Kanye West was given carte blanche by MTV on Sunday night at the Video Music Awards, and used his time to comment on his “Famous” video, the controversy around the song and Taylor Swift, his role models, and gun violence in Chicago.
West was ostensibly there to debut his new video for the Life of Pablo track “Fade,” but he used his time on the VMAs stage to give a passionate, wide-ranging speech.
“I am Kanye West,” the 39-year-old began, “and it feels really good to say especially this year.”
Read the full speech below.
On Sunday, West’s controversial video for “Famous,” off his February album The Life of Pablo, was up for two major awards: Video of the Year and Best Male Video. (West lost in that latter category to Calvin Harris.) His wife Kim Kardashian was also a presenter at this year’s installment of the VMAs, set to introduce Britney Spears.
West, of course, has a storied history with the VMAs. The awards show is where he famously interrupted Taylor Swift during an acceptance speech in 2009 and where, in a scattered speech, he declared last year that he planned to run for president in 2020.