Kanye changed plans to perform mid-show at VMAs

One more tidbit from the Kanye 2020 speech at the VMAs the other night is an interesting ‘what if?’ brought on by one of the show’s exec producers at MTV, Van Toffler, said to Billboard.

Did you expect Kanye to talk for so long when accepting the Video Vanguard Award?

We originally thought Kanye was going to do a medley. Then we thought he was going to not do music and talk. Then, about two acts into the show, we thought he would do a couple-song medley. This is after the show started. Then, about an act before, we found out that he might not do music and just speak — but we had to be prepared for both, so we had a track cued up. We were in the truck and we heard this 10 minutes before he was to accept the award.

Is that the latest someone’s thrown you a mid-show change-up?

I think part of the magic and the unpredictability of the VMAs is that probably no other producers in TV would go into a show not knowing what their biggest award winner was going to do. We decided to be open to whatever Kanye wanted because he’s given us so many moments—unexpected ones. So we weren’t sure whether he would break into song or not. We had a track—he would have rapped to his biggest hits.

The track was ready, the speech was ready, and he just went on?

I’m not sure the speech was ready! He didn’t rehearse. I saw him on the red carpet beforehand, but he didn’t tell me what direction he was going to go in. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Someone from his camp was with us in the truck and he was surprised too. Nobody knew what he was going to do — or announce that he was going to run for president. We were all surprised. Even Taylor Swift.

Wow, how ’bout that? Did ‘Ye spontaneously come up with the idea to run for president?! This video shows a fan yelling it out to him moments before he made it public.

And even better, and unrelated to the above, some genius spliced Kanye’s speech and spun it into a very feasible Seinfeld opening. Hahaha. Best thing I’ve seen from the internet in a minute.

Kanye West announces president candidacy for 2020

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Kanye for President, 2020.

Ha! True. But yeah, Kanye concluded his stream of consciousness with that announcement. And well, not really shocked. What do you guys think?

JT…

Here’s the full transcript — it should be about more than this president announcement, don’t you think? That’ll grab the headlines but the whole speech had its endearing moments, as Shea Serrano breaks down today on Grantland.

“Bro, bro, listen to the kids. Jeremy, I gotta put it down for a second. First of all, thank you Taylor for being so gracious and giving me this award this evening. Thank you. And I often think back to the first day I met you also. I think about when I’m in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice at the… you know. And at the end they say, “Oh you’re not that bad after all. And like, I think about it sometimes it crosses my mind a little bit when I go to a baseball game and 60,000 people boo me. It crosses my mind a little bit.

And I think if i had to do it all again—what would I have done? Would I have worn a leather shirt? Would I have drank half a bottle of Hennessy and given the rest of it to the audience? Y’all know you drank that bottle, too. If I had a daughter at that time would I have went on stage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s? You know, this arena tomorrow is gonna be a completely different set up—some concert… This stage will be gone. After that night, the stage was gone but the effect that it had on people remained.

The problem was the contradiction. The contradiction is that I do fight for artists but in that fight, somehow, was disrespectful to artists. I didn’t know how to say the right thing, the perfect thing, I sat at the Grammys and saw Justin Timberlake and CeeLo Green lose. Gnarls Barkley and the [FutureSex/LoveSound] album, and bro, Justin I’m not trying to put you on blast but I saw that man in tears, bro. And I was thinking he deserved to win album of the year. And the small box that we are of entertainers of the evening, how could you explain that?

Sometimes I feel like you know all this shit they run about beef and all that, sometimes I feel like I died for the artist’s opinion, for the artist to have an opinion after they got successful. I’m not no politician bro, and look at that. You know how many times MTV ran that footage again? Because it got more ratings? Do you know how many times they announced Taylor was gonna give me this award? Because it got more ratings?

Listen to the kids, bro.

I still don’t understand award shows. I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life one sell records, sell concert tickets to come stand on a carpet and for the first time in they life be judged on a chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser. I don’t understand it bro. I do not understand when the biggest album or the biggest video I don’t understand. I’ve been conflicted bro. I just wanted people to like me more. But fuck that, bro. 2015. I will die for the art for what I believe in and the art ain’t always gonna be polite. Y’all might be thinking right now, “I wonder did he smoke something before he came out here?” And the answer is yes, I rolled up a little something, I knocked the edge off. I don’t know what’s gonna happen tonight what’s gonna happen tomorrow bro but all I can say to my artists is just worry about how you feel at the time. I’m confident I believe in myself. We the millenials bro. This is a new mentality. We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We’re not gonna tech low self esteem and hate to our kids. We’re gonna teach our kids that they can be something. that they can stand up for themselves. To believe in themselves and if my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down.

I don’t know what I’m finna lose after this it don’t matter though because it ain’t about me, it’s about new ideas bro people with ideas people who believe in truth. and yes, as you proabably could’ve guessed by this moment I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”

BTW, thought this was great:

https://twitter.com/HipHopParallel/status/638187824492101632

Big Sean VMA speech

The night’s best moment: Big Sean’s gracious acceptance speech for his most powerful music video to date: “One Man Can Change The World” — and now VMA winner for “Best Video with a Social Message”.

