“Imma let you finish” were the four words that altered Kanye West’s career. They took him from successful musical artist, rising in fame on the hip-hop scene, to hated narcissist, held in contempt by many and booed at live performances.

When Kanye interrupted then-country star Taylor Swift’s VMA Best Female Video Award acceptance speech in 2009, he was at a low point in his life. He was still coping with the 2007 passing of his mother, Donda West — something he blamed himself for. It’s clear just listening to the music Kanye was producing at that time (“808s and Heartbreak”) that he was a different person than the one who had created “Graduation” and “Late Registration.” He was sadder, more cynical and much lonelier.

“Imma let you finish” took Kanye out of his sadness and into his “dark fantasy,” leading him to produce one of the most beautiful and personal albums of his career — “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” — which he used as a means to open up to those willing to listen.

Six years later, Kanye is in a much better place. He married the girl he’d been dreaming of since MBDTF times (2010) and had a daughter with her. The happy couple has another child on the way. He put out two successful albums (“Watch the Throne” and “Yeezus”) and “presented” another (“Kanye West Presents G.O.O.D. Music Cruel Summer”), and he’s been working on an upcoming release called “SWISH.” Six years later, the musical artist Kanye once interrupted presented him with the Vanguard Video Award at the same awards show that once tanked his popularity. Though Taylor was able to turn the situation into a lighthearted joke, it’s clear in his acceptance speech that Kanye is still haunted by the actions of his former self.

The “epic speech” everyone is talking about is much more than just another “Kanye rant,” and we ask you — now that you have more background on the subject — not to write it off as such. Sure, the notion of Kanye West running for president in 2020 is humorous. (Especially since he’d be running against the incumbent, and really, when is that a good idea?) Not to mention, his admission that he’d “rolled up a little something to take the edge off” before coming onstage definitely got some laughs.

But when you watch Kanye’s VMA acceptance speech, realize how much it means to him. This moment is the culmination of Kanye’s evolution from emotional child to mature adult and father. He’s grown immensely in the last six years and uses this speech as an avenue to reflect on past mistakes and display his passion for what he does. When he says, “I will die for the art, for what I believe in,” he means it. And when he says he’s running for president in 2020, he honestly might mean that, too.

Click here to watch or read the full transcript of the speech everyone is talking about (via The Verge).


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