Legendary producer and pioneer DJ Marley Marl received his flowers at the 2023 BET Hip-Hop Awards, receiving the I Am Hip-Hop Award for his decades-long service to the culture.
Swizz Beatz and Timbaland introduced the Queens trailblazer following a video montage honoring his significant contributions and career highlights.
“Marly Marl was the first Hip-Hop producer,” DJ Jazzy Jeff said, opening the highlight reel. “He has produced some of the greatest Hip-Hop beats of all time,” Eminem added. The clip also recognized some of the iconic DJ’s defining moments, including producing Roxanne Shante’s “Roxanne’s Revenge” and LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
“The energy that LL had with Marley’s production lit a fire under LL to make that album what it was,” Eminem added. Watch the tribute below.
“He invented sampling on a record. This is Marley Marl right here,” Swizz Beatz said, presenting the award.
“This started as a dream at 4117 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, Queensbridge,” Marley Marl explained during his acceptance speech. He went on to pay tribute to his late partner and fellow Hip-Hop legend. “I accept this award, but I gotta share it with Mr. Magic, rest in peace. One of us made it brother! This goes to you.”
Rakim and LL Cool J celebrated the founder of the legendary Juice Crew collective with performances of their biggest Marley Marl-produced hits. The set was backed by DJ Jazzy Jeff and Technician The DJ on the turntables.