Tyler, The Creator recently delivered his new album Call Me If You Get Lost, a project that is already earning buzz as a potential album of the year contender. In a way, the album marked a return to his hip-hop roots, and the album’s lead single “LUMBERJACK” served as a brutal reminder of how he gets down as an emcee.

Tyler drove the point home with a blistering performance of “LUMBERJACK” at the recent BET Awards, and many were quick to praise it as the ceremony’s highlight moment. Tyler actually spoke about his experience at the BET Awards during a recent interview with Complex, revealing a bit of insight into what it meant to bring his vision to the big stage. 

Tyler, The Creator

 Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

“I was so hype to perform at the BET Awards,” he tells the publication. “Having Durk and Lil Baby and Styles P just tell me how good the performance was meant a lot. I just never felt like my style of music would ever have been, not even appreciated, but allowed on there. And because of that, I would mock it. It was like a defense mechanism because I felt like I wasn’t accepted by that audience. But when they asked me this year, man, I was enthralled. I was so happy.”

“I was like, man, I have to perform, like, one of my hardest rap songs on there,” he continues. “Cause that, that channel taught me how to rap. It taught me about just all the stuff I know. So, man, shoutout to the BET team. ’Cause they were awesome.”

He goes on to speak on an encounter with an older fan, who told him that “People think that when you do a performance with a concept or at a level like that, that it has to be for the Billboard Awards. It has to be for the Grammys. But when they go to BET, they think that they have to tone it down and make it cheap.” The fan, a sixty-year-old black man, was happy to see Tyler bring such an elaborate and creative performance to the BET stage. Tyler found himself particularly touched by the encounter, to the point where “his eyes started watering.” 

Clearly, Tyler, The Creator’s BET performance was an impactful one on a variety of levels, and we can only hope he leads by example and encourages other artists to follow suit. For more from the Call Me If You Get Lost emcee, check out the full story over at Complex.

WATCH: Tyler, The Creator performs LUMBERJACK at the BET Awards