Hip-hop culture shut down the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night (February 5). During a 50th anniversary hip-hop tribute co-curated by Questlove, an evolution of rap acts blazed the stage. Introduced by LL Cool J with narration from Black Thought, artists to appear during the all-star set included Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, Spliff Star, DJ Drama, Missy Elliott, GloRilla, Ice-T, Lil Baby, The Lox, Method Man, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rakim, Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Scarface, Swizz Beatz, Too $hort and others.
Classics heard during the segment were De La Soul’s “Buddy,” Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y.,” GloRilla’s “FNF (Let’s Go)” and more.
“For five decades, hip-hop has not only been a defining force in music, but a major influence on our culture,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, shared in a statement prior to the ceremony. “It’s contributions to art, fashion, sport, politics, and society cannot be overstated. I’m so proud that we are honoring it in such a spectacular way on the Grammy stage. It is just the beginning of our year-long celebration of this essential genre of music.”
Hours before the 2023 Grammys, Questlove shared on the red carpet that Will Smith, the first recipient of the inaugural Grammy Award in the Best Rap Performance category, was unable to join the rap-centric segment.
“But they started shooting Bad Boys 4 this week, so he couldn’t make rehearsals,” Questlove explained. “But he wanted to do it.”
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