Kanye West Opens BET Awards With 'Power'

Awards show marks the MC's first performance since his VMA incident last year.

[artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] returned with a riveting solo performance at the 2010 BET Awards, marking the first time the rapper/producer has performed in public since he interrupted Taylor Swift last year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

West, decked out in all red and a bawdy necklace, took to the stage for "Power," the lead single from his forthcoming untitled album. "I'm living in the 21st century, doing something mean to it," he started off rapping, atop a constructed mountaintop. "Do it better than anybody you ever seen do it/ Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it/ I guess every superhero need his theme music."

The Chicago MC powered through the anthem alone onstage, with no band and no background singers. West opened the awards show and said no words prior to performing, nor any comment once he finished.

The rapper was solemn and fired throughout the thumping track. "I just needed time alone with my own thoughts," he rapped later. "Got treasures in my mind/ But couldn't open up my vaults ... Reality is catching up with me/ Taking my inner child/ I'm fighting for custody."

For the past several months, we have been hearing about Kanye working in Hawaii with acclaimed producers, such as Pete Rock, Q-Tip and DJ Premier. He was also producing tracks for the likes of Rick Ross and the Clipse. And in May, he popped up in New York to preview new songs.

While just about everyone who's worked with him has declined to speak on specifics, people like Preemo and Pharrell Williams have publicly described the supreme boom bap and hard-core hip-hop edge of West's upcoming album, which was originally set to be titled Good Ass Job but is now untitled.

What did you think of Kanye's performance at the BET Awards? Share your thoughts in the comments below!