Kanye West admits he's a douchebag, debuts 'Runaway' to close VMAs: Watch here

Kanye-West-Runaway-VMAImage Credit: Vince Bucci/PictureGroupOkay, to say it’s been a rough year for Kanye West would be an understatement. Granted, he’s the reason he’s had it so bad. After interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at last year’s VMAs, the rapper and sometime singer spent the end of 2009 and majority of 2010 in pop culture exile. But at the top of this summer, he returned with his rebellious “Power.” Though his skills as an artist haven’t diminished, his ego apparently has– a little. On Twitter, he’s frequently apologized for his prior antics, and tonight he made another huge step back into the land of popularity at the VMAs.

After surviving  Taylor Swift’s performance, which was (kind of) about him, West closed the show debuting his new single “Runaway.” Introduced by comedian and friend Aziz Ansari, West walked out in a red suit and black tee.

Kanye started off singing the track’s hook. “You’ve been putting up with my s— for way too long…/ Let’s have a toast for the douchebags/Let’s have a toast for the a–holes…/Baby, I’ve got a plan/Run away as fast as you can.”  On stage with ballerinas and his drum pad, he delivered one of his most earnest, but also somehow tongue-in-cheek, performances ever.

It was a complete victory, addressing his character flaws and acknowledging public opinion without relinquishing any of his power. After a witty verse from his label mate, Pusha T of the Clipse, West returned for some Auto-Tune-assisted singing on the bridge.

“Kanye! Kanye! Kanye,” the crowd chanted after he was done. It was the night’s only standing ovation. Strategically, if this doesn’t work, I don’t know what will. But based on the crowd’s reaction, it appears to have done the trick. It was a Kanye lovefest. Check out the performance after the jump.

If you didn’t like Kanye before, do you now? Has he redeemed himself? Let us know.

More MTV VMAs coverage on EW.com:
MTV VMAs: We’re live-blogging it!
VMAs: Video of the Year nominees
VMA nominees: Surprising winners and losers
Kanye West apologizes to Taylor Swift: ‘I only want to do good.’
VMAs: 15 terrible fashion choices

Comments (270 total) Add your comment
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  • J-hunt da Prodigy

    Kanye shut it down 2nite!

    • Juan

      Plus, she has to thank him for putting her career at it’s top.

    • cg

      Juan you are wrong. Taylor kicked ass before that tool reunied her moment. Have you heard about a little song called ‘Love Story’ & awesome song called ‘Fearless’ which took her the top way before what he did.

    • Mandy

      I imagine that MTV approached both of them with the idea to do the songs.

    • sebas

      cg you are wrong. of course she was famous before or else she wouldnt be in the vmas. but kanye put her in a position that only a few people are in. where everyone no matter age, race, language, or color talked about her whether they even heard her music or not. even obama talked about her!

    • Brianne

      Her singing about forgiving people for their mistakes made her look bad? If you say so.

    • brandy

      That song sucks pretty hard. I hope I never hear it again.

      • Kwise

        I agree. My husband and I thought it was a joke. But it’s a real song, I guess???? Really tacky. I don’t know what “skills” Kanye demonstrated tonight. Yes, he can push a button on a mini piano that produces a sound effect. Woo hoo, what a talent.

      • dusty

        i can see you in your car a month or two from now, secretly listening to this song :P BTW that aint a mini piano psssh HA!

      • Kayne

        Lmao cause ur a cold ass guy that doesnt beleive in forgiveness

      • omg

        yup this song is worse than him dissing taylor swift.

    • Rr

      Florence and the machine was easily the best performance of the night..

    • ?????

      agree

      • idiots

        lmao. The “Button pressing” was the intro genius. He COMPOSED the entire piece which is a REAL TALENT that he has used over and over to produce music for nearly EVERYONE in the music industry in EVERY genre…not JUST rap. Oh, and by the way, he plays a plethora of instruments and writes music (like the song taylor sang) for countless other artists as well. lmao. Ignorance is bliss i guess.

      • dusty

        @idiots “ignorance is bliss i guess”
        LOL true that

      • Truthhhh

        You Say Its Worse Than Dissing Taylor Well At Least He Had The Guts To Get Up On Stage And Sing This On T.v. At Least He Will Admit How He Feels After Thinking About His Stupid Actions! At Least He Has The Guts To Admit He Was a Douchebag And That Hes Sorry For What He Had Done! I Think Kanye West Did A Good Thing Producing This Song & Sing It Up There On This Stage!!! Good Job Kanye

      • Peter

        Yes it is a talent Kwise uhhh are you selling your music? Show me that you are a talented button pusher. I bet you can’t even find the stage

    • yawn

      Taylor won me over; her song was good and she looked beautiful. I always loved Kanye’s realness so for me, it was a good VMA show.

