KANYE West has said he will run for president in 2020 as he collected MTV’s highest honour at the Video Music Awards.
The rapper made the announcement in a rambling speech at the ceremony in Los Angeles – and after admitted smoking something to calm his nerves.
Watched by his pregnant wife Kim Kardashian, he said: “I still don’t understand awards shows.
“I don’t understand how they get five people who work their entire life, sold records, sold concert tickets, to stand on a red carpet, to come and for the first time in their life stand on the chopping block and be considered a loser.
“I don’t understand it, I’m conflicted bro. I just want people to like me more but f*** that bro. I will die for the art, for what I believe in and the art ain’t always going to be polite.
“I bet they are thinking right now if I smoked something before this and the answer is yes, I rolled up a little something to take the edge off.”
After holding his head in his hands for an extended period of time, he added: “It’s about ideas, people who believe in truth.
“And yes, as you probably could have guessed, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
West was reunited on stage with Taylor Swift, six years after he famously walked on stage at the 2009 VMAs and interrupted her speech to declare Beyonce the more worthy winner of an award.
Announcing West as winner of the Video Vanguard award, Swift called him her friend and said: “I first met Kanye West at this show six years ago and since then we have had a lot of time to talk about a lot of things.
“The whole world knew about our exchange at the VMAs but most people don’t know his album College Dropout was the first album I bought on iTunes when I was 12.”
West, in turn, admitted he had regrets about his stage invasion, telling the audience: “I think if I had to do it all again what would I have done?
“Would I have worn a leather shirt, would I have drunk half a bottle of Hennessy and given the other half to the audience? If I had a daughter, would I have gone on stage and grabbed the mic from someone else’s?”
During the ceremony, host Miley Cyrus was verbally attacked by rapper Nicki Minaj.Advertisement
After scooping the prize for best hip-hop video for her hit Anaconda, Minaj blasted Cyrus over an interview she gave to the New York Times last week.
The 22-year-old singer had suggested in the interview that Minaj had reacted badly over the fact Anaconda had not been nominated for video of the year.
After collecting her award and while she was still on stage she turned to Cyrus and said: “And now back to this b*** that had a lot to say about me a lot in the press. Miley, what’s good?”.
Cyrus replied: “We’re all in this industry. We all do interviews and we all know how they manipulate s***. Nicki, congratu-f******-lations.”
Despite the apparent outburst many who watched the exchange live on MTV took to social media to suggest the confrontation was a staged publicity stunt.
During the awards Cyrus delighted the audience at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theatre, changing outfits several times during the show, each time appearing on stage wearing less than before.
She also took the opportunity to announce that she had released a new 23-song album – available for free online. Her website crashed shortly afterwards but the songs were still available on streaming websites.
Cyrus was hosting the VMAs two years after she stole the show with a risque, but memorable performance with Robin Thicke, and a year after winning the top prize for Wrecking Ball.
The 22-year-old surprised photographers backstage at the ceremony by passing round what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette.
Grabbing the microphone, she said: “I’ve been doing this for a really long time, even though I’m not old I’ve been doing this for a while, and because you’re all my friends and my song is sort of about the love of marijuana and the love of humankind, I’ve brought a blunt if anyone would like some.”
Other winners this year included Taylor Swift who won Best Pop Music Video for Blank Space and Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars for Uptown Funk.
The list of celebrities who attended the awards included David Beckham’s son Brooklyn, reality television personality Kourtney Kardashian and rapper Tyga.
The list of winners
Video Vanguard Award: Kanye West
Video of the Year: Taylor Swift ft Kendrick Lamar, Bad Blood.
Pop Video: Taylor Swift, Blank Space.
Hip-hop Video: Nicki Minaj, Anaconda.
Female Video: Taylor Swift, Blank Space.
Video With a Social Message: Big Sean featuring Kanye West and John Legend, One Man Can Change the World.
Artist to Watch: Fetty Wap, Trap Queen
Best Rock Video: Fall Out Boy, Uma Thurman
Best Direction: Kendrick Lamar, Alright
Best Choreography: OK Go, I Won’t Let You Down
Best Visual Effects: Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber, Where Are You Now
Best Cinematography: Flying Lotus (featuring Kendrick Lamar), Never Catch Me
Best Editing: Beyonce, 7/11
Best Art Direction: Snoop Dogg, So Many Pros
Best Collaboration: Taylor Swift (featuring Kendrick Lamar), Bad Blood