De La Never Dreamt They’d Be Honored

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Last night was the taping of Hip Hop Honors, our massive tribute to the hip-hop heavyweights we’ve loved for so long. One of our favorites, De La Soul, chatted with us during rehearsals on Wednesday about what they thought was in store for them when they first formed over twenty years ago.

Tune in on Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m. to see De La and the other honorees bring down the house.

Hip Hop Honors: Concert Report!

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The main thrust of our annual Hip Hop Honors show is simple. Great music was made a long time ago, so we make more great music to salute both its impact and endurance. Celebration is in the air because artists are getting well-deserved recognition. From the red carpet frenzy to the audience shout-alongs to the after-party chatter, everyone?s hyped because their favorite MCs are in the center ring, getting the props that they?ve truly earned. All night long, it?s all about a little thing called joy.

You could feel it from the way that Busta Rhymes was getting hugged by others on the carpet. You could feel it by the way Kid Rock was laughing in the lounge with the Sugarhill Gang?s Wonder Mike. You could feel it by the way Fat Joe shook his rump in the ballroom?s mezzanine during Slick Rick?s ?La Di Da Di.? Someone asked De La Soul’s DJ Mase how he felt when the trio was arriving at the start of the evening. ?Just like Campbell?s soup,? he said, ?MMM, MMM good.?

There were lots of on-stage highlights, and in the next few days we?re going to offer up some performance clips so you can get psyched for this Monday night, when the show premieres on VH1 at 10 pm. ET. Tomorrow, Friday, there will be load of photos from the festivities here in the blog, and on our Hip Hop Honors site.

Here are a few things to be on the look out for when you tune-in on Monday night.

1. All the energy that bounds around the room when Cypress Hill and their pals Mack 10, Gym Class Heroes, and Fat Joe blast through ?The Phuncky Feel One? and ?Insane in the Brain.? Now that?s the way to start a show.

2. The Strong Island camaraderie of Public Enemy?s Chuck D and Flavor Flav kicking their way through ?Stakes is High? during the De La part of the show. Earlier in the night Flav told me it was great to bounce rhymes off of Chuck again.

3. The way Gnarls Barkley?s Cee-lo did his best crooning routine in a heartfelt nod to the late Isaac Hayes during ?The Look of Love.? It was mellow enough to picture him singing it while sporting a smoking jacket and pipe.

4. The whole joint rocking a collective ?Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na? when De La Soul commanded the audience to fill in the refrain to the forever exuberant ?Me, Myself and I.?

5. Luther Campbell putting his whole heart into a fervent intro of Too $hort. Any crew would be lucky to have Mr. Parental Advisory as a hype man.

6. Eve singing about that slice of pizza in Slick Rick?s ?Mona Lisa.?

There’s lots of other cool stuff, too, of course. Keep your eye on the blog. It’s coming

Related Content
Hip Hop Honors Site
Red Carpet Arrival Photos
Show Performance Photos
Video: Sneak Rehearsal Footage!

Do De La Soul Hate “Me, Myself And I”?

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Tonight’s the big Hip Hop Honors show, and we’ve been checking out rehearsals of all the honorees. We noticed a little something during De La Soul‘s run through. While singing “Me, Myself And I” the group diverted from the standard lyrics — instead of the usual “Or is it just my De La song?” they switched it to “Or is it ’cause we hate this song.” We caught up with the group to find out what prompted the switch.

Check out the show when it airs on Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m.

Hip Hop Honors: Real Deal Rehearsal Clips!

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You kinda knew that Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy was insane in the brain, right? But you might not have known how how deep a Cypress Hill fanatic he is. You will when Hip Hop Honors 2008 is over. The show’s taping in NYC tonight, and we’ve got some video snippets of what viewers can expect when it airs on Monday, October 6. It’s all here. Chuck D and Flav rolling together again, Fab Five Freddie and Biz Markie talking about the tough economy (“Don’t Want Drama, vote for Obama!”), Estelle and Q-Tip celebrating De La Soul‘s “A Roller Skating Jam Called Saturday,” and lots more.

Click right here to see the full playlist of Hip Hop Honors rehearsals.

Check back Friday morning for great photo galleries and blog reports on the events.

Lil Jon Minds His Words

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While rehearsing for the Hip Hop Honors segment that will pay tribute to Too Short, Lil Jon had a lil tantrum about getting bleeped for saying “bitch.” In the video below, he explains why it only makes sense to utter the epithet during a salute to the man who devoted a part of his career to perfecting the pronunciation of it (“beyotch,” anyone?).

And there’s a bit more linguistic chatter with Jon below, when we ask him if he’s tired of his catchphrase, “Yeaaaah!” (Spoiler: the word he uses to answer proves just how sick of it he is.)

Watch Hip Hop Honors 2008 on VH1 on Monday, October 6, 10 pm ET.

EPMD Are Ready For Their Honor

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Since this year marks the fifth annual Hip Hop Honors, it also marks the fifth time straight that legendary duo EPMD hasn’t been honored. Above, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith plea their case and ask for your help in getting them on next year’s short list (but please don’t really picket — it could get messy).

Watch Hip Hop Honors 2008 on VH1 on Monday, October 6, 10 pm ET.

Flavor Flav’s Reality Show Lives On For Chuck D.

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Earlier this year, Flavor Flav put the kibosh on any further seasons of his career-redefining reality show Flavor of Love. Backstage at rehearsals for this year’s Hip Hop Honors, we asked his Public Enemy partner and occasional critic of the show, Chuck D., what he thought about the demise of Flavor of Love. He plays both diplomat and realist in response.

Be sure to stay turned for a cameo from legend Fab Five Freddy.

Check out some shots of Public Enemy rehearsing for Hip Hop Honors below:

Watch Hip Hop Honors 2008 on VH1 on Monday, October 6, 10 pm ET.

Our Muse Cee-Lo

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The shots we snapped of Cee-Lo at rehearsals for Hip Hop Honors 2008 came out consistently better than? our photos of virtually all the other artists. Maybe it’s the giant sweatsuit. Maybe it’s the surrounding lights. Maybe it’s the fact that he tends to not move around so much. Whatever the case, these are money:

Watch Hip Hop Honors 2008 on VH1 on Monday, October 6, 10 pm ET.

HHH: Top 20 Hip Hop Tracks of 2008

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Nas‘ “Hero,” Lil Wayne‘s “A Milli,” DJ Khaled‘s “Out Here Grindin’.” It’s been a strong year for rap, and those are just three of the cuts that have stuck in our ears for awhile. We’re currently celebrating the old school heroes with our annual Hip Hop Honors show (airs Monday night, October 6 at 10 pm), but we’re not forgetting the MCs at work today. 2008 isn’t over yet, but here’s a list of the year’s 20 hottest tunes.

Check out our list of hip hop’s greatest weed songs, too.

When Flav Met Estelle

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Yesterday, Flavor Flav?and Estelle?rehearsed their tribute honoring the late, great Isaac Hayes. After their performance, Flav approached the “American Boy” singer to introduce himself.??

Flav, obviously, was taken with Estelle…?

Then made her pose for a picture…

Which the lovely singer obviously obliged. I think we can call off Flavor of Love 4.?

Be sure to tune in Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m. to watch the sparks fly.?