With the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards right around the corner, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 to be exact, I decided to take a look back at some of hip-hop’s most iconic moments at the GRAMMYs. Rap’s first recognition by The GRAMMYs came in 1996 when DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince took home the award for cross-over hit “Parents Just Don’t Understand” at the 31st GRAMMYs. Although hip-hop has had a strong Grammy presence over the years, only two rap artists have ever won the coveted Album of the Year award: OutKast and Lauryn Hill. That means no Album of the Year awards for Kanye, Jay Z, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Nas, Public Enemy, Wu-Tang, Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Snoop Dogg, Run-DMC, DR. Dre, Eric B & Rakim, etc. There is hope that this year will help spark a change in the right direction as both Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are both nominated for Album of the Year. You will have to tune in to find out.
Below are the Top 7 hip-hop moments in Grammy history in my opinion.
#7 Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke pay tribute to New Orleans with a performance of “Tie My Hands” at the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards. Props to Wayne for putting the spotlight on the people affected by Hurricane Katrina, which were not getting the resources they needed.
#6 T.I., Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and a nine-month pregnant M.I.A. perform “Swagga Like Us” at 51st GRAMMYs. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person wondering if M.I.A. was going to go into labor in the middle of the performance.
#5 OutKast wins Album of the Year at 46th GRAMMYs. Andre requests that viewers do their history and dig into the group’s catalog, which started with their first album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994.
#4 Eminem and Elton John perform “Stan” at 43rd GRAMMYs. What initially seemed like a marketing gimmick to address the backlash towards Em’s homophobic lyrics ended up being one of the top performances of the night.
# 3 Lauryn Hill wins Album of the Year at 41st GRAMMYs. She picked up five awards including Best New Artist—setting a new record for most Grammys won by a female in a single night. Yes, I miss Lauryn too!
#2 Tupac presents Best Pop Performance with Kiss at 38th GRAMMYs. Pac’s charisma comes across as he effortlessly charms the crowd and interacts with the legendary rock band. Unfortunately, the presentation was on Pac’s last public appearances.
#1 Ol’ Dirty Bastard interrupts Shawn Colvin as she attempts to accept her award for Song of the Year at 40th GRAMMYs. ODB took the opportunity to let the audience know how he feels about Wu-Tang Clan losing out to Puff Daddy for Best Rap Album. ODB goes on to state the famous quote “Wu-Tang is for the children.”
As an added bonus I’ve included a link to Eminem and The Roots’ dope performance of “Lose Yourself”at 46th GRAMMY . R.I.P. Proof.