Kanye West was the only artist representing for hip-hop at Wednesday's (Dec. 12) 12-12-12 Sandy Benefit concert. With only a pair of MPC samplers behind him, 'Ye bounced around the MSG stage donning a Pyrex Religion hood sweatshirt, leather kilt and leather leggings -- a familiar fit for those who attended his and Jay-Z's "Watch the Throne" tour.
Many were hesitant towards his performance. Which of Kanye's own songs are even appropriate for such an event. Plus, let's not forget what happened the last time Kanye was invited to a televised benefit event.
But this time, Kanye let his passion speak through his music, with the sound resonating through the stadium louder than most of the grey-haired bands on the bill. While some groups only got five minutes of airtime, Kanye performed a tight 12-track set, kicking off with his latest "Cruel Summer" hit, "Clique."
Patrons in the priciest seats didn't show near the amount of enthusiasm they shared with The Who a few minutes earlier, but that didn't stop Kanye from blazing through a medley of hits, including "Jesus Walks," "Gold Digger," All of the Lights," and more. Before closing the show with "Stronger," 'Ye went on a small emotional rant, which he's also done during his "Watch the Throne" trek.
"I got a question for yall tonight, how many people came here with the one they love or their loved ones? Kanye said. "I want you to do me a favor... if you love somebody love tonight hold on real tight. If you love somebody tonight, hold on real tight, real, real, real tight. Is there a heart in the house tonight? Stand up, Stand up. Let me know that you understand." The latter part of Ye's emo freestyle is inspired by The Dells' "A Heart Is A House of Love," originally featured in the film, "The Five Heartbeats."
It wouldn't be a Kanye West performance without emotion.