Last Night: The VH1 Hip Hop Honors


Last night Voice staff writer and ex-Source staffer Chloé A. Hilliard hit the 4th Annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors at Hammerstein Ballroom. Tracy Morgan hosted; Chris Rock made introductions. Chloé didn’t want to include too many spoilers since the event doesn’t air until Monday, but confirms that the event was an open-bar emptying, rib-eating, ass-grabbing good time.

Didn’t send a photographer, so you’ll have to make do with this screenshot.

VH1’s 4th Annual Hip Hop Honors

by Chloé A. Hilliard
Village Voice staff writer

About midway through last night’s 4th Annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors, Chris Rock comes out to introduce WHODINI and the white guy behind me confesses, “I don’t like hip hop. It makes me nervous. It scares me.” Perhaps a show called Hip Hop Honors isn’t the place to be? Not knowing who Chris Rock was, he then yells out “Nice shoes.” I turn to see he’s wearing a T-shirt that reads RAINBOWS ARE GAY with a picture of one. Go figure.

Contrary to Rainbow Brite’s fears, Hip Hop Honors are far away from the misogynistic, violent, and ignorant overtones of most of today’s music as possible. It’s the only awards show that honors Hip Hop’s innovators and legends who never cashed in on the music the way generations after them did. Unlike previous years, the honorees were a mash up of the really really old school and the new school. Charlie Ahearn and Fab Five Freddy were honored for Wild Style, the movie, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. Also earning a gold medallion was Snoop Dogg (the crowd favorite), A Tribe Called Quest (my favorite), Missy Elliott, Whodini, Teddy Riley and Andre Harrell, the masterminds behind New Jack Swing.

The show opened with a tribute to the only lady of the evening, Missy. Folks were a bit disappointed when Missy didn’t take to the stage after rapper Eve, R&B singers Tweet and Keyshia Cole and her long-time collaborator Timbaland (in his tight white tee finally detached from JT’s tit) went through some of her biggest hits.

Busy Bee, Kool Moe Dee, and KRS-One where just some of the legends who graced the stage showing the younguns hip hop’s good side. Nowhere to be found, not surprisingly were 50 Cent and Kanye. Guess that media blitz is over. Instead we were treated to Pharrell, Common, Nelly and T-Pain among others.

My personal highlights: A Tribe Called Quest and Teddy Riley. You wouldn’t believe how the audience goes crazy when he goes into “Rump Shaker!” Not a highlight: when I was slightly molested in the tiny open bar area where a man’s hand grazed my butt. That isn’t hip hop!

The 4th Annual Hip Hop Honors, hosted by Tracy Morgan airs Monday on VH1.