When Kanye West talks, people listen.
His appearance at the 2016 VMA’s Sunday night where he delivered a four-minute speech wasn’t any different. As soon as West hit the stage, the capacity crowd went all out chanting his name, “Yeezy! Yeezy! Yeezy!”as his controversial hit song “Famous” played in the background, as previously reported by Daily Mail.
The chants continued as West, his tremendous aura radiating off him, approached the microphone stand and looked at the audience like a shepherd surveying his flock. Wearing an all-white ensemble, West cut a striking figure.
When he spoke, everyone in Madison Square Garden held their breath. Everybody in that arena wanted to catch every word. They knew what was coming. And West did give them a treat, delivering a four-minute speech that is as wide-ranging as it is fascinating. In four minutes, Yeezy alluded to gun violence, Donald Trump, his wife’s sex tape, Amber Rose, and of course, Taylor Swift.
In short, it was your typical Kanye West speech.
“I am… I am Kanye West. And that feels really great to say, especially this year. I came here to present my new video. But before I do that, Imma talk.”
West started his speech with a joke, making references to his feud with Taylor Swift.
“Later tonight, ‘Famous’ might lose to Beyonce, but I can’t be mad. I’m also wishing for Beyonce to win, so…” he joked.
Kanye then talked about the nature of fame, using his “Famous” video as a point of reference to prove his point. Somehow, West was able to mention Ray J (his wife’s ex), Amber Rose (his former lover and one-time nemesis), and his own beloved wife, Kim Kardashian.
“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. The audacity to put Anna Wintour right next to Donald Trump. I put Ray J in it, bruh [laughs]. 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.”
Kanye went into more serious territory as he touched upon the issue of gun violence in the country. But before doing so, he found another perfect opportunity to diss Swift.
“We came over in the same boat now we all in the same bed. Maybe different boats but, you know. If you think about last week there were 22 people murdered in Chicago. People come up to me like, ‘Yeah that’s right! Tell Taylor…’ Bro, I love all y’all. That’s why I called her.”
Taylor Swift talks with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the 57th Grammy Awards.
(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)[/caption]
From that point on, West talked about the importance of being a role model, especially at a time when many young black men are being killed in the streets of America.
“So I was speaking at the Art Institute last year and one kid came up to me and said ‘Three of my friends died and I don’t know if I’m going to be next,'” West said.
“If you feel like you seeing people die right next to you, you might feel like what’s the point? Life could start to feel worthless in a way,” West added.
As is typical with most of West’s rambling speeches, the American rapper went off on a slight tangent on numerous occasions, at one time comparing himself to Steve Jobs. Still, his message was clear: don’t belittle or talk down to people who compare themselves to their role models since “it’s three keys to keep people impoverished: that’s taking away their esteem, taking away their resources, and taking away their role models.”
After describing his role models as “artist merchants,” West enumerated the names of those whom he considers the most notable “artist merchants” in history (he mentioned himself at the last, but don’t act surprised): Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, and West.
Kanye West is the new Steve Jobs though.— Cycle (@bycycle) August 29, 2016
Watch their interviews side-by-side.https://t.co/7ahlDo9uN8
West ended his speech by giving a shout-out to other black artists sitting in the audience.
“Bro. Brooooo. Tonight we’re here to have fun. I’m standing in front of my idol, Puff Daddy, my wife, Kim Kardashian West, in front of Future, Chance The Rapper, 2 Chainz, Jaden Smith, bro. We are the influencers, the thought leaders. I’m going to play y’all a piece of my heart.”
And as promised, West premiered the official music video to “Fade,” which featured Teyana Taylor working out at the gym and her fiancé, NBA player Iman Shumpert.
To see Kanye’s entire four-minute speech, you can check out the gif below.
What did you think of Kanye West’s four-minute VMA speech?
[Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]