The Best Hip-Hop Moments From The 2014 VMAs

jay z beyonce blue ivy vmas best moments

Last night’s MTV Video Music Awards served up a whole lot of strange moments—what was Jay Pharoah doing on stage for such a long time, for instance?—and a slew of memorable ones as well. But despite the nominations being full of rappers, only a few actually made it to the stage. XXL took a look at some of the best hip-hop related moments from last night’s 2014 VMAs.

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Nicki Minaj’s performances

Nicki has basically never failed us at this point, and her three performances last night all brought something new to the table. She twerked, she rapped, she crooned, she nearly had a wardrobe malfunction. She wore all gold, all black, all white, and barely anything. She performed her new single “Anaconda,” but left the snake at home (punishment for biting). She ran the gamut from pop to rap to R&B. What else can she do? Feels like everything sometimes.

Iggy Azalea’s performance

Iggy got shut out in the awards category, even though Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” a song she’s featured on, won Best Pop Video (Iggy didn’t go on stage to accept). But her performance still resonated, as she performed her new song with Rita Ora called “Black Widow” and generally got everyone all excited by actually rapping pretty well. Their matching body suits also went over pretty well, though no one was gonna top Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” outfit for first place in that category.

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RiFF RAFF in his entirety

So RiFF RAFF showed up, and not only did he show up he pulled it off in pretty much the most memorable way possible—rolling up in a gold Lamborghini alongside one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. But not only did he do that, he also wore a denim suit—matching Katy Perry—that was a direct callback to the Britney Spears/Justin Timberlake denim disaster from a decade ago. Somehow it made sense for RiFF, of course, because somehow everything makes sense for him that doesn’t seem to make sense for anyone else. But then he got totally curved by Ariana Grande, which set him back a bit. You win some, you lose some.