It's been a rough couple of days for Kanye West. On Sunday, he showed up to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards with girlfriend Amber Rose on one arm and a bottle of Hennessey in the other. He created what ended up being the definitive moment of the show when he rushed the stage and stole the microphone away from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech for Best Female Video. What followed was a storm of superstar condemnations and a pair of apologies. In the meantime, he had an immediate commitment to attend to on the opposite coast, as he was set to appear on the premiere of "The Jay Leno Show" in a performance with Jay-Z and Rihanna. When it came time to introduce the musical guest, Leno brought out West and said that he wanted to say something. A somber West walked out and sat down with Leno for an uncomfortable three minute conversation where the rapper expressed remorse and Leno invoked West's late mother.
For a show built around comedy, this was a pretty heavy moment for a premiere. After thanking him for not backing out, Leno let West talk. "It's been extremely difficult," he told the host. "I only wanted to help people my entire life. I've only wanted to give and do something that was right, and I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong." He called his actions "rude" (agreeing with the All-American Rejects) and said that he wants to apologize to Swift in person. Then it took an uncomfortable turn, as West clearly got choked up when Leno asked West what his mother would have thought of this. He then dropped an interesting note, saying that he has never really taken any time off (it's true) and that he plans to do that soon (assuming after his upcoming tour with Lady Gaga). He also offered to help Swift in any way he could, so perhaps her dream of a hip-hop crossover isn't that far away. All told, it was a rare quiet and contrite moment for West, though Leno's introduction of his mother into the proceedings came across as a little odd, if not bullying. Check out the whole interview below.