To mark World AIDS Day, a number of big-name acts popped up in New York City’s Times Square for a surprise show. As his image took over the jumbo screens behind the stage, Kanye West was introduced as “the most groundbreaking artist in music today” by U2’s Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. Yeezy came out hard with “Power”, his beats literally vibrating the stage cameras.
He didn’t hold back for “Jesus Walks” either, though the production crew did their best to catch the curse words before they hit the air. That left the second verse of “Black Skinhead” with more than a few holes, of course. Still, Kanye was clearly performing for the crowd in front of him, collapsing to the ground dramatically before going into “Stronger”. “Next song,” Kanye said after the chorus. “It’s supposed to cut.” The beat kept going for a few bars, forcing the rapper to head to the side of the stage and call, “Laura, next song! We’re on TV.” Finally, “Touch the Sky” came in. He did his best to keep the energy going, but clearly wasn’t thrilled as he dropped the mic and headed off stage.
Replay the full performance below.
And because you want it, here’s the “Laura, we on TV!” part isolated (via KanyeToThe).
In the end, he had enough grace to return for a final bow with a smile alongside all the other acts from the evening. To help support RED’s effort to fight AIDs, you can donate now at red.org/Thankyou, and Bank of America will match your donation.