Several hip-hop luminaries took the stage at the 2023 MTV VMAs this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the genre with a decade-spanning performance. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne all came together to offer highlights from their respective careers and hype each other up in the process. Take a look below.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five got things started with “The Message,” after which Slick Rick and Dougie Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew took the stage to perform “The Show” and lead the crowd in a chant of “Go Jersey!” Nicki Minaj performed “Itty Bitty Piggy” and “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” before bringing out Lil Wayne for “A Milli.” LL Cool J and McDaniels closed the segment out with classics like “I’m Bad,” ending on a rendition of Run DMC and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”

Nicki Minaj emceed this year’s VMAs after winning the 2022 Video Vanguard Award, and also performed new unreleased material during the program. Lil Wayne debuted his recent single “Kat Food” during the show, and Diddy was presented with the Global Icon Award for his career in hip-hop as an artist, producer, and business mogul.

Follow along with all of Pitchfork’s coverage of the 2023 VMAs.


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