Kanye West’s full VMA Vanguard Award acceptance speech.
“Bro, bro…listen to the kids. Jeremy, I gotta put it down for a second. Jeremy Scott designed it.
First of all, thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening, thank you. And I often think back to the first day that 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, you know? And at the end they say, ‘Oh, you’re not that bad after all.’ And like, 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 given the rest of it to the audience? Ya’ll know you drank that too. If I had a daughter at that time, would I have went onstage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s? You know, this arena, tomorrow, it’s going to be a completely different setup, some concert or something like that. This stage will be gone. After that night, the stage is gone but the effect that it had on people remained. The problem was, 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 the ‘Sexyback’ album…Justin, I ain’t trying to put you on blast but I saw that man in tears bro. And I was thinking 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, you know, all this shit they run about beef and all that, sometimes I feel like I died for the artist’s opinion, for an artist to be able 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 because it got them more ratings? You know how many times they announced Taylor was presenting the award because it got more ratings? Listen to the kids bro! I still don’t understand award shows. I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life, who sold records, sold concert tickets, to come, stand on a carpet and for the first time in their life, be judged on a chopping block and had the opportunity to be considered a loser. I don’t understand it bro! I don’t understand what the biggest album or the biggest video… I’m conflicted bro. I just wanted people to like me more.
But f—k 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 thinking right now, I wonder did he smoke something before he came out here? The answer is yes, I rolled up a little something. I knocked the edge off. I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow bro, but all I can say to my artists, my fellow artists, just worry about how you feel at the time. Just worry about how you feel, and don’t never…you know what I’m saying?
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 going to teach low self esteem or hate to our kids. We’re going to teach our kids that they can be something, that they can believe in themselves. If my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down. I don’t know what I finna lose after this. It don’t matter though, because it’s not about me. It’s about ideas, bro, new ideas, people with ideas, people who believe in truth.
And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020, to run for president.”
[Drops mic. Exit stage]
What did you think of his lengthy yet genuine speech? And are you going to vote and rally for Kanye West to be president of the United States in 2020?! I mean, we already have a buffoon in Donald Trump who’s running for president right now, so…why not have another one prepared for later? 😀