Kanye Makes Shock Appearance at BET Awards to Honor His ‘Favorite Artist’
About three hours into Sunday night’s BET Awards, rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, made a shocking appearance to honor fellow rapper and entrepreneur Diddy, who took home this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
It was Ye’s first televised appearance since a series of disturbing online posts about his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and her boyfriend, Pete Davidson, for which he was banned from performing at this year’s Grammys.
In April, Page Six reported that the artist, who has bipolar disorder, was looking at health clinics for treatment to become a “better human and a better dad.”
Likewise, the crowd at the BET Awards seemed equally enthused and startled as the Chicago rapper walked out onstage after a word from Babyface honoring Diddy’s career.
Ye wore a puzzling ensemble, including a gray Hood By Air jacket and a Black face covering and sunglasses, that quickly became the butt of jokes and even some comic-book villain comparisons on Twitter.
“How do we crown our kings?” the rapper began. “How do we appreciate our kings? To think how far we could just make it off of inspiration, to hear the way somebody chopped a sample...”
“This is my favorite artist,” Ye stated later on. “You see what I’m saying? Favorite artist—everything—specifically, production, drip. You know, back then, it was so many rules to hip hop.
And he broke all of them and broke down all the doors and understood contracts the way a lot of us still don’t, understood money the way a lot of us still don’t.”
The rest of the seemingly unscripted speech was meandering and surprisingly uncontroversial, with Ye pivoting back to his personal life and career in between applauding Diddy for his contribution to hip hop. Of course, he couldn’t help but allude to recent divorce, implying Diddy inspired his choice to wed Kardashian.
“He inspires so many of my choices, my life choices, my wife choices,” the rapper said. “And here we are. Thanks for that, Puff.”
That line, in particular, received a big laugh as well as when the rapper claimed he was “signed to Puff without him knowing” early in his career.