      • Bea

        her song was good and she looked beautiful what about her lovely on key singing voice…oh wait she can’t sing live she sounds awful everytime. not that kanye is any better but seriously when are they gonna make her start lip syncing. Does she not rewatch her performances is no one telling this girl she sounds awful

      • tinap

        she’s a sweet little thing but her voice is small. the music overwhelmed her and she was sadly off key for most of it. she looked really pretty though, if that helps.

      • Peter

        shut up

    • GreatAwardsShow

      I liked his performance a lot. He was insulting himself, calling himself a douchebag as a way of saying that he screwed up in his life.

    • asdf

      uhhh, ur a dumbass. kanye wrote that song for her to sing in apology dumbass. he planned to perform it himself if she didnt agree to

    • jthunders

      He’s still a D-BAG & those of you who think he’s changed one bit are either naive or stupid. L.A.M.F

    • bill

      kanye and his kindergarten lyrics and his auto tune singing… he is amazing! he should focus on his song writing instead of his fame! one is lacking.

    • Annie

      actually Obama didn’t talk about Taylor, he called Kayne a JACKASS which he is. Glad he knows it now.

    • I Was There

      I was there in the room and people were grumbling at how bad her singing was. From an artistry standpoint it took away from what could have been a great moment for her. Imagine if that song had been delivered by PINK or KELLY CLARKSON! You could hear the groaning when she went pitchy on some parts. It takes away from her songwriting and guitar playing. If you know the inside story on Taylor you would know she is more manufactured than any artist with her level of success. But to her credit, she somewhat pulls it off and delivers what her team has cooked up, and there is a lot is skill and hard work in that. As her audience grows older, they will recognize she is lacking in the vocal department. I actually like her as a person and her work ethic is tremendous. And I get why people connect to her. I do. That being said, Kanye was OUTSTANDING!!! There was some booing underneath the cheering when he first came out, but they were chanting his name when he left! The applause would have continued but Chelsea had to end the show. Was it my favorite Kanye performance ever? NO! But I and MY peers recognize the genius of what he had just done. MTV gives the closing slot to the artist they think is the most relevant at that given moment! Last year, escorted from the building, this year closing the show. And he used the opportunity to bring Pusha T, newly signed to HIS label, to share in the spotlight. And to acknowledge his own douchebaggery. A week ago the majority of the comments towards Kanye were really negative. Now, as I read the comments on various sites, I feel Taylors’ lack luster vocals on a very well crafted song have left many of her faithful disappointed and frustrated in their defense of her. Not that anyone is keeping score, but I would say (IMO) Kanye, dispite being an admitted jerk off, came out vctorious in the end. And that’s not a win for douchebaggery, but for pure artistic genius. That aspect of Kanye can not be denied!

      • Alice

        Your comments make much sense, and it nice to hear you among othres put things in perspective: Such things as “I don’t see race; I see humans suffering.” — and — “I don’t see politics; I see humans suffering.”Great point, but I guess I’m just getting tired of some of the mean things coming out of some people’s mouths, and it’s sometimes hard for me to just sit there without responding to it.

  • A

    His ego has not dimnished at all. Parts of the song were also about how great he was. Taylor had 10000 times more class than he ever will and in my opinion came out on top.

    • sv

      Agree 100%!!! Kanye is right about one thing, he’s a douchebag, but let’s NOT hear it for him. He’s still a self-absorbed jerk, and Taylor has more class hands down.

    • idiots

      lmfao. its funny you “kanye haters” are going on about the class she had when HE WROTE THE SONG SHE SANG! LMFAO. You idiots dont realize by now that these are ALL cold calculated meticulously executed plans to ensure that you mindless sheep who dont know how to form an educated opinion keep buying music? lmao. ignorance is bliss.

      • Allison

        Kanye did not write the song Taylor sang last night, she did. He has been talking about a song he wrote for her but that’s not the one she sang. If you are going to argue at least get your facts right.

      • A

        @idiots

        Ya we are the idiots… Kanye CLEARLY did not write the song she sang!!!

      • ya

        idiot

        stop riding kanye’s d

  • TC

    Kanya’s a joke and so was the performance. How can u say that was a success ? Cause the fake MTV audience cheered on cue ? Taylor, Drake and Eminem were the best of the night on a very weak VMA’s.

    • Krisp710

      It was a success because he finally realized what everyone has been telling him since the start of his career, he’s an egotistical douchebag who always wants to get his way, albeit an extremely talented one.

      • swimmer

        Agreed but it took him long enough.

      • music lover

        Music lovers respect craft, As far as character goes we’ve all been a jerk before its not a crime it’s just tasteless, So give him a break, and if you don’t like his music don’t listen, I’m not a fan of country music but I respect the overall craft of music, Kayne West is a talented musician, producer, and performer. So what he does isn’t your cup of tea? That doesn’t make him any less of an Artist, It looks like some of you need the same wake up call as Kayne It’s just your opinion, and it’s not worth much!

  • ???

    And Kanye doesn’t want publicity. He is a no talent douche

    • ?????

      he has a lot of fans to be a man without talent.

    • ???

      Just because he has fans does not mean he has talent! That is like saying Kate or Snooki have talent because people watch their shows.

    • to: ??? & ?????

      ??????

    • ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? I win

  • J Wilson

    Kanye West is GOD!

    • Mimi

      Amen!

    • Rr

      And your an idiot

      • Maryscott O’Connor

        HINT: When calling someone an idiot, make sure you don’t use the possessive “your” instead of the contraction of “you are” you actually mean to use.

        “You’re an idiot.”

        Just saying.

      • help us jebus

        your. I weep for the future of his country.

      • XP4N1C

        Easily the best comment on this entire thread. “I weep for the future of this country.”

    • Nikki

      J Wilson – That is just a stupid thing to say. Kanye West is a self-admitted douchebag and a-hole. Yeah, that’s really somebody to look up to. No thanks.

      • richie

        nobody’s telling you to look up to anyone. Being a fan of someone’s music doesn’t mean you have to be a fan of their personality.

    • Atheist

      God is man made. Kanye is Trash. Taylor is Trash. This generation’s music is Trash.

      • Dave

        2 out of 3 wrong answers. Go back to school, genius.

  • Barry W.

    taylor swifts forgiveness was touching, than when i saw kanye… good thing he made up!

  • jayjayjj50

    great song. I just hope he tones down or removes the autotone of the final product.

  • Charlie

    I personally thought the song sucked! It was not catchy and the lyrics were aweful.

    • Jana

      AGREE!! What a douche! lol

      • Louie

        Please. Get over it.

    • Kwise

      It was as if a 6th grader wrote the lyrics. And I thought it was universally agreed that auto-tune was lame – a thing of the past.

  • Gene

    His great powers as an artist? Because he uses Auto-Tunes?

    • TC

      LOL..good one. Dude’s a joke..

      • wakeforce

        A joke that has more success than you will EVER have in your entire life! Keep hating on Kanye because it makes you look like a jerk!

  • brutevsking.mybrute.com

    yea that was so amazing dude i liek kanye now

  • LK

    There’s this artist. Her name is Imogen Heap and she knows how to combine technology and instruments much better than Kanye. I swear if that chorus catches on, I will harm myself.

    • Eva

      A freaking men !!!

    • Maryscott O’Connor

      Too late. Middle-aged white lame-o women like ME are already singing the catch-phrases from this song… whereas Taylor Swift’s lyrics were unintelligible and the music utterly forgettable.

  • TC

    Funny the people I was watching with loved her performance. And thought Kanya was a joke ( get over it ?? wans’t he playing off the incident for publicity ??) Trending on Twitter is how awful he was right now, so you and your pals are in the minority. But everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

    • Fatima

      Quit being such a condescending jerk. My crowd (and entire Twitter feed) was embarrassed by Taylor’s over-dramatic woe-is-me performance. Just because the people you watched with hated Kanye does not mean it’s the majority opinion.

    • trophyboysmi

      taylor swift delivered the most patronizing performance i’ve ever seen. it was so obnoxious.

    • Jay

      Taylor Swift flopped last night with her barefoot terrible performance! lol :) i cringed!

  • Jana

    Kenye is still a douche. I don’t care about Taylor swift either though, but he showed no class, and he still has none.

    • Louie

      Well, Kanye apparently thinks so too…

      • Tony

        Geez Get OVER it already!

  • Fatima

    Kanye’s amazing! That was a great, emotional performance and I was legit moved but not in a saccharin way. Kanye was very self-aware but also very sincere.

    • Jana

      Are you serious, or you mocking the bad performance, lyrics and singing he did?

      • Fatima

        No, actually I’m not. See, Taylor Swift is only able to tackle subjects in the most obvious way. Her pathetic wounded doe act was condescending and self-righteous. Her terrible songwriting was cute at 16 but it’s embarrassing now. Kanye, who is admittedly self-righteous, went a much more creative route and gave a song that was very apologetic but also very tongue-in-cheek. He’s made the disgust he feels at himself quite clear and there was a lot of pain evident during the auto-tune break. I thought the whole thing was very clever, but most importantly, sincere. And it should be over now anyway. Taylor acts like her innocence was stolen. It’s a friggin VMA.

      • Fiona

        ITA Fatima. What an insightful comment. And for those who think Taylor was forgiving Kanye, her line about being 32 and still growing up sounded snide to me.

      • u

        Fatima FTW.

    • Maryscott O’Connor

      I agree with your assessment of Swift’s performance.

  • Randy

    Hey! Taylor Swift got a standing ovation too. Love them both!

    • rox

      She didn’t get a standing ovation, and no one was shouting “Taylor” over and over when she was finished either.

      • sam

        LOL…They were standing because the show was over and they were heading to their cars…That, and everyone pretty universally agreed with him that he’s a douchebag.

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