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Never forget.

It was a rough time for Kanye West. His mother, Donda West–whom his beloved visual art and production company, DONDA, is appropriately named after–had just recently passed away from cardiac issues (November, 2007), and it clearly left him in a state of bewilderment. A state no one seemed to be able to snap him out of. He would eventually exorcise his multiple demons on his oft-celebrated, multi-platinum 808’s & Heartbreaks album, which was released just under a year after Mrs. West’s passing, but first, one of his first major public appearances since the tragic passing: the 50th Grammy Awards in February of 2008, just 3 months later.


After performing his hit single, “Stronger”, with an (literally) electric Daft Punk contribution, West toned down his set and gave one of the most heralded and intimate performance of his entire career. A live rendition of “Hey Mama”, one of the best songs on his Grammy Award-winning sophomore album, Late Registration.

Late Registration was released in 2005, so “Hey Mama” was written while Donda West was still alive. Watch the performance below.