West sat with Leno on his couch before his scheduled musical appearance with Jay-Z and Rihanna to perform "Run This Town." The rapper's apology was unplanned, Leno noted.
Kanye was measured with his words as he admitted that the pain from his mother's death still haunts him. West revealed to Leno that he plans to take some time from the spotlight to continue to cope with the matter. When Leno mentioned that he'd met Kanye's mother, Donda West, and asked what she would have thought about the VMA stunt, the rapper sat silent for more than 20 seconds as he attempted to compose himself.
"Obviously, I deal with hurt, and so many celebrities, they never take the time off, and I never took the time off, really," West explained. "I've really never taken the time off. It's been music after music and tour after tour. And I'm just ashamed my hurt caused someone else hurt."
Leno said West asked to speak prior to the Jay-Z-led performance and thanked the superstar for honoring the commitment to perform.
In the meantime, Kanye is a serial spoilsport.
The last time he did this was even better, at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2006. After his "Touch the Sky" video lost to Justice vs. Simian's "We Are Your Friends," he jumped up and grabbed the mike - a phallic move he keeps repeating - and ranted that he deserved the award because his video "cost a million dollars and Pamela Anderson was in it."
He later made the excuse that he'd had some "sippy sippy" before the show.
He had some sippy sippy this time, too, chug-a-lugging from a bottle of Hennessy.