Give Chris Brown credit for something at Sunday night’s BET Awards: It’s damn near impossible, under normal circumstances, to upstage the bravado, hubris and personality of Kanye West. But while Brown’s (contrived?) breakdown has dominated coverage of the event, the awards show may have served as the official comeback of Kanye West, not seen on stage since bumrushing Taylor Swift at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards.
The rapper had been relatively quiet since the incident, airing out personal grievances and self-reflection on his blog, but generally avoiding major media appearances to focus on ‘Good Ass Job’, his fifth studio album. Last month, the King Crimson-sampling West track ‘Power’ was leaked, hinting at the start of West’s musical re-ascendancy.
But an Internet leak is nothing compared to West’s performance at the awards. Standing defiantly atop a smoke-billowing volcano with flashes of lightning periodically lighting up the stage, Kanye, consciously or not, stood like Zeus surveying the heavens, rhyming more in proclamations than mere sentences. With what looked like an IMAX nature doc film in the background, West barreled through the track, displaying the charisma that helped propel him to one of music’s most polarizing and entertaining figures in the past ten years