Video from the awards show, taking place tonight at the O2 Academy Brixton, shows the U.K. rapper onstage embracing Ontario-raised comedian Ryan during his acceptance speech, asking her to smell his cologne as co-host Julie Adenuga attempts to defuse the situation.
Additional footage from the event shows slowthai telling the co-host, "if you want to do something, see me later," ahead of gloating to the audience that Ryan "wants [him] to tend to her flowers."
He then suggests to Ryan, "You ain't never had no one play with you like that." Ryan sought to downplay his comments by sarcastically suggesting how "thirsty" she was for him.
Watch the incident play out below. NME reports that slowthai then directly engaged with members of the audience.
Footage shows the rapper thanking an audience member for "ruining my speech" before hurling the mic to the arena floor, stepping behind the DJ booth to cue up his Nothing Great About Britain track "Doorman," hurling his drink into the audience, and leaping from the stage in an attempt to confront the crowd member. The audience member reportedly was calling out slowthai for his "misogynist" actions towards Ryan.
In the wake of the incident, Ryan tweeted the following:
He didn't make me uncomfortable.— Katherine Ryan (@Kathbum) February 13, 2020
This is why we need women in positions of power. I knew he had lost from the moment he opened his mouth like any heckler coming up against a COMIC - not a woman - a COMIC. I was operating 2/10. What a sweet boy. I defused it.
Tonight was fun! ❤️ https://t.co/BBMPZpIvhy
UPDATE (2/13, 11:15 a.m. EST): Slowthai has now issued an apology to Ryan, tweeting the following:
.@nme please forward my award to @kathbum for she is the hero of the year. what started as a joke between us escalated to a point of shameful actions on my part. i want to unreservedly apologise, there is no excuse and I am sorry. i am not a hero. (1/2)— tyron. (@slowthai) February 13, 2020
(2/2) katherine, you are a master at your craft and next time i'll take my seat and leave the comedy to you. to any woman or man who saw a reflection of situations they've been in in those videos, i am sorry. i promise to do better. let's talk here.— tyron. (@slowthai) February 13, 2020
Slowthai made his debut with Nothing Great About Britain last year. The album was nominated for the 2019 Mercury Prize.
The rapper recently guested on new Gorillaz song "Momentary Bliss" with Slaves.