Kanye West delivered one of his most memorable performances at the ESSENCE Music Festival mainstage last night. In a dazzling 90-minute set divided into three acts, Kanye was fired up with energy on songs like “Power” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” but by the end of the night he turned things down to honor his late mother, Dr. Donda West.  

“I want to dedicate this song to one special person,” he said before falling to his knees and performing a heart-wrenching “Hey Mama.”

Adding to the mystique of the evening was Kanye’s stage backdrop, which features an image of Alkyoneu, a figure in Greek mythology who channeled his mother’s power.

“It’s good to be home, and when I say home, I mean back with my people,” said Kanye.


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