Some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Eminem, Redman, Method Man, Mary J. Blige, Ghostface Killah, Public Enemy, Wale, the Roots, and Kid Rock, joined forces for a concert Wednesday night in Brooklyn to pay tribute to one of hip-hop’s most influential building blocks: Def Jam Records, a label that supported formative artists like LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, and Run-DMC.
The show — organized and filmed for VH1’s sixth annual Hip Hop Honors, airing Oct. 13 — kicked off in style at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with artists cruising the red carpet, many, including Kid Rock, sporting Run-DMC gear, down to the shell top Adidas sneakers. Once inside, it was all music: The Roots performed a rendition of LL Cool J’s “Rock the Bells,” with Eminem storming the stage to drop rhymes alongside Black Thought. Later, Kid Rock — who also shared DJ duties at the show — paid tribute to LL, performing a version of “I’m Bad.” [Via MTV]
Next up was Public Enemy, who first signed with Def Jam Records in 1986 after label co-founder Rick Rubin heard Chuck D rhyme on a demo. The group ripped through “Rebel Without a Pause,” with Flava Flav — no stranger to VH1 –sporting a white tuxedo jacket with a matching top hat and bow tie. With help from the Roots, S1W, and Boots Riley, PE brought the crowd to their feet.
But the show wouldn’t be fit without a shout-out to one of hip-hop’s original stomping grounds: Brooklyn. KRS-One, Wale, and the Gym Class Heroes teamed for a rendition of “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” paying tribute to the Beastie Boys in the process, and sending a message of love to MCA, a.k.a. Adam Yauch, too. “Adam, get well soon,” said KRS-One, addressing the Beastie’s battle against cancer.
And that’s not all. Ashanti and Ja Rule reunited to perform “Down 4 U” and “Always On Time”; Rule and DMX — who dissed each other on past records — squashed the beef and hugged; Method Man & Mary J Blige sang “All I Need”; Chris Rock cracked some hilarious jokes in a skit; and scores of others artists performed, including Rick Ross, Fabolous, Foxy Brown, Redman, Ghostface Killah, Warren G, Ludacris, and DMX! [Via BET]
Tune into VH1 October 13 at 9 P.M. EST to watch!