By Rob Brunner
September 14, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

Kanye West just offered a pretty heartfelt apology on Leno‘s kickoff episode tonight, before joining Jay-Z and Rihanna for a phenomenal run through Jay-Z’s recent single “Run This Town.” During the brief interview segment, Leno asked West what the rapper’s late mother would have said about the Taylor Swift incident, eliciting a long, emotional, and excruciatingly awkward pause. I can’t defend Kanye’s awful behavior at the VMAs, but it seemed like a bit of a low blow, especially coming from nice-guy Jay Leno.

What did you think? Did Kanye deserve that kind of grilling, or is bringing up his mother a bit unfair?

More from EW’s Music Mix:

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift’s VMAs moment: What was he thinking?

Kanye West apologizes for interrupting Taylor Swift at the VMAs: “I’m not crazy…I’m just real.”

Lil Mama on VMAs run-in with Jay-Z, Alicia Keys: “I did not mean any disrespect”

Whitney Houston on ‘Oprah’: What do you think so far?