Here’s Every Rapper Who Performed at the Grammys 50th Anniversary Hip-Hop Tribute
The highlight of the 2023 Grammy Awards was arguably the tribute set to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.
On Sunday (Feb. 5), at the 65th annual Grammy Awards telecast, hip-hop luminaries from the genre's past and present rocked the mic for an amazing 14-minute performance. The Grammys has had a rocky relationship with hip-hop, but on music's biggest night, all that appears to be forgiven, at least for the moment.
The hip-hop tribute set features over two dozen artists and songs from five decades, and it was curated by Questlove of the Roots and narrated by fellow bandmate Black Thought and LL Cool J. Speaking of which, Uncle L presented the Global Impact Award named after Dr. Dre, who was the first recipient, before kicking off the hip-hop medley at the Grammys.
The performance opened with Grandmaster Flash performing his traditional record-scratching and drum-machine techniques on an original Vox box of his 1979 song "Flash to the Beat." He then segued into "The Message" with Melle Mel and the members of the Furious Five rapping the song. Run-DMC followed with "King of Rock" and then LL Cool J rocked the crowd with his signature hits "I Can't Live Without My Radio" and "Rock the Bells." Salt-N-Pepa, who was among the first-ever Grammy nominees in a rap category, along with Rakim and Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flava Flav performed next.
Representing the late 1990s were Big Boi of OutKast and Missy Elliott, who performed her 2005 club hit "Lose Control." Busta Rhymes performed his 1997 hit "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" before showing off his verbal dexterity with his rapid-fire verse from Chris Brown’s 2011 song "Look at Me Now."
Closing out the medley were some of today's hottest artists. Lil Baby came through and performed "Freestyle," Glorilla had the audience reciting lyrics from her viral mega-hit "F.N.F (Let’s Go)" and a spikey-haired Lil Uzi Vert performed his TikTok hit "Just Wanna Rock."
In the end, the Grammys' tribute to hip-hop showed the cultural impact of the genre from the streets of the Bronx to TikTok and beyond.
Check out the photos and watch the full performance of the 2023 Grammy Awards' 50th anniversary to hip-hop below.