The 32nd annual MTV Video Music Awards, better known as the VMAs, was held this past weekend, showcasing the fervor and intensity of America’s best contemporary mainstream music.
Although the event was hosted by the infamous Miley Cyrus and featured many big-name performers such as Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and the Weeknd, the 2015 VMAs clocked in with the lowest audience numbers in the award show’s history. As tracked by Nielson, the show accumulated 5.03 million viewers via MTV, dropping its numbers by 39% in comparison to last year.
However, the show broke the Twitter record for non-sports shows with 21.4 million tweets uploaded to the public eye. Thus raises the question: what caused so little people to watch the show, but so many people to feel the need to resort to social media to speak about it?
Although the viewing numbers ran at a depressive low, the successes of the night were plentiful. Swift was able to rack up both the most nominations (10) and awards (4) for the night. Meanwhile, Kanye West gave a borderline best performance art speech in his reception of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, stating: “I will die for the art, for what I believe in, and the art ain’t always gonna be polite.” He then proceeded to conclude that he would be running for president in 2020. Ed Sheeran had also racked up an impressive six nominations and Kendrick Lamar four, all for his video “Alright”.
These, however, did not cause the massive commotion on Twitter and other social media outlets throughout the show. In both performing live with Swift and winning best hip-hop video of the year, Minaj used the airtime to both bring the heat and throw shade.
In her only acceptance speech of the night, Minaj directed the attention back to Cyrus after thanking her pastor and fans, concluding with, “and now back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press – Miley, what’s good?” This had been sparked by comments Cyrus had made about Minaj in a previous interview with The New York Times.
In the article Miley commented about some things Minaj had said when the nominations were released. Minaj thought her own lack of nominations was due to the predominantly white music industry. Miley responded by saying, “and it’s not anger, like ‘Guys, I’m frustrated about some things that are a bigger issue.’ You made it about you. Not to sound like a bitch, but that’s like, ‘Eh, I didn’t get my VMA’” and “What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite.”
So what is good, Miley? Being a wealthy white woman in the mainstream music industry, probably.