Brow Beat

Was Kanye West’s Presidential Announcement Inspired by This Shout From the Audience?

Yeezy ended his VMAs speech by declaring his candidacy for president in 2020 and then dropping the mic.

Still from MTV

Kanye West shut down this year’s MTV Video Music Awards with a meandering, passionate, ten-minute-and-forty-five second acceptance speech that ended with an announcement: “I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”

It’s possible that the speech was painstakingly written down and memorized, word by word, before West received the Video Vanguard Award on Sunday. But given West’s penchant for “visionary streams of consciousness” (West’s name for the extemporaneous speeches he gave on the Yeezus tour and has delivered at other events), it seems more likely that he made it all up on the spot. For anyone still on the fence about whether West’s mic-drop of a conclusion was serious and planned out, there’s now this video posted by a fan who was standing close to West. Seconds before West announces his presidential bid, the fan screams, “Kanye for President!”

I guess Kanye did tell people to “listen to the kids.”