On a night that featured Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift sharing the stage, pop boy-king Justin Bieber shedding tears after a performance and Miley Cyrus starting fights with everyone, what blew everyone away wasn't a performance or a surprise. It was an acceptance speech by Kanye West.
West was honored with the Video Vanguard award by Taylor Swift, who explained the genius of Kanye West and referenced the now-infamous moment when West interrupted her.
It was a fun moment, a moment to show how much these two artists' careers are intertwined and what a moment that was. But West took it to a somber place, talking about how that moment defined his career and the way people saw him. West was visibly unnerved at being characterized as the angry man who barged in on Swift's moment, and explained that being a father has changed the way he looks at the moment.
"I just wanted people to like me more," Kanye West said, adding that MTV was more than happy to capitalize and replay that moment over and over. "But fuck that bro. I will die for the art that I believe in. And the art won't always be polite."
West then rambles a bit — he talks about art, artists, and Justin Timberlake crying at the VMAs because he lost — then explains that he smoked some weed before the show. And, in an ending that no one saw coming, West announced his plans to run for president of the United States of America.
"I have decided in 2020 to run for president," West said, before dropping the mic.
Here is Kanye West's full speech: