VH1 Hip-Hop Honors Live Taping Review

On October 4, 2007, the BlackRadioIsBack.com staff was able to roll through to this year’s VH1 Hip-Hop Honors live taping in New York City.

I was amped since my favorite Hip-Hop group of all time, A Tribe Called Quest, was being honored (I wore out at least 4 cassette tapes – yes, I’m from that era – of Midnight Marauders during high school) and the list of honorees was interesting – Missy Elliot, the film Wild Style, New Jack Swing, Whodini & Snoop Dogg.

After walking through a great deal of security (NYPD and other folks), sightseers, hopeful groupies of the male and female variety, etc., folks got in the mix of the event.

Overall, it was a pretty good event with a lot of interesting things and performances going on both on and off stage – here are just some of my thoughts in no particular order:

• A Tribe Called Quest having all four original members perform and absolutely KILL it was the best part of the show, especially with Busta Rhymes joining in for “Scenario” (Whodini’s performance ran a very, very close second)

• DJ Jazzy Joyce did her thing on the wheels in between the performances…good music. Also am realizing that Serato/Final Scratch/DJ Software is official in the 21st century as the tool for DJs after seeing all of these classic DJ folks this weekend doing sets at this and other events in NYC (it beats carrying mad crates of music you’re might not be personally crazy about on your back, nosy folks peeping over your shoulder to see what you’re playing and/or vinyl jacking)

• NO One Busta Rhymes size (didn’t seem like only 3 – 5 years ago that he wasn’t that muscled up via workout regimen/flaxseed oil? – he looks HUGE) should have the need wear anything that damned loud on stage to be seen

• WTF @ Tweet’s hair (Diana Ross 1980s status) and gear during the Missy Elliot tribute

• Kool Moe Dee still has it w/ the voice and MCing but wasn’t feeling the entire 1920s gangster/Godfather wedding/casket fresh (to use a Crunk + Disorderly term) gear

• No Guy or Blackstreet during the New Jack Swing tribute? Hm…

• T-Pain – who is usually pretty on point live from performances I’ve seen – was crazy off key and beat during the New Jack Swing tribute

• The loudest cheers from the audience came for the most recent folks being honored and/or performing than the more “old school” nominees (ex. The movie Wild Style * polite respectful clapping * vs. Ne-Yo * loud rumbles and screams *). Some of those characters in the audience didn’t even try to look amped unless the camera was in their face or they had to be prompted. * SMH *

• During the press conference, actor Harvey Keitel presented Snoop Dogg with his Hip-Hop Honors award, which pretty much confused everyone there (“Why is Wolf from Pulp Fiction here?!” * shrugs * “Whatever…”)

• KRS-1 just stays hype performing, doesn’t he? Wouldn’t a show with him, Busta Rhymes, Doug E. Fresh, Jeru the Damaja and DMX just be crazy as hell on the amped up vibe along, much less the performance catalog of songs?

• Ice-T, whether we agree with him or not on whatever, is one of the most interesting personalities in Hip-Hop whenever he speaks (of course, he talked about his relationship with his wife, Coco during the conference and the “Loveline” relationship radio show they should be jumping off soon as well as why he’s not in the music business anymore – not as lucrative according to him)

• Salt-N-Pepa came through to talk about their VH1 reality show while Spinderella played the background – made me a bit more amped to check it out (doesn’t look like an embarrassment)

• Fab Five Freddy & Charlie Ahren talked about why they created the Wild Style movie (to have a film at that time that represented real Hip-Hop culture and style with those who actually were living it), about getting it to open in Times Square NYC at 42nd and Broadway (where everyone hung out) and that it was based on Lee Quinones life story

• Teddy Riley’s supposed to be working on some new music….

• Chris Rock is doing another stand up tour! * makes attempt to clear credit card debt to try to see *

• Busy Bee dropped some info about an upcoming biopic about him that should be starring Mos Def and gave info on the person show first gave him the opportunity to MC (Disco King Mario)

• There was definitely a big “we need to preserve Hip-Hop PERIOD and bring the balance back” vibe amongst everyone there, which was cool

• P. Diddy said that T-Pain and Ne-yo represent the new generation of New Jack Swing…don’t know about that one, but I can respect talent…

• Nelly Furtado, Keyshia Cole and Eve did pretty well during the Missy Tribute

• Missy was mad chill and humble when presented her award…

• VH1/Viacom hooked the snacks UP in the press room (yum, esp. for a broke journalist)

• Ne-yo was good during his performances, but had that “I’m a professional doing through the motions” vibe a bit – was still feeling it on my end, but just found that interesting

• Tracey Morgan is crazy as hell - I suppose that's why he's funny - good hosting and interludes

This year's Hip-Hop Honors were pretty on point - kind of had me feeling old lady status for a minute since its steady creeping towards the late 1980s and early 1990s for honorees a bit more heavy - but that's a good thing since it shows that the entire movement is still on a roll.

I got some exclusive pictures from the event for BlackRadioIsBack.com coming in soon on an upcoming blog posting…in the meantime, if you want to check out more VH1 Hip-Hop Honors stuff from this year, go here.