The 2015 Video Music Awards (VMAs) aired on Aug 30. One of the most memorable parts, for me at least, was Kanye West’s dramatic speech and acceptance of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
MTV asked Taylor Swift to be the presenter for West’s award, which is a lot of drama in itself due to the fact West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech back in 2009. It is no surprise though, considering they just wanted the ratings such a presentation would bring. Swift did a mature job being respectful and even mentioned the 2009 award show in a tasteful and forgiving way.
When West went up on stage to accept his award from Swift, his speech was a lot different than what most people would have imagined. He spent around eight minutes dramatically tying together confusing half-thoughts that ended in him announcing he will be running for president in 2020.
He began his speech with what I believed to be an apology to Swift, but he never quite got there. He discussed what happened at the 2009 VMAs briefly, but placed most of the blame onto award shows. He stated that award shows pit artists against each other when, really, no one is better than anyone else.
Although it is unfair to make artists feel as if their number one single is not good enough because they did not win an award, West cannot place the blame of the 2009 incident that he caused, on the VMAs. He made the choice to mess up Swift’s speech and rudely interrupt her to tell everyone she should not have won the award.
“I’ve been conflicted bro. I just wanted people to like me more,” was one particular quote that stuck with me after the acceptance speech. If West wanted people to like him more, maybe he needs to be more mature in regards to his actions.
West did have some really important and influential points, but it was hard to understand most of them because his speech was so randomly assembled. One particular point was the way that the music industry puts artists against each other, especially women and how it is shockingly unfair. They make the artists feel insecure and inferior to others because of the competition with one another. West was very right in this assertion, he just never got his point across in a logical fashion.
Another point West made multiple times was, “Listen to the kids!” I actually agree with West that older generations need to listen to our generation more. Our generation is one of the most accepting and kind generations. We have our flaws, as every generation does, but we promote a lot of peace and love in our beliefs.
West’s speech could have been amazing and influential, but it went downhill fast. I was uncomfortable and embarrassed for him while watching him ramble on about things. It was honestly very difficult to watch.
West closed out his speech with a big finale and announcement. He stated that he is going to run for president in 2020. There is a lot of speculation on whether or not he was serious, but I strongly hope he is not. West made some valid points, though confusingly, throughout his speech. He is not the person I want in my generation to represent us, as a social media figure and especially as our president.