While this years VH1 Hip Hop Honors ceremony will mark six years since VH1 started the annual tradition of celebrating the best in Hip-Hop culture, it will mark two firsts as well.
VH1 has announced that this years award ceremony, to be held on Tuesday, October 12, will pay homage to Def Jam Records in recognition of the legendary labels 25th anniversary.
This year will also mark the star-studded events departure from the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, relocating to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York.
30 Rock star and Saturday Night Live alum Tracy Morgan will reprise his role as host for the third consecutive year.
Former Yo! MTV Raps host Fab 5 Freddie and author/filmmaker Nelson George will also continue to serve as the programs executive producers.
In previous years, the VH1 Hip Hop Honors have celebrated the accomplishments and contributions of pioneering artists including KRS-One, Public Enemy, Sugarhill Gang, Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Rakim, Cypress Hill and MC-Lyte.
Through interviews with the honorees and their peers and tribute performances by newer artists, the program has simultaneously allowed the original Hip-Hop generation to reminisce while introducing the next generation to those who paved the way.
Each year, the VH1 Hip Hop Honors has also recognized iconic films, movies and individuals who helped to mold the culture, from the graffiti movement, honored in 2004, to R&B great Isaac Hayes, who was celebrated last year just two months after his untimely death.
However, 2009 will mark the first time a record label is commemorated.
It is impossible to pay tribute to the best in Hip-Hop without recognizing Def Jam Records, says VH1s EVP of Music Production Lee Rolontz. Throughout the years VH1 has honored numerous artists from the Def Jam label, but due to the magnificent impact that Def Jam as a company has made on not only Hip-Hop culture but pop culture as a whole, we thought they definitely deserved the opportunity to be honored.
With Def Jam serving as this years top honoree, the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors promises not only a gathering of the bonafide superstars who have come to represent the label, either in the studio, like Public Enemy, Kanye West, Rick Ross and Rihanna; or in the office as Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, LA Reid and Jay-Z have done.
In addition to Def Jams musical legacy, VH1 Hip Hop Honors will also celebrate the Hip-Hop brands impact on comedy, spoken word, fashion and pop culture in general.
Additional details about the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors, including performers, presenters, specific honorees and related programming will be made available later this summer at VH1.com.