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Kanye West is turning up the heat with his latest performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.  The rapper took the stage Sunday night to perform his track "Blood On The Leaves."  

[PHOTOS: VMA Highlights]

The minimalist performance featured Kanye's silhouette against Steve McQueen's painting "Lynching Tree."  The stark image depicts a tree in Louisiana that was once used to hang slaves.  Along with the track's sample of Nina Simone's version of "Strange Fruit" -- which protested lynchings and racism -- the image provided an eerie backdrop for Kanye's bobbing silhouette.  The powerful performance rocked the crowd as well as Kanye's girlfriend Kim Kardashian. She quickly took to Twitter to declare his performance the "best performance of the night."