Kanye West's 4 Minutes At The VMAs: A Play-By-Play

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Kanye West performs onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Kanye West's 4 Minutes At The VMAs: A Play-By-Play

Spoiler alert: He went over.

Published August 28, 2016

When news broke that Kanye West would be granted four whole minutes to do whatever he wanted at this year's MTV VMAs, conflicting emotions soon followed. Kanye's relationship with the famed ceremony has been complex, to say the least. In 2009, he gifted us with the now infamous "I'mma let you finish" speech, after bumrushing the stage in the middle of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video—an award he felt belonged to Beyoncé instead.

Six years later, Swift would stand on that same stage in 2015, to introduce Kanye for his Video Vanguard Award. A six time previous performer at the VMAs, Kanye's 7th performance could arguably be considered his most important. After his song "Famous" (and the nudity-filled video that later followed) placed him back on the outs with Taylor Swift (shout out to Kim Kardashian though and her slick entrapment skils), the assumed four-minute trajectory would be that very video reenactment. Kendall Jenner fed those rumors further by Snapchatting a stage set up that closely resembled the "Famous" video. It was then revealed that Kanye skipped the rehearsal for the performance, and when he arrived on the white carpet he was sporting a white tee with "Famous" emblazoned in tiny letters. What would he do? Would he rant? Would he just stand there and stare at the audience? Would he play some new music? Would he give two of those minutes to North? What could he possibly do with all that time? Ay yi yi, the suspense was overwhelming, yet we were all hoping for a performance more shocking than Yung Joc's new hairdo.

See, four minutes is a long time on Kanye West's watch. It only took like three seconds for him to storm the stage in '09, yet a typical Kanye-level rant could run him well over ten minutes. So cut that scale somewhere down the middle, and we have about four minutes.

Finally, the time had come. Four minutes on the clock began. Here's how Kanye spent his:

9:48 PM EST Kanye emerges in all white, amidst "Yeezy!" chants.

9:49 PM EST He speaks. "I am Kanye West and that feels really great to say, especially this year. I came here to present my new video, but before I do that, I'mma talk."

9:50 PM EST Kanye plans for his video for "Famous" to lose to Beyoncé's, but that's okay because #2009. Now he's discussing his video for "Famous." "I put Ray J in it, bro! This is fame, bro!"

9:51 PM EST He points out Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian in the audience. He goes on to discuss how brilliant his video was. "We came over in the same boat, now we all in the same bed." WHET? "Maybe different boats." OH OK.

9:52 PM EST He's discussing Swift-Gate! "That's why I called her." KIM HAS THE RECEIPTS. #NeverForget

9:53 PM EST Okay, it's getting deep. It's also been five minutes.

9:54 PM EST Oh no, he's talking about Walt Disney and Steve Jobs again. Six minutes. Now he's just yelling "BRO" at everyone. Puff Daddy is his idol apparently. Another name check goes to Kim. He calls Chance The Rapper "the future." He said "bro" again.

9:55 PM EST NEW VIDEO ALERT for "Fade." Teyana Taylor is dancing in it.

9:58 PM EST Now Teyana Taylor is having sex in the shower. Then she turns into a cat.

9:59 PM EST Now she is covered in sheep. Video is over.

Eleven minutes. You know Kanye wasn't going to be satisfied with just four. Is anyone else confused, though?

Written by Kathy Iandoli

(Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)


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