Questlove-directed hip-hop celebration performance added to Grammy Awards

Missy Elliott, Public Enemy and Run-DMC are among the stars performing during the hip-hop celebration at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy announced that the “65th Grammy Awards” would include a star-studded hip-hop celebration performance during its telecast. Roots drummer and bandleader Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is overseeing the historical production.

The performance is in recognition of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary this year. It features appearances from various generations of the genre’s biggest stars. LL Cool J, a past Grammys host, will not only introduce the segment, but will perform and give a dedication to hip-hop.

From there, the tribute will include early hip-hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash and his Furious Five bandmates Melle Mel and Scorpio-Ethiopian King and Run-DMC. Also included are legends from hip-hop’s golden age, including Public Enemy, Ice-T, Salt-N-Pepa with DJ Spinderella, Rakim, De La Soul, Too $hort and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Clarence Avant - Inside
LL Cool J speaks on Feb. 9, 2019 during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Clarence Avant at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Rap superstars from the 1990s, such as Queen Latifah, Busta Rhymes with Spliff Star, Big Boi of Outkast, Missy Elliott, Method Man, The Lox and Scarface will also appear. The tribute will also feature rappers from the 21st century, including Lil Wayne, Nelly, Future, Lil Baby, GloRilla and producer Swizz Beatz.

Thompson serves as the musical director of the performance. He’s also producing the tribute with his manager Shawn Gee, Jesse Collins, Patrick Menton of Fulwell 73 and Creative Producer Fatima Robinson.

“For five decades, hip-hop has not only been a defining force in music, but a major influence on our culture,” said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “Its contributions to art, fashion, sport, politics, and society cannot be overstated. I’m so proud that we are honoring it in such a spectacular way on the GRAMMY stage. It is just the beginning of our year-long celebration of this essential genre of music.”

The 2023 Grammy Awards, which Trevor Noah will host, is scheduled to air live at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday on CBS from Arena in Los Angeles. The ceremony will also stream live on Paramount+.

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