Kanye West gave the commencement speech at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on Sunday, and it’s one you can’t miss — though perhaps for the wrong reasons.
1. “I’m sorry is something that you can use a lot. It gives you opportunity to give your opinion, apologise for it, and give your opinion again. People say you should not be sorry for your opinions.”
2. “George Bush has some very cool self portraits. I didn’t know he was an artist.”
3. “I felt my nerves a bit, and I don’t feel that feeling a lot. The nerves of humility and modesty, when being honored. A humanization, a reality of being recognised. And all I thought as I sit here shaking a little bit, is I need to get rid of that feeling.”
4. “This honour, is going to make your lives easier. Two reasons: you don’t have to defend me as much, and I’m going to make all of our lives easier.”
5. “And it’s these Floyd Mayweather belts that are needed to prove what I’ve been saying my entire life. Whether it’s the cosign of Paul McCartney grabbing me and saying it’s OK he doesn’t bite white people. Or the New York Times cover, or the Time Most Influential cover. And now a doctorate at the Art Institute of Chicago.”
Somehow, the quotes on their own don’t even do justice to the awkwardness of the speech. The speech doesn’t follow in a linear fashion, jumping from one confusing comment to the next. So the entire four-minute speech is certainly worth a listen.
But the speech also had an element that voyeurs of Kanye’s career might not expect. He was uncharacteristically nervous during the speech, making it, perhaps, a bit more endearing.
Whatever you think about the speech itself, it’s clearly more Kanye being Kanye.
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