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We tried to decode Kanye West’s VMAs speech and failed — now you try

The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards gave Kanye West four minutes of the show to use as he pleased, and we’re still not exactly sure what he did with them.

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I mean, words were coming out of his mouth the whole time.

He called out Amber Rose, despite their awkward past. He made comments about how people underestimate his wife, Kim Kardashian West. He gave some props to Beyoncé because, well, obviously. And, of course, he talked about what a genius he thinks he is. He even went so far to include himself in league with Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes and Walt Disney.


But all in all, what was the point? Did he really just want to hear himself talk? It was nice to see him smiling. I think this is the most we’ve seen him smile during a speech. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that we’re still scratching our heads.

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You can read his speech in its entirety below. Please keep in mind, we did our best to transcribe it, but he was ridiculously hard to understand in multiple places. We’ve marked the places we’re unsure about with brackets.

I am Kanye West. And that feels really great to say, especially this year. I came here to present my new video, but before I do 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…

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, bro. This is fame, bro, like… I see you, Amber [to Amber Rose]. My wife is a G, not a lot of people wise enough to let them say that…[?]

We came over on the same boat. Now we all in the same bed. Well, maybe different boats, but you know.

But if you think about last week, it was 22 people murdered in Chicago. You know, like, people come up to me like, “Man, that’s right! Tell Taylor…” 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 he said, “Three of my friends died, and I don’t know if I’m going to 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 any more work. If you feel like you seein’ 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, um, older, like… like, rich people. You know, aka white. And, um, they tell me, don’t compare yourself to Steve Jobs, don’t compare yourself to Walt Disney, and my friend Sakaya (I think it’s Seif Sakaya?). Yo, bro, bro, [talking to someone in the audience].

They tell me, don’t compare yourself to these people, right? My friend Sakaya, there’s three keys to keeping people impoverished. That’s taking away their self-esteem, taking away their resources and taking away their role models. My role models are artists, merchants. There’s less than 10 I can name in history: Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, West.

Bro, bro! 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 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 just hope y’all have a good time.

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Can we just chalk this one up to Kanye being Kanye and loving the sound of his voice? Once again?

What do you think was the point of Kanye West’s VMAs speech?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Beyonce VMAs 2016
Image: Nicholas Hunt/FilmMagic/Getty Images

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