Kanye West Performs "Blood On The Leaves" During The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards

UPDATE: Kanye West performs "Blood On The Leaves" off of "Yeezus" and uses Steve McQueen's "Lynching Tree" as a backdrop. Video and photo included.

Kanye West hit Brooklyn's Barclays Center today (August 25) to perform "Blood On The Leaves" a cut from his latest effort, Yeezus, at MTV's Video Music Awards. With this performance, West tied Madonna for most VMA performances of all time.

Def Jam Records press releases this month had indicated that West would perform another Yeezus cut, "Black Skinhead." Instead, the superstar chose the song which samples Nina Simone's 1965 version of "Strange Fruit," and interpolates C-Murder's "Down 4 My Niggaz," which featured Magic and Snoop Dogg.

The performance, embedded after being captured by DDotOmen.com, began and closed with West singing into the microphone. During much of the song, a silhouette of West was projected against an image of the forest.

West's first VMA performance was in 2004 when he performed "Jesus Walks," "All Falls Down" and "Through the Wire" from his debut album, College Dropout. In 2005, he returned to perform "Gold Digger." In 2007, West hit the VMA stage with "Stronger" and "Good Life." Kanye closed the show in 2008, with "Love Lockdown." In 2010, he performed "Runaway" and in 2011, he and Jay Z performed their Watch The Throne single, "Otis." 

One of West's most talked-about appearances at an MTV award show took place in 2009 when he interrupted Taylor Swift on stage. He recently spoke about his regrets regarding the incident during an interview on "Kris."

"The last thing I would want to happen to my daughter is some crazy, drunk, Black guy in a leather shirt to come up and cut her off at an awards show," West said. "That's the last thing I'd want…I was just a crazy Rock star." 

Additional Reporting by Jake Paine

UPDATE: Kanye West has provided more information regarding the photograph used as a backdrop for his "Blood on the Leaves" performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. The Chicago rapper tweeted about the image.

The link also features this text, explaining the significance of the photograph.

The image is one of Steve McQueen's latest projects. Schaulager, which is currently featuring an exhibit of McQueen's work, described the still. 

"Steve McQueen’s most recent work, 'Lynching Tree' (2013), created especially for the exhibition in Basel, pictures a site that testifies to an odious past," Schaulager says. "It shows a tree near New Orleans that once served as a gallows for slaves. The ground around the tree is filled with the graves of the lynched victims. This work is related to the artist's latest film production, 'Twelve Years a Slave,' scheduled for release in movie theaters this fall." 

RELATED: Kanye West - Yeezus [ALBUM REVIEW]


  • England's Kenny

    No/little promotion and he still went gold. Lil Wayne must be jealous.

  • Anonymous

    Silhouette performance was DOPE. Mad ambience.

  • Anonymous

    "and his worse selling album in the US still sold more than Drake's best selling album" Eminem apologized for how shitty that album was, so the fact it outsold Drake means nothing. Drake's albums aren't used as drink coasters.

  • Anonymous

    hate this song love ya kanye, but no just no, ur no where near the level where you could do something like blood on the leaves

  • detroit niggroe

    LOL @ this weak ass nigga! How he getting invited to perform shit off his album that bombed? He musta blown the right Hebrews.

    • Anonymous

      So going gold with lil to no standard promotion means bombed? GTFOH he sold more then most people who came out this year..#Yeezy Season

    • Anonymous

      Not if you live in Detroit. Everybody that lives there is broke...except for Les Goldman's family.

    • Anonymous

      computers aint that much son, this aint 1995 no more

    • Anonymous

      You must have blown the right ones, for a computer. There's no way an uneducated dude could have enough money to buy their own computer.

  • Gucci The Realest

    Fuck HHDX for deleting my posts! You fucking YMCMB and Ja Rule faggots. You just mad that Gucci is a real nigga and you favorite rapper is a faggot!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    This nigga gotta get back to hip hop. Checkout thegrandreport, they got some cool hip hop videos on there

  • D

    I don't listen to rappers unless they actively sell drugs. Cuz I'm wid it

  • Gucci The Realest

    Gucci Mane = realest rapper ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - T.I. snitch to the feds - Young Jeezy was never bmf - 50 Cent snitch and was never in jail but a youthcamp - Game was never a banger but lived the life of his brother in his lyrics - Nas Escobar never sold drugs - Ice Cube never was a gangbanger - Dr Dre never was a gangbanger - 2pac was a ballerina and never sold drugs after he become famous he was doing some stupid stuff like beating and shooting at people because he though he could get away with it. Without Suge Knight 2pac was just a skinny motherfucker. Oh and i like his music so fuck you. - Mobb deep are the biggiest pussies in rap they are short as midgets and keep talking this g shit but never did g shit.

  • Anonymous

    this award show was sooooooo WHITE... NO RACIST!!

  • mia

    Fashion designer Marc Jacobs controls Kanye West. Kanye is his puppet. Read the truth about the egomaniac designer on: styleangelique BlogSpot

  • Anonymous

    Kanye said he would never attend another MTV award show. Then he preforms. Kanye hates papparazi but wifes a REALITY tv star where cameras follow and record their whole life. Walking contridiction. Also that perfomance was a complete rip off of Death Grips.. Pre-recorded death grip dance moves and sound.

    • Anonymous

      He said that in 07, he's been back almost every year since then. Your comment would have made sense in 08.

    • Anonymous

      is this true about the death grips influencing Kanye?

    • aj

      Kanye has been performing like that for years bro and it sounded nothing like Death Grips, this song was autotune with a trap sample... how's that anything like Death Grips?

  • jewel

    I was shocked when someone said that Justin(adult version of Bieber)) was way better than Kanye tonight. WTF? All Justin did was dance and lip sync to his mediocre music. Justin only knows how to perform like the way he was taught by Disney.There was nothing original by him whereas Kanye captivated you by telling a story. 9. There is no creativity or originality like Kanye has.

  • mando

    love or hate kanye, you cant deny his passion for music. this guy is pushing boundaries.

  • dentaldamboy

    Yeezus bombing, Jay Z bombing, Eminem about to bomb, drake selling a million opening weekend.

    • Anonymous

      wayne wasnt even there he had to apologize to his fans cause the nigga didnt get one nomination this year LMAO

    • Diego Johnson

      Why do people still reply to this troll? He's been doing it for like 2 years.

    • Twist

      Let me know when drake has metacritic score of 85+ for any of his albums, has 21 Grammys or is considered the best music producer of this generation.

    • dentaldamboy

      dude I'm on this site all day. I got no life. I want to be Lil' Wayne bad man so I come on this site and write comments acting like I work for YMCMB. Dude I need help man I'm obsessed with the man.

    • Anonymous

      Yeezus went gold without any promotion or singles. Jay-Z made $5 million off his album before it even was released. Eminem has never had an album sell less than 5 million records worldwide (and his worse selling album in the US still sold more than Drake's best selling album). If you really want to talk about bombing how about we talk about I Am Not A Human Being 2.......

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