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The Grammy Awards celebrated hip-hop’s 50th anniversary on Sunday night with a 14-minute performance, packed with luminaries from the genre’s past and present.
More than 20 of hip-hop’s biggest artists took to the Grammys stage for an exciting cross-generational mix that became one of the highlights of this year’s awards show. Fans around the world and onlookers in attendance (like Jay-Z) were captivated as they watched hip-hop pioneers and rising stars get the showcase they deserved on “music’s biggest night.” Nowhere else have we had the chance to see Public Enemy share the stage with Lil Baby, or Melle Mel performing in the same venue as GloRilla. The performance could easily have focused solely on old-school or new-school stars, but Questlove, who organized the lineup, was smart enough to amp up everyone for the hip-hop anniversary.
Here’s a full list of all the artists who appeared on stage for the Grammy’s famous hip-hop tribute:
black pansy: Black Thought, who co-founded The Roots with Questlove in 1987, showcased the mix of rhyming performances about how hip-hop got its start 50 years ago “and took the world by storm” .
Grandmaster Flash: Credited with pioneering crossfades, Grandmaster Flash set the tone for early ’80s hip-hop. Considered hip-hop’s most important DJ, he performed two of his early hits, “Flash to the Beat” from 1979 (with MCs Melle Mel and Scorpio) and 1982’s “The Message” (with MCs Melle Mel, Rahiem and Barshon), both of which served as blueprints for the next four decades of rapping.
Run-DMC: Run-DMC was catapulted to fame with massive MTV airplay of tracks like 1985’s “King of Rock,” which the two surviving members of the trio, MCs Run and DMC, presented triumphantly at the Grammys.
LL Cool J: After the Beastie Boys and producer Rick Rubin championed LL Cool J as a teenager, the perennial Kangol-wearing MC quickly became one of the most skilled songwriters of the 80s and continued his reign decade after decade. At the Grammys, he performed his breakthrough 1985 hit, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” (which he co-wrote with Rubin), and 1986’s “Rock the Bells” with help from the ever-underrated DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Salt-n-Pepa: MCs Cheryl James and Sandra Denton have reunited as Salt-N-Pepa for a performance of ‘My Mic Sounds Nice,’ since their debut in 1986 Hot, cool and vicious. It became the first gold and then platinum album by female rappers.
Rakim: Rakim rapped his first single with DJ Eric B, “Eric B Is President”. The hip-hop duo are often revered as one of music’s greatest as the leaders of the genre’s golden era.
Public enemy: Original hip-hop rebels Public Enemy, comprised of rapper Chuck D and hype man Flavor Fav, recorded black discontent with vigor, especially with their second album It takes a nation of millions to hold us back. “Rebel Without a Pause” is the first single.
Soul : The rap trio whose jazz-infused work has come to define underground hip-hop, performed the song “Buddy” at the Grammys.
Scarface: The member of legendary Houston hip-hop group the Geto Boys performed “My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me” on the biggest music stage.
Ice – T: The gangsta rap icon, who has achieved both underground and mainstream success, wowed the crowd when he launched into ‘New Jack Hustler (Nino’s Theme)’, the 1991 hit that was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Queen Latifah: The rap pioneer who paved the way for women in hip-hop stunned audiences as she performed “UNITY,” the 1993 hit single with a powerful message about uplifting and protecting black women.
method man: “METHOD Man” of the Wu-Tang Clan Enter the 36 rooms album made Method Man the band’s first solo star from Staten Island. “I’ll Be There For You / You’re All I Need To Get Through This” with Mary J. Blige (and his later work with Redman) helped him rise to more fame, and he’s since become a movie and television star as well. .
Big Boi: Half of Atlanta’s legendary Outkast, Big Boi’s fast pace and memorable spirit, which he showed on the Grammys stage during a solo performance of “ATLiens”, compensated Andre 3000 with legendary effect on landmark albums such as Stankonia And Aquemini.
Rhymes of Busta: The New York rapper started as the star of Leaders Of The New School, then rose to prominence as a soloist with his verse “Scenario” which steals the show. Since then, he’s cemented himself as an imaginative, tongue-twisting lyricist on classics like “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” and “Touch It,” with his hypeman Spliff Star by his side the entire time. He performed his hyper-fast verse to Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” during the medley.
Missy Elliot: Missy Elliott is one of hip-hop’s greatest innovators – flipping the beats, playing choruses backwards (literally), and taking the rap into the club. rolling stone ranked his “Miss E…So Addictive” number seven on his list of top rap albums, and “Get Ur Freak On” as the eighth best song of all time. On stage, she launched into a powerful medley that included “Get Ur Freak On” and “Lose Control.”
Nely: The St. Louis rapper put the Midwest on the mainstream map with effortlessly catchy hits like ’00s “Country Grammar” and “EI.” At the Grammys, he performed his 2002 hit, “Hot in Herre.” , produced by the Neptunes and built around a sample of go-go legend Chuck Brown.
Too short : One of the hottest vocals in rap dating back to the 80s, Too $hort made his mark early on with albums like Life in 1988 is…too short – and kept hitting club classics well into the 21st century. “Blow the Whistle”, the song he performed during the hip hop tribute, was a hit in 2006.
Swizz Beatz and The Lox: Lox, born in Yonkers, the trio of Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch, are beloved for the gritty lyricism they unleashed on beloved albums such as We are the streets, their Ruff Ryders debut backed by the burgeoning production of Swizz Beatz. The three men have since embarked on solo careers, Jadakiss becoming “Mr. Verzuz”, and have taken to the stage to show off their best skills.
Little baby : Since the fall Perfect timing in 2017, the young rapper has been on what feels like an extended run, with songs like “Freestyle”, “Bigger Picture” and “Drip Too Hard” (featuring Gunna) showing off his mesh of catchy melody, deft lyricism and dark depictions of the streets of Atlanta.
Lil Uzi Vert: Even by bold hip-hop standards, boundary-pushing Lil Uzi Vert looks like an outlier. Songs like “XO Tour Llif3,” “The Way Life Goes,” and now “Just Wanna Rock” have made the Philadelphia (or Mars) native a Gen Z favorite.
GloRilla: The rapper, who rocketed out of Memphis, has taken the hip-hop world by storm since dropping her viral mega hit “FNF (Let’s Go).” Teams with rap heavyweights like Cardi B and Moneybagg Yo soon followed, and less than a year after her first major release, she’s front and center at the Grammys.