After performing "Famous" for the first time in the Philippines, Kanye West segues into an emotional speech about overcoming writer's block, a battle that began after his run-in with Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs.
"That night when I went on stage was the beginning of the end of my life. Lady GaGa cancelled the tour the next day. You know what night I'm talking about," Kanye West told the crowd during his headlining show at The Paradise International Music Festival in the Philippines last night after performing "Famous" for the first time ever. The night in question is the night of September 13, 2009, when Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video at the VMAs and was interrupted by Kanye during her acceptance speech, who told her, "I'mma let you finish," before telling the audience that "Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time."
The controversial moment was brought up again after Kanye released his latest album, The Life of Pablo, as on the track "Famous," which was recently named Pablo's first single, Kanye opened with the lines: "For all my Southside n*ggas that know me best / I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous." That line ended up leading to another uncomfortable award show moment, as Swift seemed to target Kanye during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year at this year's Grammys.
After giving the inaugural performance of "Famous" in Manila last night, Kanye explained how "Famous," and its opening line in particular, helped him rid himself of writer's block. "What I wanted you to know the whole time," he told the crowd, repeating the song's final lyric, "in the spirit of Nina Simone -- in the spirit of real artists -- this is the song that broke the writer's block for me."
He went on to relive his infamous 2009 stage-crash, which he feels was an example of him saying "what everybody else was thinking." "So if I get in trouble for saying the truth," he continued, "what's being said the rest of the time?" He also revealed that he "fought to make that ["Famous"] the first single off of Pablo."
"It's really overwhelming for me to perform that song for the first time and for y'all to react to it that way," said an emotional Kanye. "If you don't mind, I'd like to do the song one more time." They didn't. Watch the entire speech below.