Kanye West's Acceptance Speech for 808 Award Is Unforgettably Weird — VIDEO
Award season can be hard. There are so many awards and so many ceremonies and not every celebrity can make it to every single one. That's why the world invented video acceptance speeches, for the celebrity who doesn't necessarily want to have to get out of bed to pick up another statue. Video acceptance speeches can be funny, they can be touching, and they can be short, but they're usually not very memorable. Leave it to Kanye West to fix that. When Kanye West and Rick Rubin prepared their acceptance speech for the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Award, they were in a unique position. In the first place, the award they were accepting wasn't even for them and, in the second place, why say thank you when you can make an experimental video?
The Disruptive Innovation Award was going to the Roland TR-808 drum machine which, according to the video "continues to be responsible for new music some thirty years after its release... and discontinuation". That's one of the few parts of the video that makes any sense. The sound is a mixture of foreign dubbing and snippets of West's Yeezus album while the images jump from Rubin and West's past interviews to scenes from the film version of Pink Floyd's The Wall and a bear climbing an endless flight of stairs. It makes just as much sense in context.
The piece was directed by Mark Romanek and it raises a lot more questions than it answers. For example, if West couldn't be there to accept the award in person, why didn't he just put together a song in the style of the 808 drum machine? Lorde released a remix of one of her songs when she had to cancel a leg of her tour and that's not a bad way for a musician to apologize for their absence. And what was wrong with the video acceptance speech standard? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Then again, it was an indie film festival. A little incomprehension is probably to be expected.
Watch the video below.