Big Sean Gives Touching Acceptance Speech at 2015 MTV Video Music Awards
As political movements work their way back into pop music, the MTV Video Music Awards added the Best Video With a Social Message in 2011. And this year, Big Sean claimed the Moonman in the category for the empowering visual for his track "One Man Can Change the World."
But before the Dark Sky Paradise creator took the stage, Empire's Jussie Smollett and Sereyah had some words to say as they presented the award.
"This past year has been one of epic highs and stunning lows. We've rejoiced in the victory of gay marriage. We've mourned the victims of senseless violence and we fought for equality and justice. We know the hashtags, #BlackLivesMatter, and #LoveIsLove to name a few. But the point is to make sure that these topics are not simply hashtags and they continue to be spoken about until they're proven to be one hundred percent true. No art form in the world captures this more powerfully than music. Music helps us make sense of the world. A song can elevate a movement," the two said, taking turns for every few sentences.
Afterwards the "Blessings" rhymer went up to collect his award alongside his collaborators along with John Legend and Kanye West. This is the first big win for John Legend and Big Sean at the VMAs, but the rapper joked that this is probably Kanye West's 20th award (it was actually his third, but he has had 33 nominations at the MTV VMAs).
Sean thanked the big man upstairs first and his fans second before revealing that "One Man Can Change the World," is partially dedicated to his grandma,
According to the G.O.O.D. Music rhymer, his grandma, Mildred Virginia Leonard, was one of the first female black captains in World War II and one of the first female cops in the streets of Detroit. Leonard also got a Master's degree and worked as a teacher and counselor. "I'm talking home cooked meals everyday after school. She made crazy accolades. And one person to show me that one man -- man being human being -- male or female can change the world," he explained, before inviting the crowd to "make some noise" for Kanye, the next person to receive his thanks.
"I don't know if y'all know the story but Kanye discovered me, put me on. I've been doing a lot of good stuff around my city with my foundation. If you hadn't opened the doors for me I wouldn't be able to do the stuff I'm doing. So thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. Making my dreams come true. I love you," the rhymer continued.
Legend also added a quick thanks as well. "It's my first VMA, thank you Sean. Thank you Kanye," he said.
Before they left the stage, Sean gave a quick shout out to Travi$ Scott's Rodeo album, which is due out Sept. 4. Check out some of Big Sean's reaction tweets to his win below.
Watch Big Sean's "One Man Can Change the World" Video Feat. Kanye West & John Legend
See 2015 MTV Video Music Awards Red Carpet Looks