The video, brought back below, is in part dedicated to his grandma and Sean had some sweet and concise words for the incredible woman who passed last year. Also in the speech, Sean expressed his gratitude for Kanye West for discovering him as well as appreciation for John Legend and the fans. It really felt off-the-cuff in that Sean didn’t have every word planned ahead and that’s what made the speech better.

Here’s the well-deserving winner of the VMA for Best Video with a Social Message:

Kanye West to receive Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award

There will definitely be reason to tune in on Sunday for this year’s VMAs.

MTV announced that Kanye West will be the recipient of the night’s most prestigious honor: the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

Previous winners include Justin Timberlake, Madonna, and just last year, Beyonce who performed an amazing medley to close the show. No confirmation if ‘Ye will perform this year, but I’m pretty geeked he’ll get the honor for his videos. Kanye’s long been my (and many others) choice for the artist that has the best videos so it’s cool to see that recognized at this level. Even the announcement video for it was dope — highlighting Kanye through the years, even child rapping Kanye. Looking forward to Sunday now.

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Beyonce VMAs Behind The Scenes

Beyonce flat out owned the VMAs this year with a gripping 15 minute performance of her new album, capped off by a heartwarming moment on stage with Jay Z and Blue Ivy. If you played the performance over and over again, you’re going to love this candid behind the scenes look at rehearsal for the performance. In fact, I’d really suggest the official video from Beyonce above to anybody. It really is a cool look at the real-time problems and issues that came up before Bey took the stage (they only ran through the performance once!)

Watch that above (oh yeah, Jay & Blue Ivy cameo too), as well as husband’s tribute to wifey for her birthday below. Happy belated, Bey!

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The Ansaris and the Carters at Yeezus last weekend. When my mom asked for this photo, @Beyonce said “It would be an honor.” Amazing. Happy Bey Day. Also shout out to my parents who I love very much.

2014 VMAs Performances

The 2014 VMAs — standing this year for the 2014 Video Minaj Awards — just concluded with a flurry of big-name performances in the books.

Nicki Minaj seemingly appeared in all of them. Ok, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but Nicki opened the show with Ariana Grande & Jessie J and performed with Usher too. Sam Smith slowed things down with his performance of the top 5 hit, “Stay With Me” (I think of John Legend’s song of nearly the same name when I hear this though, no shade.) Common led a moment of silence for #Ferguson — this is as great as it sounds on paper. Iggy Azalea & Rita Ora performed their Kill Bill-inspired “Black Widow”…

BUT it was Beyonce that stole the show away from Nicki and the others, making the VMAs her own. Her show-ending performance featured a snippeted version of every song from her self-titled album and about 47 heartwarming moments with Jay & Blue Ivy watching on. Fast forward all the way down for those. She was phenomenal, and her performance was phenomenal. Could the VMAs have closed out any more perfectly?

2014 VMAs Performances (Videos)

Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj & Jessie J

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Rita Ora reacts.
Rita Ora reacts.

Usher & Nicki Minaj

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Usher's fantastic photobomb is MEME'd.
Usher’s fantastic photobomb is MEME’d.

 

Sam Smith

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Ariana & Big Sean (Photo)

FWIW, confirmation.
FWIW, confirmation.

 

Common leads moment of silence for #Ferguson

(Video hopefully coming soon)
(Video hopefully coming soon) Details

 

Hip hop has always been about truth and has been a powerful instrument of social change.

 

Iggy Azalea & Rita Ora

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Somewhere… Drake is missing out on the VMAs…

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Beyonce

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Blue Ivy dancing to “Flawless”

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“Go Mommy!” — Blue Ivy

Dave Skylark’s Very Special VMA Special

Here’s the funniest thing you’ll see all day.

Seth Rogen & James Franco, longtime buddy actor/comedians, are also hosting this year’s VMAs and for some creative promo, they stage the fictitious talk show: Dave Skylark’s Very Special VMA Special. Franco plays a deliberately dumb and inappropriate talk show host with Seth Rogen as the head producer directing things from the control room.

Among Skylark’s guests: Jason Derulo, Iggy Azalea, and Nicki Minaj who all appear and have to put up with Skylark’s ridiculous questions. Franco, as you’d assume, pulls all of them off perfectly with each segment with the artist getting exceedingly awkward and confrontational. There are numerous, hilarious highlights in all of the segments with Ben Schwartz also appearing as each artist’s publicist. Love the premise, love the execution so put aside 20 minutes, enjoy a late lunch, and watch above.

Look out for the text descriptions that are added in each segment. They’re all flawless. Example:

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 12.41.54 PM

 

Also: easily one of my favorite questions.

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“It was honestly so hard not to bust out laughing at this question, great job @sethrogen & @jamesfrancotv”