Kanye West called out MTV and made amends with Taylor Swift during his lengthy speech for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.
As previously reported, West was honored with the prestigious award for his contributions in the music business. The rapper was given the award by Taylor Swift, who jokingly recalled meeting him for the first time six years ago when he interrupted her speech for Best Female Video for “You Belong With Me.” Swift noted that the two have since moved past that incident, calling him her “friend.”
“Kanye West had one of the greatest careers of all time,” Swift said, before calling the 38-year-old rapper up to the stage to accept his award. After hugging and kissing wife Kim Kardashian, West stood on stage with a microphone in his hand and looked at the crowd in silence for several minutes.
“Listen to the kids,” West began his speech. “Thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening.” West then talked about the 2009 VMAs when he jumped on stage to cut off Swift’s speech. The rapper noted people often judge him based on that incident. “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 … and at the end they say ‘Oh you’re not that bad after all.’ ”
He continued: “It crosses my mind a little bit like when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 people boo me. And I think would I do it all again. Would I have worn a leather shirt, if I have had a daughter at the time would I have went on stage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s.” The “Black Skinhead” rapper explained he likes to “fight for artists,” but noted he “didn’t know how to say the right thing” that night.
In a surprising twist, West then called out MTV for continuously replaying his VMA incident with Swift for “more ratings.” He also said the network had Swift present him with the Video Vanguard Award for “ratings.”
“I still don’t understand award shows,” West ranted. “I don’t understand how they get five people who worked their entire lives … to stand on the red carpet get judged and still lose. I’m conflicted. F--- that bro. 2015, I will die for the art and what I believe in and the art may not always be polite.” West then admitted he smoked a little weed before giving his speech, and concluded by announcing: “In 2020 I decided to run for president.”