vmas 2015: kanye will run for president; miley dropped a surprise album
Last night, Kanye announced he has White House dreams, Miley did Miley, N.W.A. performed, Britney was there for a minute and Justin Bieber levitated and cried.
The VMAs were Miley's world and everyone else was just living in it:
Miley was the first host the ceremony had had in two years and she promised to make 2015 special -- specifically she said it would be like getting lost in her glitter-covered, kitten-filled, nipple-flashing Instagram. And that's exactly how things went down. Miley exploded onto the stage from a giant psychedelic artwork-slash-slide by LA-based artist Jen Stark. She had 90s raver dreads and wore Jeremy Scott-designed outfits that would have made Lady Miss Kier proud. She showed lols videos of her having sleepovers with Tyga and goofing around with Snoop Dogg. And of course, she performed.
But about halfway through -- when you thought it couldn't get any weirder than Miley Cyrus eating a brownie and talking to a pig she thought was Snoop -- Kanye almost stole the show by announcing, "I have decided in 2020 to run for president." And equally surprisingly, he gave a moving explanation of his "infamous encounter" with Taylor Swift at the VMAs six years ago.
After Taylor very politely presented Kanye with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award, Kanye gave a speech that was somewhere in between a TED Talk and a stoned late-night rant. (He'd "rolled up a little something to knock the edge off.") He talked about how his love for Justin Timberlake was the only reason he acted disrespectfully towards Taylor. He expressed some fashion regrets (if he could do it all again, he wondered, "Would I have worn a leather shirt?"). And then he started talking about "ideas." "We're millennials, bruh," he said. "We're gonna teach our kids that you can be something [...] It's about ideas, people with ideas, people who believe in truth." Honest and actually super moving or totally insane? You decide. Maybe it was just sleep-deprivation.
In the same speech, Kanye also called out MTV for promoting "beef" between artists in order to boost their ratings. Which may well have been true, but Nicki Minaj and Miley seemed to do a good enough job of it by themselves. Soon after Nicki performed (atop a throne made of naked men), she accepted the Moonman for the Best Hip-Hop Video and said of Miley, "This bitch had a lot to say about me in the press the other day." And she made it very clear she wasn't playing around.
There were also some good-sincere moments. Taylor and Nicki made up. Big Sean dedicated his award for Video with a Social Message to his grandmother, one of the first female black captains in World War II. And Jussie Smollet, who presented the award, spoke about Black Lives Matter and marriage equality, reminding the audience, "these are not just hashtags." And of course Miley used her airtime to raise awareness for the causes she champions.
After one of her many, many, many costume changes, Miley appeared on the stage literally dressed as a giant rainbow flag. And right before her finale performance, she invited a squad of friends and spokespeople for her Happy Hippie Foundation for LGBTQ and homeless youth onto the stage to address the audience. The speakers, who included poet Tyler Ford, emphasized that the VMAs were a powerful platform for communicating positive, vital messages to young people around the world.
And then Miley wrapped things up Miley style -- by performing a brand-new song with a troupe of drag queens in sequins and PVC. The song, called "Do It," began "Yeah, I smoke pot, yeah, I love peace" and though it also included the word "fuck" 35 times, the overall message was straight-up peace and love. "Sing about love," she sang, "love is what you need." Oh, and then she dropped a surprise album.
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Image via @moschino