WATCH: Kanye West Gets Lifetime Achievement Award at VMAs; Says he’s Running for President in 2020


At the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Nicki Minaj sparred with Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber cried on stage, and Taylor Swift and Minaj, who had been warring, hugged on stage.

But the show stopper was the speech that Kanye West delivered when he received the Video Vanguard Award.

Just as rumors that swirled all week suggested, Taylor Swift presented him with the award. Anyone who was expecting a standard acceptance speech from him didn’t get it, nor should they have expected one.

Instead of the standard “I’d like to thank my vocal coach” fare, the TV audience and those in attendance at the the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles were treated to 10 minutes of free-form rambling, thanks in part to marijuana that West said he had smoked backstage “to get the edge off.”

West closed it out with the news that he will run for president in 2020. Then he dropped the microphone and darted offstage, and with that, the Kanye West brand took another step forward.

All six of West’s albums have gone platinum, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and he’s logged 22 top 10 singles on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. That’s an impressive stretch by any standard, but becoming a brand takes more than just selling a lot of records, something that the Chicago rapper seems to have understood from the outset.

West’s music has been just one piece of what makes him a brand. He’s distinguished himself in the “business” part of the music business, and made legitimate inroads in fashion, television and philanthropy. He’s also understood the importance media attention – good or bad. All of these things have helped him keep the brand out there. After all, even if you hate him and can’t wait for him to go away, you still know his name.

Here’s a look at a few of the things that have kept the Kanye West brand name in the headlines since he first emerged.

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SOURCE: Daniel Bukszpan