The Recording Academy paid tribute to 50 years of Hip-Hip with a star-studded cast performing five decades of hits during the 2023 Grammys Sunday night.
Hip-Hop is celebrating its 50th anniversary later this year, and commemorative events are happening worldwide. The Grammys paid homage with an epic 10-minute-long segment with performances by influential artists from Hip-Hop’s past, present, and future. Check out the clips at the end of the page.
Ll Cool J led the all-star segment produced by Questlove, with fellow The Roots member providing the opening narration. The show kicked off with Hip-Hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Melle Mel, and Rahiem of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five with the iconic track “The Message.”
Among the 1980s acts that followed were Rakim, Run-DMC, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Public Enemy, and Ice T. Segment host Ll Cool J also rocked the stage as did Salt-N-Pepa, Chuck D, and Flavor Flav.
Method Man, Missy Elliott, De La Soul, Scarface, and Busta Rhymes & Spliff Star were among the 1990s icons putting on for the Grammys Hip-Hop 50 segment. Queen Latifah was also on hand performing “U.N.I.T.Y.” and introducing the latest generation of rap stars.
Nelly, Big Boi, and Too Short repped for the 2000s, while Swizz Beatz & the Lox, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, and GloRilla highlighted Hip-Hop talent from the 2010s to the present.
“The Grammys didn’t even respect hip-hop for so long”
“The Grammys didn’t even respect hip-hop for so long, and now to be here, to be honored like this, we’ll take it, absolutely,” Ice-T told People from the red carpet as per LA Times.
“You think about it, it’s kinda come full circle, from now being recognized at the Grammys, to now kind of getting our own moment, to celebrate 50 years of what I like to call ‘The best music on the planet,’” Nelly added.
“Hip Hop has been a driving force in the music and culture,” Questlove said, announcing the tribute. “It has had an immeasurable impact on our culture and our world. I have the great privilege of co-curating it with The Roots and the many others that are gonna join us that night. Shout out to CBS and the Recording Academy for making this happen, and thank you for honoring Hip-Hop with such a high-profile celebration.”