Barely 24 hours after causing a stir for dissing Taylor Swift—while she was accepting an award—at the MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West appeared on The Jay Leno Show. West was a musical guest, along with Jay-Z and Rihanna, but agreed to speak with Leno before the performance. The rapper seemed very contrite, saying he felt terrible for hurting someone, it's “extremely difficult to deal with the fact that I hurt someone and took something away from a talented artist."

West noted it was "someone’s emotions I stepped on — it was rude, period" and said he wanted to apologize to her in person. And when Leno asked what West's late mother would have thought about his behavior, Kanye seemed to be lost for words. Here's the full apology:

EW's Ken Tucker writes, "There was a long silence that became dramatic — you rarely hear such dead air on TV." West eventually said, "Anything I can do to help Taylor." Leno had also asked him when he knew his antics backfired—West replied, "As soon as I gave the mic back to her and she didn't keep going."

The rapper also said he hadn't really taken any time off but now he thinks he needs to reflect, "just analyze how I'm going to make it through the rest of this life, how I'm going to improve." And after that, he performed.