If it’s one thing the Grammy Awards are good for other than golden phonographs, it’s the performances—and this Sunday’s awards ceremony will be a night to remember with hip-hop and rap in the forefront. Compton’s golden child of hip-hop Kendrick Lamar and independent prodigies Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will go head-to-head, the two contending in what might be the most controversial and heated debate of spring 2014—depending on who wins for “Best Rap Album,” and “Album of the Year.” On top of that, both are slated to deliver unforgettable performances along with Jay Z, Beyonce, Pharrell, Daft Punk and even Stevie Wonder set to touch the Staples Auditorium. As we gear up for the awards (airing Jan. 26), here’s nine of of the most memorable hip-hop performances from The Grammy Awards. – Andrew Asare

Lauryn Hill, “To Zion”

Draped in angelic white, celebrating her five Grammy wins, Lauryn Hill delivered a classic acoustic live version of “To Zion” from her critically acclaimed debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Partnering up with another star of 1999, Santana, we knew the joy was not in just Zion, but the world that night—as we watched one of the most beloved lyricists in the world perform.

Eminem featuring Elton John, “Stan”

Eminem and Elton John’s performances of “Stan” shut down any criticisms of the Detroit rapper’s views on homophobia and one of the most memorable duets in Grammy history. Making the statement more clear, Eminem flipped off the audience after hugging Elton John.

OutKast, “Hey Ya”

Taking both coveted titles for “Rap Album of the Year” and “Album of the Year,” for the classic Speakerboxx/The Love Below for 2004, Andre 3000 of OutKast gave an out of this world performance of “Hey Ya,” with an “evergreen” perspective.

Kanye West, “Hey Mama/Stronger”

Kanye’s sentiments towards the Grammy Awards may be not be in the best interests now, but several years ago the academy was convinced that West was just as a resilient and powerful rap figure in his 2008 performance for “Stronger.” Dedicating his performance to his late mother Donda West, 'Ye took home Grammys for “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap Solo Performance. We’re sure that Mama Donda was even more proud of her son that night.

T.I., M.I.A, Kanye West, Jay Z And Lil Wayne, “Swagga Like Us”

Four rap kings and a pregnant M.I.A? Swag! On Grammy night 2009, the “Paper Planes” singer—belly and all—hopped on stage in a sheer outfit with Jay Z, Kanye West, T.I. and four-time Grammy winner Lil Wayne, for a flashy performance of “Swagga Like Us,” proving you individual style is effortless—especially if you about to pop soon.

Eminem, Rihanna And Skylar Grey, “Love The Way You Lie”

You can’t help but stand and watch Em, Rihanna, Dr. Dre and Skylar Grey burn in their 2011 Grammy Performance of “Love The Way You Lie” and “I Need A Doctor.” Along with Adam Levine on the keys the foursome delivered a fiery set of the emo song that told the story of an addictive yet abusive relationship.

Eminem & The Roots, “Lose Yourself"

Marshall Mathers told it like he saw it both in his semi-biopic 8 Mile and in his Grammy performance for the now Academy Award winning masterpiece “Lose Yourself.” Teaming up with The Roots, Eminem captivated audiences with the one opportunity to feel the sting of his journey to the top.

LL Cool J, Chuck D And Travis Barker, “Whaddup”

Rocking out is nothing uncommon for The Grammy Awards, but viewers we’re in for a surprise when LL Cool J, the go-to master of ceremonies, switched up his style—joining Chuck D, Tom Morrello, and Travis Barker for a performance of “Whaddup” at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

Jay Z, Linkin Park And Paul McCartney, “Encore”/”Numb”; “Yesterday”

Known for the classic pairing of duets, The Grammy’s was far too kind to have Jay Z, Linkin’ Park and Paul McCartney perform “Encore/Numb” and “Yesterday” at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Jay draped in the finest of white gave a riveting performance of his now rock-tuned hit with Linkin Park along with a Beatles legend.

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