Hip Hop Honors

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Hip Hop Honors: Cypress Hill Goes Up In Smoke

The gang’s all here this beautiful Wednesday morning as the second day of rehearsals for Hip Hop Honors kick off. Some say hip-hop runs on its own time, but Fat Joe, Jim Jones and the Gym Class Heroes are all here, right on time, to honor Cypress Hill. To have such a collection of talent under one roof is amazing, and that’s not lost on the honorees themselves. While walking around surveying the set, B-Real happens to whip out the same digital camera your loyal bloggers have to record the moment, as a decidedly less portly Fat Joe walks over to pay his respects.

It’s obvious Fat Joe’s been doing his homework, as he tears through a flawless rendition of “The Phuncky Feel One.” Jim Jones has a little work to do before the show, as he seems more interested in watching the dancers than the words to “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.”


Appropriately, plumes of smoke wreath Cypress Hill as they run through “(Rock) Superstar.” Moments later, Cypress Hill, Jim Jones, Mack 10, Gym Class Heroes are up on the mezzanine, answering our questions about Cypress Hill and a particular herbal remedy the group are fond of (coming soon…). Mos Def swings by and tells us which honoree he’s most excited to see, which we’ll have for you later today.

Check back for tons of updates from hip-hop’s front lines, and be sure to tune in Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m.

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How Ya Like Me Now? Hip-Hop Honors 07

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Welcome, y’all. We’re finally rolling on our big show and want you to participate by blasting off comments on all the action. Who’s rocking? Who’s looking sharp? Who’s dropping the ball? Where were you when you first heard that track? What MCs are you listening to these days? Stake your claim in the comments section and pass the ball around.

IM a pal right now and get on it, we’re about to start.

10:01: Connecting the dots between Paid in Full and “Laffy Taffy.” Not bad, TM.

10:07: Holla! Guess will.i.am did the best “ra-ta-ta-ta,” but that whole spray of Missy imitators was sweet. Flipping it and reversing it…and what about Missy’s Prince shirt?

10:13: What are Missy‘s hippest tracks? And what’s Tweet been up to?

10:15: Wonder if Eve does look like a Halle Berry poster?Timbaland at VH1?s Hip Hop Honors 2007

10:18: Nelly F. definitely learned a thing or two from her time spent at Timbaland U.

10:20: I’m thinking Mary J’s Chevy tune is hipper than T.I.‘s Chevy tune.

10:24: Diddy rocking Teddy. If you think he’s red-zoning, punch up “My Prerogative” and pretend you’re back in the Arsenio era.

Ne-Yo at VH1?s Hop Hop Honors 200710:30: Dude, when’s Doug E. Fresh getting his day in the sun?

10:30: Let us know if you have Superhead‘s number in yr celly.

10:40: How many of you guys are downloading “No Diggity” right now?

10:44: Looks like Virginia has been good to Teddy Riley. Zoom Zoom.

10:47: When Busta‘s adrenaline is up in the trillions, we got trouble. Guess that Tribe salute is going to rock.

10: 50: Anyone here ever mix that wild style mess that Tracy just talked about? Ketchup?

10:59: Lots of old school everything in the Wild Style nod, but leave it to KRS-One to bring Jena 6 into the action.

11:07: Brooklyn is in the house. What’s the cooler WHODINI joint, “Friends” or “Freaks”?

11:11: How many Mr. Magic fans out there? Give mom a call and find out what the story is.

Nelly at VH1?s Hop Hop Honors 200711:13: “If you need a beat, take one of mine” – THAT’S how they shared back then.

11:19: Could these dances have come out out of ATL?

11:22: Keitel rhyming – guess hip-hop has gone into weird places.

11:25: The first disc Snoop bought was “Ring My Bell.” What’s the first one you bought?

11: 28: Quick vote: Does Ice-T still have it?Snoop and Pharrell at VH1?s Hop Hop Honors 2007

11:35: That’s some major bling on Snoop‘s mic hand. They got a safe in the green room?

11:51: No one’s got a voice like Q-Tip.

11:56: Lots on energy going down here. Just about time for some label to swoop in and kick a new disc by Tribe, yes?

11:59: And we out. Who’s up for the Gotti story? Talk amongst yourselves…

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Phife Dawg Fights the Good Fight

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A Tribe Called Quest is being celebrated for their ingenuity and creativity tonight on Hip Hop Honors, but one of its members, Phife Dawg, gets extra respect for the courage he’s brought to his battle against diabetes. The ailment afflicts a big chunk of the African American population; reports tell us that 13 percent of blacks over the age of 20 suffer with the condition. Phife, one of the Tribe’s founding members, is fighting the condition with dialysis, and a recent switch in treatments has made him feel much better, one of the reasons he was able to participate in the Honors show.

