VMAs End with Star-Studded Performance Celebrating Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary

The epic performance featured Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj and more.

The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards went out with a tribute to Hip Hop.

The final, star-studded performance of the night — which went down just before Video of the Year was announced — celebrated the 50th anniversary of the genre.

The massive number featured appearances from Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-DMC, “Human beatbox” Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL Cool J, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj — who also acted as emcee for the evening.

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The tribute kicked off with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five performing their 1982 classic “The Message,” before Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick came out for “The Show.” That then rolled into Nicki breaking into her 2009 hit “Itty Bitty Piggy,” before launching into her recent single “Red Ruby Da Sleeze.” Lil Wayne then hit the stage with “A Milli,” before LL Cool J brought the audience back to the late ’80s and early ’90s with “I’m Bad” and “Mama Said Knock You Out.”

DMC of Run-DMC then joined LL to perform “Here We Go,” before the other performers all came back out on stage to end the number with Run-DMC’s version of “Walk This Way.”

While it went on for about 10-minutes, some online felt it didn’t quite to the anniversary justice — wanting a wider sampling of artists

The performance was a first ever at the VMAs for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. DMC, meanwhile, first made VMA history way back in 1985 when Run-DMC performed “Walk This Way” with alongside Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler.

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