West Addresses Chicago’s Gun Violence on Stage at VMAs

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images) Getty Images for MTV

Kanye West addressed Chicago's gun violence while on stage at Sunday night's 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Prior to Sunday night's festivities, Kanye was reportedly given four minutes of airtime to do whatever he wanted. Suffice it to say, that left plenty of time for the rapper to be as creative as he wanted.

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"I am Kanye West, and it feels really great to say especially this year..." he began his speech, after walking out to "Famous" playing in the background. Before introducing his new video, however, he said, "Imma talk."

West went on to address the meaning behind his controversial song. He joked that his "Famous" music video might lose to Beyonce, but it would be OK because he's always rooting for his BFF to win — oh we see your references to the 2009 VMAs, Kanye.

Yeezy then explained the inspiration behind the video, which featured featuring nude renderings of various public figures lying next to one another on a bed.

“It was an expression of our now," he said. "Our fame, right now. Us, on the inside of the TV ...

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"We came over on the same boat, now we all in the same bed."

He talked about how it's a metaphor about music and society today, reflecting on the "audacity" it took to put a fashion icon like Anna Wintour next to someone like Donald Trump.

West said the video was "for people to understand just how blessed we are.”

He mentioned ex-girlfriend Amber Rose's appearance, and joked that he even included Ray J, all while his wife, Kim Kardashian, laughed along in support of her husband.

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“When you think about, last week, it was 22 people murdered in Chicago,” West said.

West then transitioned to mentioned his infamous ongoing feud with Swift, giving everyone the reason why he called her.

Kanye then introduced the music video for "Fade," which featured Teyana Taylor dancing in a thong and sports bra near gym equipment. The music video only got steamier from there, even going so far as to feature Taylor naked in the shower with a male companion.

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Last year he gave a rousing speech about how he would be running for president in the 2020 election, so there was no predicting what the "Ultralight Beam" rapper could bring to the 2016 VMA stage. Having launched his Saint Pablo Tour in Indiana last week with an entirely new stage design, we knew to expect something wild for the VMAs.

"I just wanted people to get into it and have a fun time. Make it not be just about watching the artist but people watching their friends and singing along with the lyrics and just being able to see themselves and their outfits," Kanye explained to E! News of his tour's floating platform. "Take the concert experience to another level. It's not just about what you're seeing on the screen or what you're seeing me doing up on the stage, but what you and your friends are doing."

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Although Kanye wants to give all that he can during his performances, he also wants to make sure those who are turning out are really enjoying themselves. "I want people to come to the Pablo shows and know it's just going to be the best time they've had in their life," he added.

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(Published Saturday, May 19, 2018)

Whether they're attending his tour or watching him talk at the VMAs, it's safe to say fans are getting an experience.

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