Hip-hop officially turned 50 this year, and the Grammys celebrated big! To honor the duration of its contributions to music history, they made sure to showcase just how powerful the genre is. From loaded performances to audience surprises - here are the biggest highlights of the night.
Hip-hop's 50th anniversary was given a masterful tribute at the 2023 Grammys, but its influence permeated every aspect of the event. The star-studded segment featured OG greats like Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC alongside modern day mavens from Lil Baby to Missy Elliott - representing just how far hip hop has come in half a century! But that wasn't all; this celebratory spirit carried through with each facet of the night coming together for one major moment honoring music history. The Academy successfully unpacked hip-hop from its '70s and '80s trailblazers to today's hottest artists into just 15 minutes. Beyond visually gorgeous tributes, we were also reminded of just how emotionally powerful rap can be - a unique form of American expression that anyone labelling with stigma should really pay attention too!
Not only that, but the Rap category at this year's awards was dominated by hip-hop royalty. Kendrick Lamar and Pusha T were all the rage at the event, with Kendrick's non-album single The Heart Pt. 5 earning him Best Rap Song as well as his fourth consecutive win for Best Rap Performance, cementing his status of being most awarded artist in this category ever! Additionally, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers won Best Rap Album. As for Pusha T – It's Almost Dry, a stunningly sharp rap collection, was nominated too. And last but not least is DJ Khaled, who brought forth something truly special: an ambitious mosaic called God Did, featuring guest spots from some of the music industry's biggest names - gaining it a nomination for Best Album Award itself! Altogether, these releases represent real watershed moments, both creatively and emotionally speaking.
Not to mention, hip-hop pioneer and 7-time Grammy winner Dr. Dre. was given the inaugural Global Impact Award at the event. After getting praised for his numerous accomplishments, he warmly thanked both the Recording Academy and Black Music Collective in recognition of this esteemed honor. From the early days in South Bronx to today's Grammy Awards, hip-hop has come a long way. With its rich history, clever lyrics, and captivating beats, it deserves to be applauded for both the past and what lies ahead. Stay tuned.