MTV VMAs: Kanye West Goes Dark Onstage for 'Blood on the Leaves' (Video)
The rapper, who is usually known for creating controversy, went conservative with this year's performance.
Looks like Kanye West is trying to avoid headlines these days as he returned to the MTV Video Music Awards at Brooklyn's Barclays Center with a rather conservative performance of "Blood on the Leaves."
While still delivering a strong rendition of the song from his chart-topping Yeezus album, West arrived onstage with a more understated presence as he performed with lights off -- only revealing his silhouette throughout the performance -- and a digital forest serving as the backdrop.
West, who is usually known for acting a fool or interrupting presenters, tied with Madonna for the most live performances at the VMAs with his seventh performance at this year's show. Most recently called "the most dangerous entertainer" by Nine Inch Nail lead singer Trent Reznor, Busta Rhymes spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet and responded with, "the Trent Reznor I know meant it as a high compliment."
Looking back, West's first performance was held in 2004, in which he sang a medley of "Jesus Walks/All Falls Down/Through the Wire," featuring Chaka Khan, and then "Gold Digger," featuring Jamie Foxx the following year in 2005. Other performances included "Stronger" and "Good Life" with T-Pain in 2007, "Love Lockdown" in 2008, an abstract performance of "Runaway" in 2010 and the Watch the Throne collaboration "Otis," featuring Jay Z in 2011.
Last Friday, the rapper debuted the much anticipated photo of his baby daughter with Kim Kardashian, North West, on Kris Jenner's final episode of her limited-run talk show, Kris.
During his interview with baby West's grandmother, the three-time VMA winner told Jenner that family is now his first priority, "My only goal is to protect my daughter."
"The last thing I would want for my daughter is for some crazy drunk black guy in leather to come up and cut her off at an award show," he added, referencing the infamous moment from the 2009 VMAs when he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video.
Guess the rapper decided to stick to his word and play nice for this year's VMAs.