NEW YORK, NY, September 24, 2009 – The 6th annual “VH1 Hip Hop Honors” shook up Brooklyn, New York last night as some of the biggest names in entertainment gathered to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Def Jam Records – one of the most celebrated hip hop labels in the music industry. “VH1 Hip Hop Honors” will premiere on Tuesday, October 13 at 9 PM ET/PT*. Visit HipHop.VH1.com now through the on-air premiere for show details, artist interviews and performance sneak peeks.
Taped at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Howard Gilman Opera House on Wednesday, September 23rd in Brooklyn, New York and hosted by Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”), talents from across all artistic genres came together to celebrate this significant milestone in American hip hop music. The show paid tribute to the architects of Def Jam Records including Bill Stephney, Chris Lighty, Julie Greenwald, Kevin Liles, L.A. Reid, Lyor Cohen, Michael Kyser, Rick Rubin, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Russell Simmons. Performances by Ashanti, Chrisette Michele, DJ Chuck Chill Out, DJ Clinton Sparks, DMX, Eminem, EPMD, Fabolous, Foxy Brown, Gym Class Heroes, DJ Jaycee, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Ghostface, Ja Rule, Judacamp Choir, Kid Rock, KRS One, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, Method Man, DJ Nonstop, Onyx, Public Enemy, Redman, The Roots, Rick Ross, DJ Sam Sneak, Scarface, DJ Scratch, The Street Sweeper Social Club, Trey Songz, Wale and Warren G brought down the house celebrating Def Jam Records.
The show kicked off with The Roots, Eminem and DJ Jazzy Jeff performing LL Cool J’s classic “Rock the Bells,” proving that Brooklyn was “in the house.”
The crowd went crazy as Public Enemy were accompanied by S1W, The Street Sweepers Social Club, and The Roots performing “Rebel Without a Pause” – Public Enemy’s hit single from “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,” one of the most celebrated and revered albums in hip hop.
The next performance rang true at BAM as Travis McCoy, Wale and KRS One with Gym Class Heroes covered Beastie Boys’ iconic “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.”
The momentum kept going as Gym Class Heroes joined the chart-topping rap group Onyx with a rendition of Onyx’s Billboard chart hit “Slam.”
The legacy of Def Jam continued to be celebrated as best-selling artist DMX collaborated with Gym Class Heroes for his 1999 hit single “Party Up.”
Tracy Morgan introduced rapper Rick Ross who took the stage to perform “Hustlin” – one of the first songs off his debut album that catapulted him into hip hop fame.
Next, the rap duo that shook the hip hop world reunited as Method Man and Redman took the stage to perform “Da Rockwilder.”
The Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, took to the stage in front of a hyped audience as she joined Method Man for a rendition of their Grammy award-winning single “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By.”
The legends of hip hop continued to represent as Warren G was joined by Trey Songz to perform “Regulate” in honor of Def Jam Records and Warren G’s triple-platinum album that solidified him as hip hop royalty.
Eve introduced Ja Rule and Ashanti as they performed their hits “Down for You” and “Always On Time” in true Def Jam style.
Two of the South’s heavy hitters, Ludacris and Scarface, united onstage to perform “Guess Who’s Back” and “Southern Hospitality.”
Bringing the show to an unforgettable end, The Roots, Kid Rock, Foxy Brown, Fabolous, Ghostface, Chrisette Michele, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Eric Sermon all ripped the stage with an unbelievable medley performing some of Def Jam’s most iconic hits.
2009’s “Hip Hop Honors” demonstrated how Def Jam Records and its architects Bill Stephney, Chris Lighty, Julie Greenwald, Kevin Liles, L.A. Reid, Lyor Cohen, Michael Kyser, Rick Rubin, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Russell Simmons transformed American pop culture by bringing hip hop to the world.
“VH1 Hip Hop Honors” is executive produced by Lee Rolontz for VH1 and Jac Benson for Blacjac Entertainment. It is directed by J. Horvitz. Nelson George and Fab 5 Freddie are co-executive producers.
“VH1 Hip Hop Honors” is sponsored by Rhapsody® and Taco Bell®.