Read Kanye West's Surprise BET Awards Speech for Diddy — Full Transcript

After several months out of the spotlight, Ye attended the BET Awards 2022 on Sunday, June 26, not only as a nominee, but as a presenter.

Ye's album, Donda, was up for Album of the Year and for the Dr. Bobby Jones Best gospel/inspirational award with his song "Come to Life." Unfortunately, he was unlucky this year, but he did take to the stage for a totally different reason.

Ye was invited to present rapper Sean Love Combs, best known as P. Diddy, with the Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating his long career as an American rapper, songwriter, record executive, talent director and entrepreneur.

Previous winners of the prestigious accolade have included Queen Latifah, Whitney Houston and Prince.

Taking to the stage to hand out the final award of the evening, Ye delivered a colorful speech, calling P. Diddy a "King."

He also reflected on how much Diddy had helped him in his own career and called him his "brother."

Newsweek has the speech below in full.

Kanye West's Surprise BET Awards Speech for Diddy in Full

Taking to the stage after Diddy gave a performance of his hit "Missing You" and famous faces paid tribute to his career, Ye appeared on stage to hand over the award.

He began: "How do we crown our kings? How do we appreciate our kings? To think how far we could just make if off of inspiration, to hear the way somebody chopped a sample in... rushing to see who could get the Bad Boy mixtape and playback the original version of "Benjamins," over and over, thinking I was one of the Hit Men.

"I was signed to Puff without him knowing. That statement is not legally binding!"

"To go to New York," he continued. "And think that everybody had on leather jackets and new Tims every day...

"To see Puff in real life at the 'Missing You' video, just like me tapping free like a little kid — I just need to meet this man. This is my favorite artist. You see I'm saying favorite artist — everything, not specifically production, the trip. Back then there was so many rules to hip-hop and he broke all of them.

"Understood contracts in a way a lot of us still don't. Understood money in a way a lot of us still don't. I go to him for advice to this day. He inspired so many of my choices. So many of my life choices. My wife's choices. And here we are. Thanks for that, Puff."

"And here we are, y'all don't understand, getting snuck into the club at 17 years old in Chicago, thinking we was part of Bad Boy.

"This man was so famous, it was just good enough for me to be Chicago's version of Puff. You know, I took a little hiatus. I said 'I wanted to declare myself legally dead for a year.' Nobody missed me. You know, I just want to be off the grid.

"Puff is pretty persistent. But I had to think. It's like people, get amnesia like I should never have to call more than one time.

"Any of us in this room, if Puff ever need us, we need to jump and be there. This man has been through and survived a lot of stuff. Broke down a lot of doors so we could be standing. I know for me, that I could be here today.

"He broke down so many doors of classism, taste, culture, swag. Puff, if I never told you, I love you. You're my brother.

"I was at the dentist and I was taking nitrous oxide. I wouldn't suggest it if anybody is stressed out. And I thought I know how it is to want to change your name. You might know him as Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs. But when it's hitting a certain point, I thought at the end of it, all is love — all of it. All we have is love. In Jesus' name, bring out Love."

Accepting his award, after a big standing ovation from the crowd and audience, Diddy thanked everybody who has "played a part" in his life.

He also made numerous references to Kim Porter, his long-term girlfriend, who died unexpectedly of lobar pneumonia in 2018 at age 47.

He said: "I just miss Kim y'all. Stay connected to God, and he'll bring you out. I just want to say thank you to Kim."

Diddy concluded his speech by stating: "God gave me this message to give to you, and you, and you and you, and the time is right now...I got this dream of Black people being free...I got this dream of us taking accountability and stop killing each other...Being rich and wealthy and living on the same block. I have this dream of us unifying...Our allies. If you're with us, don't be silent...I got that dream for us to be free, the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. We gotta unify."

Kanye West Bet Awards
Sean 'Diddy' Combs accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award onstage during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The award was presented by Ye. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images