For the third consecutive year, actor/comedian Tracy Morgan served as the host of the sixth annual VH1 Hip-Hop Honors, which aired last night. The annual celebration was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York last month. This year’s highly anticipated show celebrated the 25th anniversary of Def Jam Records, the imprint which most would say catapulted Hip-Hop.
Tons of celebrities came out to pay respect to Def Jam including Public
Enemy, Warren G, Kid Rock, Chris Rock, Eminem, Rick Ross, Fabolous,
Ludacris, DMX, Mary J. Blige, Redman, The Roots, Method Man, ONYX, Wale, KRS-One, the Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy, Kid Rock, Jimmy Fallon, film/video director Brett Ratner, Trey Songz, Ja Rule and Scarface, among others.
front of a packed house and with DJ Jazzy Jeff on the one’s and two’s
Black Thought of the Roots and Eminem opened up the show with a tribute
to LL Cool J performing his hit “Rock the Bells.” In 1984 LL Cool J
became Def Jam’s flagship artist. He was the first rap artist to
accrue ten platinum-plus selling albums.
the course of evening video interviews of the pioneers of Def Jam were
broadcast featuring the likes of Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, Lyor Cohen, Kevin Liles and
Julie Greenwald, who told stories reflecting on the label
since its inception.
performances of the night included Scarface with “Guess Who’s Back” and Ludacris hit
the stage performing “Southern Hospitality,” representing for Def Jam
South. Redman and Method Man performed “Da Rockwilder,” Foxy Brown
made an appearance performing “I’ll Be Good” with Fabolous, who replaced Jay-Z.
Def Jam legacy transcends through many generations, and the new
generation of Hip-Hop and R&B also came out to pay homage. “Def Jam
has created legends, not only stars and superstars, but legends. I
would definitely say this award or honor is very well deserved and I’m
honored to be here,” Trey Songz told AllHipHop.com, who performed Nate Dogg’s part on
“Regulate” alongside rapper Warren G.
Wale performed Kanye West‘s “Touch the sky” and he also reflected on
the importance of Def Jam. “First of all Krush Groove is one of my
favorite movies of all time, it’s synonymous with Hip-Hop. You got to
respect the company that’s for the artist, for the culture. They
haven’t bastardized the culture at all so you got to respect that,” he said.
by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin in 1984, Def Jam Records continues to
be a major player in the Hip-Hop industry today with a roster that
currently includes Young Jeezy, The Dream, Fabolous, and Ace Hood to
name a few.LL Cool J, Jay-Z and Kanye West were among some of artists that was noticeably missing from Def Jam’s 25th Honors celebration.