Reportedly showing up an hour and a half late, West appeared to salvage things for a moment as he reunited with Kid Cudi—giving him an emotional hug on stage (after the two went through a rough patch in September).
Then West got political. First, he called out radio DJs for playing the same music over and over because they were paid to do so, setting up artists like Drake and DJ Khaled for success. Then he said, "I'm on my Trump shit tonight," and shouted "Fuck you" to MTV and radio, before adding, "Khaled, I love you, I know you've got killers in Miami, please do not send them at my head. I just want to have a conversation about how we're playing radio's game."
"Obama couldn't make America great," he continued. "Because he couldn't be him to be who he was. Black men have been slaves. Obama wasn't allowed to do this [screams] and still win. He had to be perfect. But being perfect don't always change shit, bro [...] I am putting my career, my life, my public well-standing at risk when I talk to y'all like this. This is a moment in the matrix, bro."
After explaining that he took heat for seven years for defending Beyoncé, he turned his attention to her, saying, "Beyoncé, I was hurt, because I heard that you said you wouldn't perform unless you won video of the year over me and over Hotline Bling." Then he added, "Now, don't go trying to diss Beyoncé, she is great. Taylor Swift is great. We are all great people. We are all equal. But sometimes we be playing the politics too much and forgetting who we are just to win. Fuck winning. Fuck looking cool. Fuck being cool. Fuck all that, bro. I've been sent here to give y'all my truth even at the risk of my own life. Even at the risk of my own success, my own career. I've been sent here to give y'all my truth."
West added fuel to the fire of recent rumors about his rocky relationship with Jay Z, saying, "Jay Z, call me, bro. You still ain't call me. Jay Z, call me. Hey, bro, Jay Z, I know you've got killers. Please don't send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man."
"I'm not trying to be the man, I'm just a man," he said. "The same as everybody here. I ain't above or below none of y'all. We all equal. This is the vibes, bro. This is the future. This is the way of thinking to make America great again."
After hearing boos from the crowd, West laughed and said, "You don't like that. Guess what? Y'all need the vibes. I was hurt. Feelings matter, bro. The way motherfuckers put money up so high. Popularity. Radio spins. Feelings matter, bro. It's a new world, Hillary Clinton. It's a new world. Feelings matter. Because guess what? Everybody in middle America felt a way, and they showed you how they felt [...] It's a new world Barack. It's a new world Jay Z. Hey, don't send killers at my head, bro, this ain't the Malcom X movie. We're growing from that moment. Let 'Ye be 'Ye."
Following more boos, he continued, "People, I'm not saying this out of my own well-being, because it wouldn't be smart out of my own well-being to say things like this," before calling out radio again and saying, "If you keep following old models, your ass is going to get Hillary Clinton'd."
"I ain't here to massage you with the fake truth, telling you that Hillary going to win over and over and over. Then you wake up and you still can't believe it. You know why? Because you was lied to by Google. You was lied to by Mark Zuckerberg."
After addressing Zuckerberg (claiming he went to look for aliens instead of helping Kanye), telling Shia Labeouf that Kid Cudi feels a way about him, and addressing Q-Tip ("Don't tell me how to be me"), West made a move for his exit as the stage lowered.
His final words were, "There's a Richard Pryor interview that you can watch about people coming into power and not changing anything, just becoming a part of the power. That's happening with musicians because they're scared. I'm not scared. I'm here to change things. I am here to change things. Things won't change until people admit their own falsehoods. I am here to change things. I got the vision, bro. That is what I've been blessed with. My vision. I'm not always going to say things the perfect way. I'm going to say it how I feel. Right now, press, get ready to write your passive-aggresive, LeBron James, racist comments. Season four racist comments. Get ready to have a field day, press. Get ready. Get ready. Because the show's over."
The lights went down and the show was over after three songs (according to several tweets from attendees of the show). The crowd responded with boos and chants of "Fuck you Kanye" after 30 minutes of show time (made up of 15 minutes of music and 15 minutes of talking).
Watch the full speech at the top of this post and see clips from the Kid Cudi embrace and show aftermath below.
Some of the Sacramento Kings were at that Kanye concert. Here's Boogie: "HE BOUNCED ON US YO!" 😂😢😬 pic.twitter.com/Llr1tNoLTk— Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) November 20, 2016