August 31, 2015


Kanye for President in 2020? According to His Epic VMAs Speech, Yes

It happened: Taylor Swift gave Kanye West his Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. The cycle is complete.

Of course, that’s not all. Did you hear? Kanye West is running for president. In five years.

In a long, far-ranging acceptance speech for his award Sunday night, West railed against the media and the GRAMMYs, thanked his fans, proclaimed himself a millennial and, in the end, made the announcement that he plans to run for president of the United States of America in 2020.

“And yes, as you probably could have guessed, I have decided in 2020 to run for president,” Kanye said, following with a mic drop and tons of high fives in the crowd, because is there really any other way to follow such a thing? Nope. Not at all.

Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images For MTV
Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images For MTV

It all began with a rundown of some of the music videos that got him to that point—somehow, some way, the least significant part of the proceedings—before Swift arrived to present the award. “I first met Kanye West six years ago at this show, actually,” she said, of course referencing West’s infamous storming of the stage at the ceremony to protest Beyoncé’s loss of an award to Swift. “Since then, we’ve had a lot of time to talk about a lot of different things.”

And then, of course, it came: “I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time.” Sure, it was all like a storybook, a tale someone could have guessed would happen exactly this way for months before it happened. But then came West’s acceptance speech.

“First of all, thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening,” West started. “And I often think back to the first day I met you.”

From there, he spoke of Justin Timberlake and Gnarls Barkley’s losses at the GRAMMYs—“Justin, I ain’t trying to put you on blast but I saw you in tears, bro”—and proclaimed himself a champion of the artists. “I will die for the art for what I believe in, and the art ain’t always gonna be polite,” he announced, shortly before revealing that, yes, he indeed smoked some weed before coming out. “I knocked the edge off,” he proclaimed.

No medley performance like the last few years. But after a speech like that, did you even need one?