As promised, Kanye West was given four minutes of uninterrupted time—well, almost seven minutes, but who's counting—to speak his mind at the 2016 MTV VMAs. During his speech, 'Ye touched on his respect for Beyoncé, the Taylor Swift saga, and shouted out Chance the Rapper and Jaden Smith.
"My role models are artists, merchants. There’s less than ten that I can name in history," he said. Check out who they are below, as well as his full speech.
"I am Kanye West. And that feels really good 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 Beyoncé, but I can’t be mad—I’m always wishing for Beyoncé to win.
"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. Just the audacity to put Anna Wintour next to Donald Trump. I mean, like, I put Ray J in there, bro! 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. Well, maybe different boats.
"If you think about, last week there were 22 people murdered in Chicago. People come up to me like, 'Man, that's right, take Taylor down,'— Bro, I love all of y’all. That’s why I called her.
"So 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 going to be the next.' You have to think, when you're a senior and it's the last week and you just don't feel like doing any more work, if you're seeing people dying 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 they tell me, 'Don’t compare yourself to Steve Jobs, don’t compare yourself to Walt Disney.' And my friend Zakaya told me — ay bruh bruh — They tell me, 'Don’t compare yourself to these people,' right? My friend told me, one of the keys, there’s three keys to keeping people impoverished. That’s taking aware their esteem, taking away their resources, and taking away their role models. My role models are artists, merchants. There’s less than ten that I can name in history.
Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs. West.
Bro. Brooooooooo. Tonight, we here to have fun. I’m standing in front of my idol, Puff Daddy. I'm standing in front of my wife, Kim Kardashian West, I’m standing in front of Future, Chance the Rapper. 2 Chainz, Jaden Smith. Bro, we are undeniably the influence, the thought leaders."