It wasn’t on the level of “imma let you finish”, but Kanye West once again sent jaws straight to the floor tonight at the MTV Video Music Awards with the debut of the video for his single “Fade.” A video far too weird to describe, but just know that it features singer Teyana Taylor and her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert, in various stages of weirdness including, at one point, her with the face of a cat. Before the video however, Kanye came out on stage to introduce it. He’d apparently been promised 6 minutes or so by MTV to do whatever he felt like, and he took advantage with an entertaining, rambling, somewhat politically charged address to the crowd, which you can see above. (But not the new video – that’s available exclusively on Tidal.)
“I am Kanye West. Which feels pretty good to say this year,” he began, before moving into the full, unstructured statement. Touching on his recent Famous video, West defended the concept and, more importantly, his use of of Taylor Swift’s likeness in in the video which he once again insisted he’d cleared with her in advance. He also abruptly changed the topic to urban violence, saying “Last week it was 22 people murdered in Chicago,” before switching to the topic of Swift. “Bro, like, I love all y’all. That’s why I called her!” said West.
He then touched on the violence in Chicago again – “I was speaking at the art institute last year, and one kid came up to me and he said ‘three of my friends died. I don’t know if I’m gonna be the next. And it has to, you know you have to think like, you know when you’re a senior and it’s the last month and you just don’t feel like doing anymore work? If you see people dying next to you, you might feel like ‘what’s the point?'” Next up, another topic shift, this time “artist-merchants”, who he called his role models. Among them, Howard Hughes, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and of course, himself.
Never change, Kanye. And I mean that sincerely.