As expected, the star-studded 50th-anniversary tribute to Hip-Hop was a highlight of the 2023 Grammy Awards, with some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop ripping the stage in honor of the genre.
LL COOL J introduced the inaugural Global Impact Award named after Dr. Dre. "I’m extremely moved by this award,” Dre said during his speech. “Where would a lot of people in this room be without hip-hop?"
From there, the all-star tribute kicked off. The rousing set included a medley of high-profile performances from Big Boi, Busta Rhymes with Spliff Star, De La Soul, DJ Drama, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Missy Elliott, GloRilla, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio/Ethiopian King, Ice-T, Lil Baby, The Lox, Method Man, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rahiem, Rakim, RUN-D.M.C., Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella, Scarface, Swizz Beatz, and Too $hort.
The set opened with Black Thought before sliding into a medley from LL COOL J, Grandmaster Melle Mel, the Furious Five, Rakim, Public Enemy, and Scarface rapping the Geto Boys classic "Mind Playing Tricks On Me." Latifah hit the stage for a rousing rendition of "UNITY,” followed by Method Man, Big Boi, and Busta Rhymes. Missy Elliott, who was recently nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, delivered "Lose Control,” while Nelly, Too $hort, and Jadakiss also hit the stage. Lil Baby, GloRilla and Lil Uzi Vert represented the newer class of Hip-Hop artists, with LL COOL J joining them on stage and letting everyone know that Hip-Hop is universal, “from the Bronx, to Tik Tok, to the whole world.”
Questlove was the musical director for the set, and in a clip announced his excitement about the show. “I’m really really thrilled to announce that there’s gonna be a special segment on the Grammy telecast, this Sunday night, honoring hip-hop’s 50th,” he said in the clip. “Can you believe 50? It’s going to be an absolutely amazing moment with some of the biggest names from the genre coming together to celebrate hip-hop history — its past, its present, its future.”