Apple releases more and more emojis for which we can express ourselves and yet at times like this I can’t find any that properly capture my emotions. If you haven’t heard: According to TMZ, MTV will give Kanye West four minutes to do whatever he wants at the VMAs.
Currently, producers are completely unaware of what he might do. He could rap, he could debut new music, he could “rant,” he could reveal his 2020 presidential platform, he could just stand there in silence, staring directly into the camera, his expressionless face there to just deal with. That would be a very Kanye move.
Of course, the VMAs and Kanye have a tumultuous history. The VMAs boasts the dubious honors of hosting the infamous Kanye-Taylor Swift debacle, an incident producing ripple effects still. Last year, Ye received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and delivered a memorable speech/stream-of-consciousness waterfall that included the now indelible phrase, “Listen to the kids, bro!”
But focusing on those absurd moments belittle the possibilities of Yeezus; it’s a sentiment too interested in crafting Kanye as cartoon instead of artist. Because he’s had some breathtaking, musical moments as well. If you miss the old Kanye, the pink-polo Kanye, he performed a College Dropout medley in 2004, where he brought out the KWEEN, Ms. Chaka Khan, while the camera continuously cuts to Jay Z, a clearly proud big brother. It’s also the site when he introduced 808s & Heartbreak Ye, donning the iconic gray pinstripes, the beating heart pin, the Mohawk. It remains the best live rendition of “Love Lockdown,” including the album version (those drums kick like pure molten fire).
And the VMA stage is where Ye claimed his redemption from that T-Swift controversy, going full maestro with ballerinas, vocoders, and Pusha T for his “toast for the douchebogs” classic, “Runaway.” Plus, just three years ago, he delivered a haunting “Blood on the Leaves” performance, lights extinguishes, his black silhouette flailing, dangerously flirting with the tree branches of the photograph behind him, which were inspired by New Orleans lynching gallows.
What will Kanye do? Rumors float it might involve Swift again, possibly a making-up of sorts. Perhaps he’ll just speak whatever’s on his mind. Personally, I hope it involves music. A “Champions” performance with the whole G.O.O.D. Music crew sans Gucci Mane (still on house arrest) would be more fun. Or perhaps an alternative version of something from Life of Pablo. Kanye started the Saint Pablo tour this month (and it looks bonkers), maybe give fans an appetizer of what’s to come. The music, the theatrical performances, that’s why we love Ye, not the controversies.
Whatever it is, Kanye will give us a moment. He always does.