Kanye West VMAs Introduction Video Shows His Impact Even Better Than A Performance Would Have
If you're a fan of the rapper, then there's no doubt you were excited when it was announced that Kanye West would receive the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. As has been made perfectly clear in recent years, along with the award comes performance from the artist featuring a medley of their greatest hits. And who doesn't love a medley?! But, if you tuned into this year's show, you saw that the rapper didn't perform at the VMAs. And naturally you're wondering, where the eff was my medley?! Instead, West was introduced with a video about the influence he has had on music videos and the music industry at large.
Last year's Video Vanguard recipient was Beyoncé and she slayed the stage in a 15-minute showcase full of dancing, lights, and, of course, her amazing voice, so finding out that a similar performance was going to come from West this year was almost too much to handle. Would he take it back to "Through the Wire?" Would Stacey Dash make a guest appearance? Would he, like Beyoncé, stand in front of a giant sign reading, "Feminist." (God, I wish that had happened.) Point is, there was a lot of anticipation leading up to West's big performance and it didn't even happen.
While West didn't perform, the video that introduced him was powerful and explained his impact without it being just about his songs. The rapper's song "Runaway" played over a video that featured clips from his many music videos, with voice over narration. Part of the narration went as follows:
The artist aims for perfection. He wants to be the best. Every day is spent pursuing the images the artist dreams. When we see his work, we feel its energy. It transforms us. He advances culture by destroying what came before, so we can start anew. He doesn't just feel. He follows his truth wherever it leads. If his honesty brings chaos, it doesn't make him wrong, it makes him a person. It's important to stay idealistic, to be vocal, to see the world through eyes of a child: free, open, full of wonder and imagination. He shares these dreams with us. We have to fight for our visionaries. We won't go gently into victory. And we're better for it.
This format actually made a lot of sense. After all, West received the Video Vanguard Award and watching him perform wouldn't have placed a spotlight on his videos. In addition, the montage was able to mention the influence that West has had not only through his videos, but through his lyrics, ideas, and honesty.
Following the video, West gave a very Kanyesian speech that followed the themes talked about in the intro. He also announced his run for President in 2020, so, ya know, it was still just as exciting as a performance would've been.