(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/Kollege Kidd)
Seven-year-old rapper Mir Money marched unto the stage of America's Got Talent with a megawatt smile and every intention to "kill the stage." A blunt rejection from the show's shock jock judge Howard stern, however, soon left him in tears and many debating was Stern too harsh?
The heartbreaking scene unfolded just over a year ago on the talent show but the now viral clip of the young rapper's performance and Stern's response has racked up more than 32 million views on YouTube and continues to fuel a heated conversation.
After giving a heartwarming introduction in which he tells the crowd that he likes himself and would use the $1 million prize money from the show to take care of his family, the young rapper from Philadelphia quickly got his first 'X' from Stern after rapping "I'm only 7-years-old, it's gonna be my year!"
Visibly shaken by the sound of the ominous buzzer, the kid soldiers on through his performance until co-host, Sharon Osbourne, adds another 'X' to his sentence.
Howie Mandel then asks Mir Money if he was angry when he stops rapping and he responds: "No."
Noticing the situation getting awkward, host Nick Cannon offers the winded rapper a bottle of water as the conversation continues and tries to soften the blow of what he sees coming, but it doesn't help much.
As soon as Stern begins his critique of his performance, Mir Money's composure crumbles and he closes his eyes to hold back the tears and the audience winces.
Even Stern himself breaks out, "this job is too rough for me I don't want to do it anymore."
He eventually comforts the kid and sends him along but the whole episode left a gut-wrenching feeling for the kid in the air. Many felt the situation was unavoidable.
"Howard's just doing his job and it wouldn't be fair if they all said yes just cause he cried plus Howard wasn't even mean all he said was no one like hitting the x on a 7 year old the kid is brave and good but do you really think he would be good for Las Vegas? There may be more judgmental people in the crowd and might make him cry," wrote Megan Stranz on the YouTube clip.
"Howard was very kind, he didn't make him cry. His parents and anyone who used his age to exploit him and try to gain sympathy points are to blame," wrote Joseph Kim about the clip on YouTube.
Others supported the rapper and predicted he would be much better when he gets older.
"Hey Kid , Don't Worry , That's a Start , so You soon will be Rapping and Ripping The Stages , so Give Yourself a Chance to make things better very soon , cause you're digging it to be a 7 years old Boy , so I Hope Good Luck Next Time Homeboy !" wrote Hector Aldea.