Photo: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET
BET pulled out all the stops in celebrating Sean “Diddy” Combs at the 2022 BET Awards, including bringing Kanye “Ye” West back from the dead. “I took a little hiatus. I said I wanted to just, like, declare myself legally dead for a year, ”Ye said during his speech honoring the Bad Boy Records founder. “I just wanted to be off the grid. Puff is pretty persistent.” It took some pleading and some nitrous oxide (“I would suggest it if anybody is stressed out,” Ye said), but Ye arrived to thank and blame Puff in equal measure. Ye grew up idolizing Puff: the style, the samples. “He inspired so many of my choices,” Ye said. “So many of my life choices. My wife choices. And here we are. Thanks for that, Puff.” Ye also recognized Combs for his knowledge of contracts, something on which he and Mase may have differing opinions.
Ye’s speech was sandwiched between Babyface’s and one given by the man of the hour himself. He spoke about grief over the death of Kim Porter and dedicated “I’ll Be Missing You” to her. Combs effusively thanked his mother, Janice Combs, and shouted out one of his early influences Bobby Brown, his ex Cassie, the late Bad Boys co-founder Andre Harrell, and Biggie, who would have turned 50 this year, during his speech. He also pledged $1 million to Howard University and another million to Deion Sanders and Jackson State.