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Watch: Kanye West covers Stevie Wonder at MoMa

on May 12, 2011, 11:00am

For all the criticism, controversy, and plain madness that often surrounds Kanye West, it’s easy to forget that he is a rapper who first started to gain notoriety as a result of the production he provided on Jay-Z’s first two Blueprint LPs where he sampled the likes of Bobby Blue Bland, David Ruffin, The Jackson 5, and even The Marvelettes. So it’s no surprise that the 33-year-old Chicago native kicked of his set at Tuesday night’s New York City Museum of Modern Art benefit with a nod to Stevie Wonder.

Streaming below are the opening moments of Yeezy’s set at MoMa’s Party In The Garden where he sings a majority of “They Won’t Go When I Go” from Wonder’s 1974 album Fullfillingness’ First Finale. West segues into “Hell Of A Life” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy before he can get to the last verses about the “greed of man” and “destiny,” but seeing him perform the emotional cut is pretty revealing. In fact, Hip Hop DX reveals that emo-Kanye, once again, came out last night.

“Thank you for loving me when they told you not to love me,” he reportedly said during an extended version of “Runaway”, “I’m sorry [if you] ever had to argue with me. I’m sorry if I put you through that.” He also touched upon not being as bad of a person as people make him out to be, how it feels to be hated, and even apologized for his ego. And while most of us here at CoS will always love lil’ Yeezy, we’re still glad he chose to bring Hova out on stage to perform “H.A.M.” and “Empire State of Mind”. That video (where West can be seen smiling the entire time) is streaming below the Stevie Wonder cover as well.

“They Won’t Go When I Go” & “Hell of a Life” (Live at MoMA’s Party in the Garden)

“Empire State of Mind” (Live at MoMA’s Party in the Garden)

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