The 65th Annual Grammy Awards featured a special segment celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop. Executive produced by Questlove, the 13-minute performance boasted appearances from Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Too $hort, Queen Latifah and many more. While it was certainly a highlight of the exhaustive four-hour ceremony, some people had a problem with it. MC Shan, in particular, called out several of the performers for their perceived hypocrisy.
On Thursday (February 9), the Juice Crew alum re-shared a throwback photo of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Public Enemy, Salt-n-Pepa, Slick Rick and Kid-n-Play to Instagram. In the caption, he pointed out they initially boycotted the Grammys in 1989 after the Recording Academy refused to televise the rap categories.
“IF YOU SAW ONE OF THESE ARTIST AT THE GRAMMY THEY SELL OUT,” he wrote in all caps. “I TOLD YALL THEY WOULDNT EVEN LET US IN THE DOOR iN 89. BUT NOW THE GRAMMYS IS THE S###. F### YOU, YOU SELL OUT. THAT WAS OUR BLOOD ON THE GROUND THAT YOU SO CASUALLY PASSED ON YOUR WAY IN. SO F### YOU.”
Shan, who appeared angry about the entire situation, insisted he wasn’t upset. He continued: “NO IM NOT MAD THEY AINT CALL ME THEY WOULDA BEEN MAD F### A GOOD LOOK WHERE THE CHECK …ALL THE N-GGAS THAT GOT BIG MONEY WENT ON LAST KALID TO RICH JAY TO RICH FOR A GOOD LOOK SO YOU KNOW THEY BUST THEY HEAD ….LOLOL.”
The rap categories were introduced at the 31st Annual Grammy Awards. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were nominated (and won) the first-ever rap Grammy for “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” But DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith decided not to attend.
“We chose to boycott,” he said at the time. “You go to school for 12 years, they give you your diploma, and they deny you that walk down the aisle.”
Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flavor Flav famously didn’t attend either. They’d already made up their minds about the Recording Academy. As Chuck rapped on the 1988 single “Terminator X to the Edge of Panic,” “Who gives a f### about a g###### Grammy?”
Despite the Grammys’ complicated relationship with Hip-Hop, its 50th anniversary celebration was enough to appease the purists and welcome the next generation.