During his allowed “four minutes” at the 2016 MTV VMAs, Kanye West took the time to talk about his “Famous” visual, his idols and drop the video for “Fade.”
9/6 Update: The “Fade” video is now available on Kanye’s YouTube page via Vevo.
The night was filled with suspense after Kanye had missed his scheduled rehearsal slot for the award show leaving everyone guessing what he had planned.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrived to the VMAs white carpet dressed opposite of each other with black and white outfits. Ye sported his “Famous” t-shirt from the premiere of the visual at The Forum in June.
Once inside Madison Square Garden last night, KimYe took time to greet friends and posed for photos with Michael Phelps, Diddy, Naomi Campbell, 2 Chainz, Swizz Beatz Jaden Smith, Desiigner and Chance the Rapper.
Rihanna opened the show with one of four performances before accepting her “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award” which Kanye enjoyed. He even signaled for the crowd to stand up during her opening performance.
Y'all, look at Kanye stanning and making everybody else stand up for Rihanna. Lol! pic.twitter.com/5dfYKXXA1D
— Kee 🎈 (@MrMouthAlmighty) August 29, 2016
Kanye and “Famous” lost in both categories they were nominated in to Calvin Harris’ “This Is What You Came For” for “Best Male Video” and “Video of the Year” to Beyonce’s “Formation.”
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 29, 2016
About 45 minutes into the show, it was time for Kanye to take the stage. He delivered a seven minute speech where he shouted out Amber Rose, Diddy and Chance the Rapper, talked about Taylor Swift and recent killings in Chicago.
Read Kanye’s full speech via Rap Genius:
I am Kanye West, and that feels really great, especially to say this year. I came here to present my new video, but before that, I’ma talk. Now… Later tonight, “Famous” might lose to Beyoncé, but I can’t be mad—I’m always wishing for Beyoncé to win, so, you know! But for people to understand just how blessed we are. It was an expression of our now. Our fame right now. Us on the inside of the TV. You know, just to put… the audacity to put Anna Wintour right next to Donald Trump… I mean, like, I put Ray J in there, bruh! This is fame, bro! Like… I see you, Amber! My wife is a G, not a lot of people’s wives would let ’em say that! We came over in the same boat, now we all in the same bed. Well… maybe different boats but you know.
If you think about it, last week, it was 22 people murdered in Chicago. You know like, people come to me like, “Man, that’s right! Tell Taylor to..”. Bro, like I love all y’all! That’s why I called her! So I was speaking at the Art Institute last year and one kid came up to me and said, “Three of my friends died and I don’t know if I’m gonna be the next.” And it has to… you know, you have to think like, you know when you’re a senior and it’s like the last month and you just don’t feel like doing anymore work? If you feel like you’re seeing people dying right next to you, you might feel like what’s the point? You know like, life could be like, start to feel worthless in a way. I know times for me, I sit down and talk to older, rich people, you know (AKA WHITE!) and uh… they tell me, “Don’t compare yourself to Steve Jobs, don’t compare yourself to Walt Disney.” And my friend Sekaya told me, “Ayy bruh bruh…”
They tell me don’t compare yourself to these people right? My friend Sekaya told me it’s three keys to keeping people impoverished; taking away their esteem, taking away their resources, and taking away their role models. My role models are artists, merchants. It’s less than 10 I can name in history. Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, West.
Tonight we’re here to have fun. I’m standing in front of my idol, Puff Daddy. I’m standing in front of my wife, Kim Kardashian West. I’m standing in front of the future, Chance The Rapper. 2 Chainz, Jaden Smith. Bro! We are undeniably the influence, the thought leaders. I’m gonna play y’all a piece of my art and I hope y’all have a good time.
After the speech, Ye dropped his video for the song “Fade” which starred G.O.O.D. Music’s own Teyana Taylor, her husband Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert and their daughter Junie.
Teyana spoke with Vogue Magazine about the video’s concept and how the whole thing happened.
Excerpt: It was actually crazy because I was in the studio recording and Kanye came by to the other studio next door to record and asked me to come over real quick. And he was like, “Yo, you killed the Lil’ Kim tribute.” And we talked about that a little bit and then I don’t know how we got into a conversation about me and Iman. We just started talking and I was just rambling and rambling about Iman and to him it was a dope moment to just see love like that, to see that you can really have it all. Even with him, his relationship with Kim is so dope. They have kids, they’re married, they have a friendship. Even Kanye having kids has changed him a lot. He was like, “Dang, you’re singing. Your husband just won a championship. You just had Junie.” I think that really inspired him for the video. Literally when I left the studio and went back to my recording room, [a head representative from G.O.O.D. Music] came up to me and said Kanye wanted me to dance to one of his songs—for “Fade.” I was like, “Oh my god, you’re lying.”
Good morning and thank you all so much for all the love…😩😩😘😘😘😘💗 #FADE
— TEYANA M.J. TAYLOR (@TEYANATAYLOR) August 29, 2016
You are all very welcome. #teyanataylor shouts to Ye
— Iman Shumpert I (@imanshumpert) August 29, 2016
The Tidal-exlusive showed Teyana as she danced around to the track in a gym seating wearing Kanye’s Yeezy Season clothing line. Kanye and Eli Linnetz are credited as directors for the third visual from “The Life of Pablo.”
Video director Eli Russell Linnetz explained how he got his chance to work with Kanye and the deeper meaning behind “Fade” to the NY Times.
NYT: Then there’s the final biblical shot with the lioness face and tail. What’s that about?
ERL: Kanye and I had worked a lot with prosthetics, with people who work for Rick Baker, who did some of the most famous effects of our time. We had worked with those people on “Famous,” so we wanted to continue that language in a new way. The last image is foreshadowing bigger things to come, which you guys will find out about soon enough.
To end the night Kanye, Kim, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Jay Z, Beyonce, Cassie, Diddy, Lauren Branche and Steve Stoute had a celebratory dinner at Pasquale Jones in NYC.