Three hours into the BET Awards on Sunday night, Kanye West unexpectedly showed up to honour Sean “Diddy” Combs, who was given the Lifetime Achievement award.
His speech came after an elaborate performance that spanned Combs’ entire career and included cameos from Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Nas, Lil’ Kim, Busta Rhymes, the Lox, Bryson Tiller, Faith Evans, and the Maverick City Choir. Diddy himself also performed his hit song from 1997, “I’ll Be Missing You,” dedicating the first half to his longtime partner, actress Kim Porter, who passed away from a lung infection in
Next, Jay-Z delivered a stirring video statement, followed by an entertaining speech from Babyface, who recalled Diddy’s hesitant but ultimately successful attempt to teach himself to ski.
Then, West entered the stage while sporting an identical ensemble to the ones he wore for appearances and performances last year: a grey leather Hood by Air jacket, a matching baseball cap, sunglasses, and a full black stocking face mask.
In his address, West drew parallels between Combs’ desire to change his name and West’s legal name change to “Ye” last year. Combs has gone by various names over the years, including Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, just Diddy, and most recently, just Love.
He also made an emotional speech about Combs’ influence on him, emphasising that he saw Combs as an artist. It is plain to see how Combs’ view of his complete creative and professional output as a whole influenced him.
Read the whole speech by West (Transcript)
“How do we install our rulers?
How do we honour our kings?” he asked.
“To hear how someone chopped in a sample, to consider how far we could just make it off of inspiration.
I remember rushing to obtain the Bad Boy mixtape with a friend and repeatedly playing the original recording of “Benjamins,” pretending to be one of the Hit Men.
He smiled, saying, “That statement is not legally binding,” and added, “I was signed to Puff without him knowing.”
To travel to New York, he added.
“And to think that everyone was wearing new Tims and leather jackets every day…
“I really need to see this man. I just want to see Puff in person at the ‘Missing You’ video, just like me tapping free like a small kid.
My favourite artist is this one.
You know, when I say favourite artist, I mean the entire trip rather than just the production.
He broke every one of the hip-hop regulations that were in place at the time.
And here we are, y’all don’t get it, sneaking into the club in Chicago at the age of 17, thinking we were a part of Bad Boy.
I was just excellent enough to be Chicago’s Puff because this dude was so well-known.You see, I took a brief break. I proclaimed, “I wanted to formally declare myself dead for a year.”No one has missed me.
I just want to disconnect, you know?
“Puff is quite tenacious.Still, I had to pause.People seem to forget things, so I shouldn’t have to call more than once,