunno what I fittin’ to lose after this. It don’t matter, though, because it’s not about me. It’s about ideas. New ideas. People that believe in truth.“And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”