As expected, the 2023 Grammys has become one to remember, much in part thanks to its rewind-worthy performances. The biggest of them all was curated by Questlove in celebration of hip hop’s 50th anniversary, and — with some additional help from The Roots — the decorated producer and filmmaker brought the audience to its feet with an amazing tribute. In addition to the Philly legends, viewers and attendees watched on as everyone from LL Cool J to DJ Drama hit the stage to deliver their contributions to the art form. Pioneers like Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, Ice T, Scarface and Too $hort shared the stage with relative newcomers like GloRilla, Lil Baby, and Lil Uzi Vert, bringing together a union of generations not often seen on such a platform.
Prior to the big moment, Questlove spoke about the opportunity and the hard work behind it to People (above) while on the red carpet:
“I’m nervous. I’m grateful for it,” he said. “This is our moment to have a seat at the table — not have it or get it, but, really, to be the people that establish it. And I’m really grateful.”
He continued: “It came along very quickly, like four weeks, around Christmas time. Making a lot of phone calls, having a lot of debates on what songs should we do, not do, and really just kind of compressing down to a very tight 14 minutes. My first version was 21 minutes.”
In addition to the massive celebration, this year’s Grammy Awards was filled with nominations for hip hop heavyweights. Frontrunners included DJ Khaled, Future and Kendrick Lamar, the last of whom won Best Rap Performance for his culture-shifting single “The Heart Part 5.” Latto earned a nod for Best New Artist, while Doja Cat has a chance to score Record of the Year.
Check out the Questlove-backed tribute below.
50-year anniversary of hip-hop performance at the #GRAMMYs by some of the greats including RunDMC, LL Cool J, Salt N Peppa, Ice T, Queen Latifah, Wu-Tang, Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Nelly, Too Short, GloRilla, The Roots, and more… pic.twitter.com/HmGB0bvGZX
— Leon Carrington (@LeonCarrington) February 6, 2023