2005 Man of the Year: Kanye West
"Y'all know what this is. It's a celebration, bitches!â€ Do I deserve to be Man of the Year? Of course I do. Keep in mind my Grammys speech, the release of Late Registration, my "Jesus Walksâ€ performance, Common's [resurgence], and, last but not least, John Legend. That was all this year, man. The stars really lined up for me.
KING nominated Terrence Howard, Barack Obama, Jermaine Dupri, Jay-Z and me. Terrence is a great actor. When I saw him in The Best Man, years ago, I could tell he had that spark. Barack Obama? If this was KING's Public Speaker of the Year award I might not have won. I met him earlier this year right before the Grammys and I was so intimidated. I felt I didn't know enough to be in the same room with him. But I found out he's a fan of mine. All positive black people like me. Jermaine Dupri, he smashed the production game. I wish I could have sold like himâ€”done a song like "Confessions,â€ and then turned around and done all those Mariah Carey hits.
Then there's Jay-Z. People call me cocky, but here's some next-level cocky shit: You could have given this award to Jay, and I still would have won. I'm signed to him. The fact that I'm on his resume alone is enough to make him Man of the Year! That's what I call a cocky compliment.
But I'm not gonna compare myself to any of those guys. When I used to play video games, I loved racecar games over fighting games, 'cause in fighting games, you had to beat someone else down, but in a racecar game you had to figure out your own technique, find your open lane and race to victory. By the time I got to 8th grade I'd won so many talent shows my music director had to tell me, "This isn't the Kanye West Show, it's a talent showcase.â€ But after I'd perfected my actâ€”and knew I was gonna be number 1, hands downâ€”I would help the other acts so the entire program was better. I'm not about bringing people down. I've never said, "I'm better than this person, I'm better than that person.â€ I just say "I'm the best.â€