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Kanye West to Receive 2015 MTV Video Vanguard Award

Kanye West is set to be the first rapper in 17 years to receive a MTV Video Vanguard Award after the Beastie Boys were given the honor in 1998.

West will also be the third rapper in history to seize one of music’s highest awards since the show started in 1984 — LL Cool J was the first. MTV announced the news via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 25) along with video footage of Yeezy over the years while the his 2010 banger “Power” serves as the soundtrack.

Over the years, the Video Vanguard Award has gone to some of the biggest stars in the music industry such as Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. And the self-proclaimed “greatest living rock star on the planet” is no exception.

West came into the game as a producer and created the sounds behind several hits like Jay Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Get By” by Talib Kweli and Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name.”

Yet, that wasn’t enough for Yeezy. He would go on to try rapping and despite Jay Z’s hesitation to sign the polo shirt-wearing rapper, West removed all doubt and changed the game with the Grammy Award-winning album, The College Dropout, in 2003. He then followed with Late Registration in 2004, and Graduation in 2007. A slew of hits followed those album releases with “Jesus Walks,” “The New Workout Plan,” “Good Life,” “All Falls Down” and the Daft Punk-sampled “Stronger.”

Tragedy struck when the Chicago native’s mom, Donda West, died of surgery complications and his personal relationships and romance brought fans a shift in sound with his 808s & Heartbreak LP. The slower more melodic change caused a rift in his career with many fans dubbing him “Old Kanye” and “New Kanye” these days. But never one to stay stagnant, the rapper would only reach new heights of success by breaking boundaries in music, art and fashion with constantly revamping his sound and releasing 34-minute self-directed music videos.

“Throughout his career, West has blended musical and visual artistry to powerful effect. From his trilogy of videos for ‘Jesus Walks,’ to the mind-bending animation of ‘Heartless,’ to the arresting imagery of ‘Bound 2,’ he’s pushed boundaries and delivered something new with every successive video,” read a press release announcing the awards news.

As an accomplished director, producer and musician who’s breaking down another door in the fashion world, Kanye West’s Video Vanguard Award is more than deserved. Fans can catch North West’s dad get his award at the Miley Cyrus-hosted ceremony on Sunday (Aug. 30) at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

MTV

See Worst to Best: Every Kanye West Album Ranked

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