Never Forget Kanye West's Epic 2004 VMA Appearance That Started It All

Yeezus never holds back.

Kanye West will be honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award during the 2015 MTV VMAs after a long and eventful history with the show. Over the past 11 years -- beginning in 2004 -- he's performed at the VMAs seven times, and in 2006, he even presented video director Hype Williams with the Video Vanguard Award.

This year, it's his time to shine. And we're feeling nostalgic and wanted to take a look back at his epic 2004 performance that started it all. He brought along Chaka Khan, John Legend and Syleena Johnson for a medley of "Through The Wire," "All Falls Down" and "Jesus Walks," and it's easy to see that he was enjoying every single minute of it.

He Was All Smiles With Donda West

2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Kanye West's mom Donda West died in 2007, but before tragedy struck, the pair were all smiles during his first visit to the VMAs. They were beaming in the audience, and we can only imagine how proud she was at the time. In old footage we've seen them freestyling together -- she was clearly his biggest fan.

He Got His Diva On With Chaka Khan


Even though it was his very first VMA performance, Kanye still called in heavy reinforcement. Legendary singer Chaka Khan joined him to perform "Through The Wire," despite the fact that she was battling with laryngitis at the time. You can't pause greatness.

He Wanted To Touch The People

2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

For his big debut, Kanye couldn't just stick to one song. Instead, he gave fans a bit of variety by performing a medley of "Through The Wire," "All Falls Down" and "Jesus Walks," with some help from John Legend, Chaka Khan, and Syleena Johnson. He was loving the feedback from the audience.

He Enjoyed Being A Fan

2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

If it was your first appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards, you'd be a bit geeked, too. Sure, 'Ye was becoming a star in his own right that night, but he still took the time to chop it up with a few other iconic rappers.

OK, He Enjoyed Being A Fan More Than Once

2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Backstage and Audience

As if you wouldn't stop for a picture with Usher, too.

He Brought The Team

2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

After all of that hard work, the homies deserve a seat at the table, too. Consequence, who has previously written for Kanye and John Legend, who would later sign with G.O.O.D. Music, both joined Yeezy at the 2004 VMAs.

He Even Went Hard In Rehearsals

2004 MTV Video Music Awards - Rehearsals - Day 2

Although his confidence might lead you to believe that he just wakes up great every morning, Kanye needs to rehearse just like any other artist. Above, he's pictured during day two of VMA rehearsals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

Now we're just waiting impatiently to hear how awesome his acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard Award will be.

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