The artist formerly known as Kanye West made a rare public appearance at Sunday night’s (June 26) highly-anticipated 2022 BET Awards to honor his good friend and “brother” Sean “Diddy” Combs with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The “Love Lockdown” artist took to the stage and gave a rousing opening speech/ prayer of gratitude that gave credit to Combs for inspiring him and the culture, calling him a “king.”
Ye opened, "How do we crown our kings? How do we appreciate our kings? To think how we far we could just make it off of inspiration. To hear the way that somebody chocked a sample in…Me sitting in my [mama’s] crib trying to add the Bad Boy shakers to my beats.”
"I go to him for advice to this day. He inspires so many of my choices, so many of my life choices. My wife choices," he shared, referencing his former wife Kim Kardashian, before chuckling: "Thanks for that, Puff."
"You know, I took a little hiatus. I said, I just want to declare myself legally dead for a year. I just want to be off the grid and Puff is pretty persistent, but I had to think, bro, it's like, people get amnesia,” Ye continued. “Like I should never have Puff have to ever call more than one time. Any of us in this room if Puff ever need us, we need to jump and be there. This man has been through [and] survived a lot of stuff and broke down a lot of doors so we can be standing ... he broke down so many doors of classism, taste, swag. Puff, if I never told you I love you, you're my brother."
He ended the over five-and-a-half minute speech with “in Jesus' name.”
The audience appropriately responded back, ”Amen.”
Before Diddy’s speech and acceptance of the award, the mogul got the party started with hyped performances by his longtime homies Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Shyne, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes and The Lox. Newcomer Bryson Tiller also joined the party-rocking performer onstage.
He also honored Kim Porter, his longtime love and mother of his children– Christian and twin girls– D’Lila and Jessie James, with tear-jerking tribute of "I'll Be Missing You" with Faith Evans and Maverick City Choir.
Diddy accepted the condign honor in pure “Diddy fashion.”
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The crowd jumped to its feet as he emphatically saluted that audience with a Detroit colloquialism, "Waddup doe?"
His humble and joyous speech honored his roots, his mother Janice Combs, fallen friend and mentor Andre Harrell, the late Heavy D, Bobby Brown, Biggie and Blackness.
See his entire speech below: