Spirited a performance though Kanye West gave at this past weekend’s SNL under host Melissa McCarthy, the always-tempestuous artist appeared visibly upset in his brief promo appearances. There may have been more to that story than West’s usual dour expression however, as reports claim Kanye very nearly bailed last-minute over stress.

Take this one with a grain of salt for now, as reports of Kanye’s erratic behavior have been fueling media for weeks now, but the New York Post’s Page Six claims that the hip-hop star and attempted fashion mogul had an “epic meltdown” backstage minutes before air, nearly abandoning SNL until Lorne Michaels and Kim Kardashian stepped in.

Said two sources:

It had something to do with the set,. Kim, who was in the audience with Kylie Jenner, had to come down. Lorne had to personally talk to Kanye. There were a few really tense minutes … He freaked out about how the set was arranged. He was saying he’s ‘the greatest artist.’ He’s having regular meltdowns. Everyone’s walking on eggshells around him. He’s under a lot of stress between the new album and the fashion line.

SNL has had its fair share of live complications over the years, particularly when it comes to musical acts, though none have ever voluntarily left moments before air. Saturday was also Kanye’s sixth official outing as musical guest (seventh with the 40th anniversary special), but might Michaels think twice about a return?

In the meantime, Jonah Hill will lead the next SNL on March 5, with musical guest Future.

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