MTV Producers knew good and damn well what they were getting into by inviting Kanye West to have four minutes to “do whatever he pleased” at the 2016 VMA’s. They were willing to take the chance that Kanye would do something “So Kanye” that the Internet would explode. It’s been seven years since the infamous, “Imma let you finish” moment at the 2007 VMA’s. MTV producers were hoping for another Taylor Swift moment with the understanding that they would have some sort of control over Kanye. They were wrong.
Kanye took seven minutes to ramble in what only could be described as a “live reading” of Kanye’s twitter timeline. Kanye also brought a Taylor but it wasn’t the one we were expecting.
Kanye delivered one of his signature rants in which he rambled about the awesomeness of his “Famous” video, his fandom of Beyonce, how his wife was a “G” and 22 people that were killed in his hometown of Chicago recently. He also gave us the “three keys” to address the plight of impoverished people:
1. Self Esteem (Kanye has enough to power a small country.)
2. Resources ( Kanye can reach out to Mark Zuckerberg and ask for a loan.)
3. Role Models (Kanye literally watches the throne of hip hop with Jay Z.)
The keys weren’t enough; Kanye used the moment to reveal his role models, “Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, West.” Yes, one of Kanye West’s role models is Kanye West. MTV got what they wanted, a full on Kanye West rant with enough shareable quotes to keep the VMA’s trending long after it’s shelf life.
Here’s a transcript of Kanye’s VMA speech c/o MTV but read at your own risk:
“I am Kanye West…and that feels really great to say, especially this year. I came here to present my new video. But before I do that, I’ma talk. Later tonight, “Famous” might lose to Beyonce but I can’t be mad. I’m also wishing for Beyonce to win, so… But for people to understand just how blessed we are…It was an expression of our 'now' – our fame right now, us on the inside of the TV. The audacity to put Anna Wintour right next to Donald Trump. I put Ray J in it, bruh [laughs]. This is fame, bro. I see you Amber. My wife is a G. Not a lot of people’s wives would let them say that. We came over in the same boat now we all in the same bed. Maybe different boats but, you know. If you think about last week there were 22 people murdered in Chicago. People come up to me like, ‘Yeah that’s right! Tell Taylor…’ Bro, I love all y’all. That’s why I called her. I was speaking at the Art Institute last year, and one kid came up to me and he said, ‘Three of my friends died, and I don’t know if I'm gonna be the next.’ 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 any work. If you feel like you seeing people die right next to you, you might feel like what’s the point? Life could start to feel worthless in a way. I know times for me, I sit down and talk to older, rich people, a.k.a white…and my friend Sekiyah’ told me, ‘Bruh bruh don’t compare yourself to these people.’ It’s 3 keys to keep people impoverished: that’s taking away their esteem, taking away their resources, and taking away their role models. My role models are artist merchants. There are less than 10 I can name in history: Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, West.
Tonight we’re here to have fun. I’m standing in front of my idol Puff Daddy, my wife Kim Kardashian West, in front of the future Chance the Rapper, 2 Chainz, Jaden Smith, bro. We are the influencers, the thought leaders. I’m going to play y’all a piece of my heart.”
Once the speech concluded things got a lot more interesting. Kanye’s “heart”, despite all the fashion, art and architecture references he’s know to drop; is his music. He premiered the new visual for “Fade”, a track from his TLOP album. The visual features Teyana Taylor in a modern interpretation of the film “Flashdance”. Keep in mind that Taylor has a seven-month-old daughter with NBA player Iman Shumpert, Shumpert and baby Iman make a cameo in the video along with a herd of sheep. Social media exploded after the premiere of the video, which you can watch below.
MTV got their Kanye moment but ironically he was over shadowed by his music and an appearance by a Taylor not named Swift. Teyana Taylor’s performance in “Fade” is one of the rare moments in Kanye’s career where something created by him made an audience forget about him.
Since the premiere of "Fade" #TeyanaTaylor and #bodygoals have been trending with everyone asking what she does to keep in shape. “I just dance. I almost feel like dance is so underrated in the fitness world,” she told E News. She also revealed to Vogue, "When I heard that the video was going to be premiering at the VMAs, I was like 'Oh my god, it's tonight! Do I look good? Do I look great? Is he going to change his mind and not premiere it?' " she said. "At that point I had already told all of my family, but even when he went onstage and I saw him, I thought he might just wind up doing something completely different because you just never know with Kanye."
Yes, we “never know with Kanye” and that’s what makes this moment just as special as the “Imma let you finish” moment. Kanye became the interrupted as opposed to being the interrupter. Was this purposely done? Perhaps that’s why he chose to give us the obligatory rant, because once we saw “Fade” anything he said would fade into obscurity. Did Kanye consciously choose Teyana Taylor as the focus of “Fade” as a way to throw shade at Taylor Swift? Not necessarily, Teyana revealed that the project came together when they crossed paths at a recording studio and had a conversation about family and their careers. But you never know with Kanye.