VH1 hosted their big Hip Hop Honors event in my hometown of Brooklyn last night, paying homage to the last 25 years of Def Jam. I had the pleasure of attending the show and I must say, being a big fan of the yearly ceremony I was happy to witness the festivities first hand, but I can’t wait to really enjoy it from the comfort of my own living room.
You see there are certain things you obviously want to witness in person, like Jay-Z’s 9-11 benefit concert. I was lucky enough to score some press passes for that and I must say that was one of the illest performances I have ever seen, but with these award-type shows (I know no one actually won an award, I just don’t know what else to call it) they are not really meant to be seen during the taping process. Besides the long boring breaks in between sets, a lot of the times the artists have to do more than one take to get it right and in this case, the way the venue was set up, the sound was not at all complimentary to the music.
At the same time, I’m sure when I catch the show on October 13, it will be a whole new experience. VH1 knows how to make TV, throwing a concert, now that’s another ball game.
But don’t get me wrong. The night had a lot of highlights. Here’s a rundown of some of my personal favorite moments:
-DMX rejuvenated and bouncing around the stage performing “Party Up (Up in Here)” as if he didn’t just spend the last chunk of his life behind bars,
- Trey Songz trying out his best baritone voice as he played Nate Dogg in Warren G’s smoothed out classic “Regulate”
- Scarface and Luda reuniting onstage as Facemob went through a killer rendition of “Guess Who’s Back” and Luda tore the house down with “Southern Hospitality”
- A huge medley of Def Jam hits performed by Kid Rock, Ghostface, EPMD, Wale channeling Kanye, and Fabolous doing his best Jay-Z alongside Foxy Brown, while DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Roots served as the back-up band.
While I wasn’t blown away by Eminem’s tribute to LL Cool J it was pretty bugged seeing him “Rock the Bells” with Black Thought and Jazzy Jeff. Plus watching Lyor Cohen, Russell Simmons and Chris Rock’s reactions to all the performances is always entertaining.
Question is what are you guys most amped about? –Jesse Gissen