Kanye cashed in on his blank check at the VMAs on Sunday, using his four minutes of free reign to ruminate on fame, poverty, his inspirations, his eternal support of Beyoncé, and his love for everyone, even Taylor Swift. Ostensibly, the speech introduced his newest music video, for “Fame,” but it also gave Kanye a chance address his many past controversies and discuss all things Kanye. Consider it a peek at future State of the Union addresses after Kanye 2020.
For your reading pleasure, peruse Kanye’s full remarks below.
I am Kanye West, and that feels really great to say, especially this year. [cheering] I came here to present my new video, but before I do that, Imma talk.
Now, later tonight “Famous” might lose to Beyoncé, but … I can’t be mad, I’m always wishing for Beyoncé to win, so …
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. You know, just to put — the audacity to put Anna Wintour right next to Donald Trump. I mean, like, I put Ray J in it, bro, like. This is fame, bro, like. I see you Amber. [laughs] My wife is a G. Not a lot of people’s wives’d let ‘em say that right there [mumbles].
We came over in the same boat, now we all in the same bed. Well, maybe different boats, but uh, you know. But if you think about, last week it was 22 people murdered in Chicago. You know, like — people come up to me, like, Man, that’s right, tell Taylor that … Bro, like, I love all y’all. That’s why I called her. [Laughs as the audience cheers.]
So, I was speaking at the Art Institute last year, and one kid came up to me and he said, “Three of my friends died and I don’t know if Imma be the next.” And it has to — you know, you have to think, like, you know when you’re a senior and it’s, like, the last month, and you just don’t feel like doin’ any more work? If you feel like you seeing people dying right next to you, you might feel like, what’s the point? Like, life could be, like, start to feel worthless in a way.
Like, I know times for me, I sit down and talk to, um, older, like — like, rich. people. You know? a.k.a. white, you know. And they tell me, “Don’t compare yourself to Steve Jobs. Don’t compare yourself to Walt Disney.” And my friend Sakiya told me, “Hey, bruh bruh.” They tell me, “Don’t compare yourself to these people.” My friend Sakiya told me, “There’s three keys to keeping people impoverished. That’s taking away their esteem, taking away their resources, and taking away their role models.” My role models are artists, merchants. There’s less than ten that I can name in history: Truman. Ford. Hughes. Disney. Jobs. West.
[long pause for Yeezy chants]
Bro! Brooooooo! Tonight. We here to have fun. I’m standing in front of my idol, Puff Daddy. I’m standing in front of my wife, Kim Kardashian West. I’m standing in front of the future, Chance the Rapper, 2 Chainz, Jaden Smith. We are undeniably the influence. The thought leaders. I’m gonna play y’all a piece of my art, and I just hope you have a good time. Play that.