The VH1 Hip Hop Honors was a star studded event. Several celebrities, from our favorites in film, television, and music came out to honor and support the Queens of Hip Hop.
VH1 honored a few iconic and very beautiful hip-hop musicians, Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim and Salt n Peppa and DJ Spinderella. These legendary honorees kicked down the doors of a male dominate industry and paved the way for female emcees for generations to come.
The night began with an inspiring message from Black Lives Matter founders Darnell Moore and Alicia Garza.
“This movement is grounded in black people’s dignity, justice and freedom. It’s about love, not violence,” Garza said.
Moore added, “In challenging times, our music heals us, unites us and uplifts us. Black activists are fighting to create a world where all forms of violence – in Baton Rouge, in Minneapolis, in Dallas – are no more. A world where Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Philander Castile might still be alive.”
“This is not just the work of black people. It is all of our work. We will never stop working to bring about a better world for all of us. Joy is also an important part of our movement.”
The show opened with a tribute to Missy Elliot. Focusing on her creativity, her sound and her iconic videos, VH1 honored Elliot with a stage full of dancers and special guests. Nelly Furtado, Eve with an appearance by Lil Mo, Trina and Remy Ma took the stage to perform the hit songs, Work It, Get Ur Freak On, Hot Boyz, and One Minute Man in honor of the legendary emcee.
If that wasn’t enough, powerhouse vocalists Monica, Fantasia and sultry sounds of Tweet graced the stage to perform the hits she produced for them.
Pharrell, Busta Rhymes, Jasmine Sullivan, Keyshia Cole and Timbaland showed up to present in tribute to Elliot. With more hit records than most of the men in the game, as presenter Angie Martinez stated, Missy’s influence has impacted the industry in a way that, not even Missy, herself, could have ever imagined.
For 30 years, Salt n Pepa and DJ Spinderella sold out arenas with their songs, “Whatta Man”, “Shoop” and the all time favorite “Push It.” Vh1 talk show host, Amber Rose kicked off the tribute with a flawless plug for her new show, where she talks about sex, pop culture, hot topics and more. “Let’s talk about sex, baby,” she sang. “Let’s talk about you and me,” she continued. Adam Blackstone and “Orange is the New Black” stars also presented the tribute to Salt n Pepa, introducing performers Eve, Ashanti, Dreezy and Keke Palmer.
Newark native, Queen Latifah has had success in music as she transformed from her initial stage name Latifah to Queen. She’s had success in film, starring in classics such as Set It Off, Secret Life of The Bees and Chicago. Latifah also conquered television on screen and behind the scenes with The Queen Latifah Show, Living Single and Single Ladies.
The tribute included presenters such as LL Cool J and Phylicia Rashad. In true Queen fashion, Latifah took the stage to perform her own songs, including “When You’re Good to Mama” from Chicago and a medley of her hits. “Come into My House,” “Monie in the Middle,” and “Ladies First” with Monie Love.
“I’m hoping that we can somehow manage to channel these emotions in a positive way, and really do something to change our world. If I go outside and try to hail a cab and he passes me for a while woman, racism is still alive and kickin’. We gotta change this attitude, we must demand respect as women,” Latifah said during her acceptance speech.
On her very own birthday, Lil Kim was honored for her style, fashion and music. Designer Marc Jacobs presented a small fashion show, showcasing Kim’s legendary looks. Former foe, Faith Evans introduced the tribute recognizing Kim for her confidence, talent, and the respect she gained from Biggie Smalls. “She went toe to toe with him, sh*t, sometimes she went toe to toe with me! Hello!” Kim’s skill was honored by The Lox, Lil Mama and Teyana Taylor, who absolutely killed it.
For her birthday, The Notorious K. I. M. was surprised with cake and an introduction by Diddy. The two embraced before Kim took the stage to perform her hit songs “Queen B,” “Get Money,” and “Lighters up.”
The night also included a special appearance from First Lady Michelle Obama honoring the Queens of Hip Hop. Each honoree took the time to acknowledge the tragedy our nation has seen in the last few weeks. All urging us to speak up, step out and do something.
For the grand finale, Queen Latifah performed U.N.I.T.Y. with Hip Hop greats, MC Lyte, Rah Digga, Mia X, Da Brat, Ms Jade, The Lady of Rage, YoYo and many more.