Before Sunday night’s broadcast of MTV’s Video Music Awards, Kanye West was reportedly told that he would get about four minutes to say, well, whatever he wanted to say. Before he introduced his new video, “Fade,” this is what West told the crowd at Madison Square Garden:
“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.
Now, later tonight ‘Famous’ might lose to Beyonce but I can’t be mad because I’m always wishing for Beyonce 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 next to Donald Trump. I mean, I put Ray-J in there. This is fame, bro. Like — I see you, Amber. My wife is a G — not a lot of people’s wives would say let them say that right there. We came over in the same boat, now we all in the same bed. Well, maybe different boats, but uh.
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, [inaudible] Taylor this. Like bro, I love all y’all. That’s why I called her.
So, I was speaking at the Art Institute last year and one kid came up to me, he said, three of my friends died and I don’t know if I am going to be the next. And it has to, you have to think, like when you are a senior and it’s like the last month that you just don’t feel like doing any more work. If you feel like you are seeing people dying right next to you, you might feel like, what’s the point? What’s, like, you know, like life could be starting to feel worthless in a way.
I know times for me, I sit down and talk to older like, like, rich people, you know, AKA, white. And they tell me, don’t compare yourself to Steve Jobs, don’t compare yourself to Walt Disney, and my friend Sayaka [SP?] told me… They tell me, don’t compare yourself to these people, right. My friend told me, one of the keys , 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.
Tonight, we are 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. Like, bro, we are undeniably the influence, the thought leaders. I’m going to play y’all a piece of my art and I just hope y’all have a good time. Play that.”