The 2023 MTV VMAs closed out with a performance honoring 50 years of hip-hop.
The performance featured a collection of rappers from various eras. This included: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5, Slick Rick, Run-DMC, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and LL COOL J.
With this being hip-hop’s 50th birthday (allegedly) it’s not surprising that MTV would have some sort of performance acknowledging the culture. This one is probably not on the same level as the epic performance Questlove put together at the Grammys and what BET did during their awards show. But there were some elements of the performance that were interesting.
Run-DMC — well really just DMC, since Run wasn’t there — was a nice addition to the lineup. DMC held things down, bringing a lot of energy; this was his first VMAs performance since Run-DMC closed the 1987 VMAs, performing “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith.
This was also the first time in 25 years that LL COOL J hit the VMAs stage. (LL COOL has seemingly yet to turn down a hip-hop 50 performance.)
While Nicki and Wayne (who both hit the stage earlier in the evening) performed street classics, like “Itty Bitty Piggy” and “A Milli,” respectively.
Watch the performance below.