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Hip-Hop will celebrate its fiftieth year of existence this summer and all year, outlets such as ours are celebrating the culture as expected. The Grammy Awards took place on Sunday and carved out time for a segment demonstrating the broad scope of the music that has emerged over the past half-century.
For those uninitiated, August 11, 1973, is widely considered to be the official birth date of Hip-Hop by way of the legendary DJ Kool Herc. For the 65th Annual Grammy Awards celebration, LL COOL J introduced the segment produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots fame. Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter narrated the first two “chapters” of the tribute, which opened with a two-song set from Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Melle Mel, and Rahiem of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five fame.
They were later joined by Run-DMC, LL COOL J, Salt-N-Pepa, Rakim, Chuck D, and Flava Flav of Public Enemy fame. De La Soul, Scarface, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Method Man, Big Boi of Outkast, Busta Rhymes, Spliff Starr, and Missy Elliot came through for the second chapter.
With the aforementioned Queen Latifah taking over narration duties for the final act, Nelly and City Spud, Too $hort, The Lox with Swizz Beatz, Lil Baby, GloRilla, and Lil Uzi Vert ended the tribute.
Adding to this, the Grammys also had a rolling scroll of several Hip-Hop acts from both the mainstream and underground, including J-Live, Sage Francis (“watch me as I do dances”), The Arsonists, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Spice 1, Kid Capri, and many more.
There was some chatter about certain acts being snubbed or not featured in the tribute, and Questlove answered those inquires and fought off the snub accusations in the thread we’ll post below.
On Twitter, the reactions to the tribute from both artists and fans alike were heartwarming to witness which hammered home just how vital and influential the genre continues to be. We’ve got all those reactions, including the tribute, below.