Monday, July 11, VH1 came back with the Hip Hop Honors, and it was a great night for women. All the honorees were women who played a major role in shaping and changing the world of hip hop, and the whole night was dedicated to the careers of Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, and Salt-N-Pepa with DJ Spinderella.
The night started off with two founders of the Black Lives Matters movement who after recent events stressed that their mission is about dignity, justice, and liberty – NOT violence.
Following their introduction, the first tribute was to the one and only Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott. Eve, who also hosted the event, was joined by Lil Mo, Trina, and Nelly Furtado to perform some of Missy’s greatest hits like “Work It,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “One Minute Man,” and “Lose Control.” Special guest Remy Ma came out to perform Missy’s most recent track “WTF (Where They From).” After her performance, Remy thanks all the honorees for giving her a platform that she could take ‘all the way up’ before being joined on stage by Fat Joe to perform their latest hit.
Missy recapped her fame in a short video and mentions her first taste of it was when she got a call from Janet Jackson. She went on to mention that Salt-N-Pepa are the reason she raps and dedicated her award to Aaliyah.
LL Cool J took to the stage to introduce Queen Latifah. He recapped her career of how she started out as Latifah, a symbol to represent and encourage women.
In Queen’s video montage, she mentioned that hip hop is what took her to new heights. When she received her Oscar nomination for Chicago, she screamed, “Thank God for hip hop” because of the doors that it opened for her. Giving advice to those in the hip hop industry, she tells them to “make it, take it, change it, and do it your way.”
Queen Latifah took to the stage to perform in her tribute alongside Rah Digga, Da Brat, and Monie Love. They performed “Give Me Body,” “Had It Up 2 Here,” and “Ladies First” before Naughty by Nature came out to tribute her with “Hip Hop Hooray.”
Her tribute ended with a video recording from First Lady, Michelle Obama, thanking her and Missy Elliott for inspiring others and being a part of the Let Girls Learn Initiative.
SALT-N-PEPA w/ DJ SPINDERELLA
Celebrating 30 years of music, Salt-N-Pepa were the OGs of the night. Their tribute included Eve, Ashanti, Dreezy, and Keke Palmer who came out and performed some of their biggest hits like “Shoop,” “What a Man,” and “Push It.”
In their speeches, Salt went on to thank their producers, families, and fans who supported them and continue to support them 30 years later. After thanking her friends, family, and fans, Pepa went on to explain the impact that hip hop music had on her life and that the genre allowed her to recognize how strong she is.
DJ Spinderella made sure to shout out all the female DJs in the industry, especially her daughter who is following in her footsteps. She went on to explain that hip hop is still a man dominated industry and that the women need to make sure that their voices are heard.
They ended by explaining their hopes and wishes that they were able to inspire girls to push their dreams and make them real.
During her video interview, Lil Kim explains that she was originally studying to be a psychiatrist before joining Junior M.A.F.I.A. The groups’ methods were that the artist with the hottest verse would be on the final track which is why Lil Kim started writing harder and raunchier verses than the men. She went on to thank The Notorious B.I.G. for all he did in her life and her career.
Her tribute featured stars like Teyana Taylor, Dej Loaf, Lil Mama, and French Montana. They performed “Crush on You” and “No Time” before The Lox came out and performed “It’s All About the Benjamins.”
In a guest appearance, Diddy came out to congratulate her before surprising her with a cake for hedr birthday. Towards the end of the night, the Hip Hop Honors also showed how not only her music abilities but also her sense of fashion carved and paved many ways. They ended the Lil Kim tribute by having models like Winnie Harlow show off her greatest styles.
To end her own tribute, Kim came out with Dej Load, Teyana Taylor, and Rich Homie Quan and ended the show with one of her biggest hits, “Put Ya Lighters Up.”
The VH1 Hip Hop Honors ended with a performance by Queen Latifah of “U.N.I.T.Y.” where they brought out a group of women pioneers in the hip hop industry before being joined on stage by the rest of the nominees.
As Queen Latifah said during the show, “The king is the sign, but the QUEEN is the symbol.”