Hip-Hop and the GRAMMYs have always had a somewhat shaky relationship over the year’s. From when the first Hip-Hop categories were introduced in 1989 and boycotted by Def Jam and most everyone from the genre. That even included that year’s inaugural winners in the category, Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince. To some artists such as Eminem and Drake, among those still boycotting the awards in recent year’s as well, but it still getting slightly better over the past several year’s too. With such legends as Nas and Slick Rick. Among those finally getting their just dues from The Recording Academy.
With 2023 being the year the genre celebrates 50 year’s. It was as perfect a time as ever for The Recording Academy/GRAMMYs organization to try to rewrite some of those wrongs though. By having a star-studded tribute performance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. That was curated by Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots in partnership with Mass Appeal. An epic medley performance with 33 rappers for a nearly 10-minute retrospective performance. That from the introduction by LL Cool J and Black Thought to Grandmaster Flash performing, The Message. Run-DMC performing, King of Rock, before Salt-n-Pepa with DJ Spinderella coming out to do, My Mic Is Nice, right before the likes of Rakim with his & Eric B’s classic, Eric B for President, Public Enemy, Scarface, Ice-T and Queen Latifah. Came out to perform some of their Hip-Hop classics. Such as Mind Playing Tricks on Me, New Jack Hustler (Nino’s Theme) and the Grammy Award-winning, U.N.I.T.Y.
While still more greats like Method Man came out to his classic single, Method Man. Big Boi coming out to a solo performance of Outkast’s classic, ATLiens, right before Busta Rhymes came out to, Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See and his rapid-fire guest verse on Chris Brown’s, Look At Me Now. To Missy Elliott coming out to a very energetic performance of, Lose Control and Nelly coming out to Hot In Herre, Too $hort with, Blow the Whistle, and The LOX performing Jadakiss & Styles P, We Gonna Make It. Before the performance closed out with some of today’s current hitmakers such as Lil Baby, GloRilla and Lil Uzi Vert.
It was a very well put together performance. That from its beginnings in Queens to its current standings on that Los Angeles stage and worldwide. Shows how much the genre has grown and evolved over these last nearly 50 year’s. With fans in the audience from fellow peers such as JAY-Z and Kendrick Lamar. To actual fans in the crowd and in their living rooms on their feet rapping along as if they were at an actual Hip-Hop concert. This performance also the latest in Mass Appeal’s year long celebration of documentaries, performances and other events celebrating 50 year’s of Hip-Hop. Leading to Hip-Hop’s actual 50th year anniversary later this year.