Taylor Swift presented the MTV VMAs Video Vanguard award to Kanye West and, as expected, he delivered an epic-long speech. See the full video of what was, of course, quite a moment and you can see every minute of the presentation and the speech with its with references to getting high and to running for President and yes, it’s impossible to make this stuff up!
It was not just an awards presentations and an acceptance speech. It was a television “event” and a contrived one at that. Yes, six years after the notorious 2009 MTV VMAs event that lives on in memes and has given us a cascade of pop culture references. We need only hear someone say “I’ma let you finish…” and yes, we know what that’s all about as collectively we’ll never forget West snatching the microphone from Taylor Swift to tell her, “but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.”
And so, Kanye West gets the MTV Video Vanguard Award and of course, who is the presenter, none other than Taylor Swift who begins her speech saying, “I first met Kanye West six years ago, at this show actually!” Yes, a refresher for those who need it, and/or for those proverbial dwellers under rocks.
Swift went on to give a heartfelt speech, saying, in part, “Since then we’ve had a lot of time to talk about a lot of different things. It seems everyone knew about our infamous encounter at the VMAs. Something you may not know is that Kanye’s album College Dropout is the very first album my brother and I bought on iTunes when was 12 years old.”
And she wrapped her speech in just about the way we might have expected, by saying, “So I guess I have to say to all of the other winners tonight, I’m really happy for you and I’ma let you finish, but Kanye West has one of the greatest careers of all time.”
And with that he took to the stage and after accepting the statuette and a hug from his presenter, Kanye West, along on the stage, was silent for a long moment, seemingly on the verge of tears.
But that didn’t last too much longer. When it comes to acceptance speeches at televised awards shows, Kanye West surely by now must hold the record. After his BET Honors Awards speech earlier this year, which clocked in at nine minutes, he outdid himself considerably with a 13-minute epic, rambling speech.
He began, thanking his presenter for being “so gracious” and, speaking about that infamous incident, saying, “And I often think back to the first day I met you also. 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.’”
From there he went off on a signature discourse on artists, awards shows, and the like, finally exclaiming, “2015! I will die for the art, for what I believe in. And the art ain’t always going to be polite.”
And yes, in the midst, he admitted that the audience must wonder what he was on, he said, “You 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.”
And, with that admission, he went back to his discourse, and in wrapping it up, said, “I don’t know what I’m gonna lose after this. It don’t matter, though. Because it ain’t about me. It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truths.”
And, giving headline writers something to put in headlines, he then said, “And yes, you can probably guess in this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for President.”
Well, that all remains to be seen of course, but for now we have more classic MTV Video Music Awards memories, to say nothing of endless soundbites and gifs and memes to add to all the rest!
Below, you can watch the full replay video of the Taylor Swift’s presentation of the MTV VMAs Vanguard Award and the Kanye West acceptance speech that will be talked about ad infinitum!
Taylor Swift Presentation Speech
Kanye West Acceptance Speech
Pictures: PR Photos