Hip-Hop Turns 50 at 2023 Grammy Awards With Stacked Lineup, From Busta Rhymes to Lil Uzi Vert

Performers also included Lil Baby, Missy Elliott, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Flavor Flav and more

50 Years of Hip Hop Grammys Performance
Getty Images for the Recording Academy

On Sunday night, the Grammys celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with a jam-packed and star-studded 15-minute segment that put a huge smile on the faces of Jay-Z, Doja Cat, Adele and Pharrell Williams, among others.

After a short introduction from LL Cool J, performances kicked off with legacy acts such as Ice-T, Rakim with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flavor Flav, Run-D.M.C., Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man and Too Short. During the medley, Busta Rhymes performed “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” his 1997 hit and transitioned with ease into his 2011 verse on Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.” He deftly rapped through his speedy verse as the camera panned to DJ Khaled, who was waving a lighter in the air with eager approval.

The historic moments continued with appearances from Grandmaster Flash and Grandmaster Melle Mel, while women in hip-hop were represented by Salt-N-Pepa followed by Queen Latifah, who brought the audience to their feet with the firey “U.N.I.T.Y.” Missy Elliott also shook the room with a booming rendition of “Lose Control.”

Fresh faces like GloRilla and Lil Baby, who performed “Freestyle,” were symbols of the new generation of hip-hop. Lil Uzi Vert closed the epic Grammy moment by popping out to hype up the crowd with their TikTok favorite “Just Wanna Rock,” as all of the segment’s performers congregated on stage.

“Multi-generational. 50 years. From the Bronx to TikTok, to the whole world. We love you baby,” LL Cool J said to conclude the tribute. “We started in the Bronx and ever since then its gone everywhere — to the Five Boroughs, to the West Coast, to the heartland, overseas, to Europe, to Africa, to Asia, TikTok. What else is next?!”