This may sound incredibly uncool, but I kept up with this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, anymore just a name by tradition. The perhaps even less popular reason for doing so was in the excitement of Kanye West, an artist that I have fought for and supported for the last 12 years, being given the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, considered the network’s highest honor.
And then he delivered the kind of speech that breaks the internet. These are three quotes from his acceptance speech that gave me life and will probably give you life, too.
“I think about when I’m in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice…” When people get to experience the depth and complexity of who we are and not the one dimensional character that we may be portrayed as, people will say we aren’t as bad as they thought we were. Can you imagine being booed by a stadium of people and finding the courage to keep moving forward? The fresh juice moments are the doses of hope and the reminder that people may eventually stop judging us on shallow prejudice.
“I still don’t understand award shows.” Me neither, Yeezy. To be on an awards show and call out that same show for exploiting artists and performers and the absurdity of telling people who work and fight for something they love that they will be judged as losers, is remarkably admirable. Living with passion is winning. Living with purpose is winning. A trophy for art is a joke.
“I just wanted people to like me more. But fuck that, bro. 2015.” We may not always have the right words and we may speak at inappropriate times, but it’s important that we be heard. Art is not always polite nor well-received but it has not diminished in value just because it doesn’t please people. There is honor in trying and doing or failing, not so much in aiming to be obsequious.
So, yeah he took the edge off with an herbal remedy. After giving a fatherly type of speech for us millennials and really speaking his mind without fear of the future and backlash, what else could he say? He announced that he’s gonna run for president in 2020 and then dropped the mic to rapturous applause. Oh, do you have a problem with that?
Fuck that, bro. 2015.