The Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective kicked off the 2023 Grammy Awards weekend by honoring Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott, and Epic Records CEO Sylvia Rhone.
The four Hip-Hop icons received the prestigious Recording Academy Global Impact Award at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday night (February 2).
“I don’t get honored,” Lil Wayne said according to Billboard after taking to the stage following an intro from DJ Khaled and video messages from Drake and Deion Sanders. Swizz Beatz, 2 Chainz, and Tyga performed some of the New Orleans rapper’s hits.
“I’d like to thank Antonia Johnson for reasoning with me and my mom, and my life. I’d like to thank every single one of my kids and every single one of their mothers,” Weezy said.
Dr. Dre reflected on his humble beginnings when he aspired to make enough to “buy a decent pair of shoes” for school. He also shed light on why he works so well with others, producing iconic collabs.
Tributes came from Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Ty Dolla Sign, who performed hits, including a rendition of “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None).”
Meanwhile, Missy Elliott was introduced by Ciara and Mona Scott-Young, with the former hailing her as “the true definition of a legend, an icon, an ultimate rockstar” and the latter praising Missy for changing “the way we experience music.”
“This will never get old to me. I’ve won a lot of awards and I feel the same way,” Missy said during her tearful acceptance speech. “People don’t understand that this is a Global Impact Award. It’s not just neighborhood, it’s global. So it hits different when you stand up here, knowing that when you get something like this, you gotta know that you’ve been through a lot.”
The Virginia native also thanked fellow Global Impact Award recipient Epic Records CEO Sylvia Rhone.
“She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” the four-time Grammy winner said of Rhone, who launched Missy’s career as the former executive of Elektra Records.
Chloe Bailey, Ciara, and Tweet paid homage with performances of Missy’s hits, including Aaliyah’s “One In a Million,” a song Elliott produced with Timbaland.
Swizz Beatz praised “Queen” “Sylvia Rhone the Great” and instructed the audience to honor her with a standing ovation.
“It’s been a lot of years for me in hip-hop, and it’s even more special to me amongst this elite group of artists with Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne, each of whom I’ve had the privilege of working with throughout my career,” the trailblazing executive said. Rhone made history in 1994 as chairman and CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group. The promotion made her the only African-American at the time and the first-ever woman to hold the titles.
Rhone also celebrated the impact of Hip-Hop culture ahead of the 50th anniversary.
“Rising from the embers of the Civil Rights Movement, hip-hop emerged as a revolutionary art form,” she said. “What was once thought to be a momentary effect is now embedded in the fabrics of our daily lives, from fashion and shoes to film to fine art to television to technology and beyond. We have made history. We have changed lives. We are mighty. And we are worldwide.”