While not as eventful as last year’s memorable MTV Video Music Awards, Sunday (September 12) night’s ceremony had plenty of high points for hip-hop fans.
Eminem opened up the festivities with an explosive performance of “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie.” Backed up by a full orchestra, including a string section and a handful of percussionists, a hooded Shady brought out a red-haired Rihanna, his “Love the Way You Lie” co-star, to the audience’s delight. Although Em had to hightail it to New York after his set, the Detroit lyricist ended up taking home two Moonmen for Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Male Video, both for “Not Afraid.”
Hip-hop may not have won any other awards last night, but Kanye West seemed to come out on top, in yesterday’s much-hyped media showdown between himself and Taylor Swift. Both artists performed new music that touched on last year’s infamous VMA debacle where West interrupted the young pop singer’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video. Where Swift’s song expressed her feeling’s that ‘Ye is still “innocent” despite his frowned upon behavior, the Louis Vuitton Don’s track, titled “Runaway” took a more humorous route, poking fun at his actions. (The chorus goes: “Let’s have a toast for the douche bags/Let’s have a toast for the assholes/Everyone of them that I know”). The Chicago superstar surprisingly brought out Pusha T of Clipse during his set, who has a featured verse on the song.
Other performers for the night included Drake, who brought his new single “Fancy” to life with Mary J. Blige and Swizz Beatz, and B.o.B, who performed his chart-topping hit “Airplanes” live with Paramore’s Hayley Williams for the first time.
For a list of all the winners visit MTV.com. —Elan Mancini