Rapper Kanye West will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards.
West has released several albums which have garnered massive critical praise. His most recent was the 2013 album “Yeezus,” which was placed on many lists of the best albums of the year.
MTV staff writer Nadeska Alexis wrote of the decision to give the award to West, “[West] has more than earned this honor, after years of releasing groundbreaking music and accompanying videos that have always pushed the envelope … his creative depths have never ceased to amaze us, and some could argue that his videos are complete masterpieces in their own right.”
Recent recipients of the Video Vanguard Award include Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.
West released the album “The College Dropout” in 2004 and his other albums include “Graduation” and “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” His hit singles include “Gold Digger,” “Stronger,” and “Love Lockdown.”
Time Magazine recently placed West on their list of the 100 most influential people of 2015 and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX noted in his write-up of West that the rapper has not been without controversy during his career. “Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list,” Musk wrote, and called him a “pop juggernaut.”
West’s work has been similarly acclaimed over his career, with Rolling Stone calling his album “808s & Heartbreak” one of the most groundbreaking albums of all time. “Its core aesthetic was like nothing in hip-hop,” RS wrote. “Over time it served as a new template for up-and-comers in hip-hop and R&B.”
Meanwhile, critics have been impressed by his most recent work. The A.V. Club's Evan Rytlewski wrote of “Yeezus,” that the record is “lean [and] immediate … visceral [and] unrelenting," while Helen Brown of the Telegraph called it a “brilliant nightmare … the most exciting album I’ve heard in a long time.”
The MTV VMAs will air on Aug. 30.