Read more…

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Will The Real Snoop Please Stand Up?

Snoop DoggWhen you get next to a superhero like Snoop Dogg, you just naturally start taking on some of his mannerisms. The king of South Central has a distinct fashion style (Willie Nelson is the only other pop dude sporting pigtails, right?) and a lingo all his own. No wonder Nelly, Bow Wow, Q-Tip, Ciara, , LL, Tracy Morgan and others took a shot a doing their best Snoop impersonation at our Hip-Hop Honors show. Crackalacka, nephew – check out these clips.

Which one does the best job?

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Ice T – Keep The ‘N’ Word To Yourself

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Rappers have never been afraid to put their opinions out there, and last night at our Hip-Hop Honors show, after helping celebrate his South Central bud Snoop Dogg, Ice T answered a volley of queries from the press, passionately erupting on a number of subjects. The most compelling flurry had to do with names – the way we identify ourselves and each other. Delivered in a lightning bolt speed, it was an impressive spiel, And it went a little sumpun like this…

N*gga?s not a bad word. My father said n*gga, so I?m not gonna get rid of the word. It has no relevance. I feel there are inside words and outside words. If you?re gay, you can say gay stuff, if you ain?t gay, don?t talk about it. If you?re fat, don?t talk about nobody skinny. If you?re skinny, don?t talk fat. If you Italian, same thing. I come from the hood where n*ggas is, so I can say n*gga. But if you ain?t from that, don?t say that. You dig?

Read more…

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Hip Hop Honors: Here Are Some Highlights

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Last night was the taping of 2007 Hip Hop Honors: A Tribe Called Quest moved butts, Missy worked it, and Snoop dropped it like it’s hot. In short, its hard to believe so many of hip-hop’s visionaries, creators and chart-toppers were gathered together under one roof. You’ll get to see it all on Monday night . Til then, we leave you with a few of our own awards.

Most technically impressive performance: Nelly Furtado, “Get Ur Freak On.” Four-inch heels on huge-ass stairs, singing and rapping in two languages, all with the front of her dress missing.

Most obvious fan award: Diddy, singing along drunken-karaoke style to every word of the red hot New Jack Swing tribute.

Picture of Dorian Gray Award: Teddy Riley, who hasn’t aged since Blackstreet.

Most bonkers moment of the show: Busta Rhymes‘ stage-stomping, ballroom shaking verse on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario.”

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Breaker, Breaker – Start The Spinnin’

T-Pain at VH1?s Hip Hop Honors 2007Lyrics are key, beats are big, but one thing Monday night’s show isn’t going to let us forget is that dancing – yes baby, dancing – is central to hip-hop culture. When LL Cool J came out to tell us all about living the b-boy life, he was reminding us just how physical and seductive the music is. Introducing the Wild Style section of show and having Busy Bee and company taking the Hammerstein stage, all the spins, handstands, toprocks, windmills, and freezes brought out the groove’s theatrical aspects. And it’s infectious, right? That’s why Fab Five Freddy was standing up, swinging his butt in the Honorees box. Ditto for the bounce that was in the air a bit later, when WHODINI took over the stage with “Freaks Come Out At Night” surrounded by dudes doing suicides and butterfly kicks. “Grafitti artists and breakdancers are what got me into hip-hop,” Busy Bee said after his spot. “It’s nice to be back; me, Caz, KRS-One are still doing it, still looking good.” Even Snoop‘s low-key body language stuck out. Guess just swooping right and gliding cool is a way to make a big statement. Give yourself plenty of room in front of the TV on Monday, you might catch the fever. [Pictured: T-Pain/Getty Images]

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Tracy Morgan ‘Splains The Whole Thing

Tracy Morgan at VH1?s Hip Hop Honors 2007Always good to know something about the host of a big show. In midtown Manhattan, on Thursday night,? rattled off a list of his fave discs to kick 07 Honors live. (Feel free to fill the comment section with what you think might be some of those discs, and know this in advance: he’s a Nas fan). Then the 30 Rock comedian busted some poetry, telling us that the music stretches from jazz to showmanship to the gangster lean itself. Then he hit the brakes. “Before we go any further I gotta tell you something about your boy. Me and hip-hop come outta the same womb, the Bronx. What that means is me and hip-hop is blood brothers, like KRS-One: “I am hip hop.” I’m Slick Rick’s first chain, I’m all of Afrika Bambaataa‘s records in his crates, and yes, yes, ya’ll, I’m the the hydraulics in Dre‘s Cadillac, I’m the Forbes’ richest rappers list, and the carboard box under the breakdancers’ heads, I’m every train on the 4 line. And I’m loving my butt-crack boxer shorts, saggy pants, eff the police attitude.”Boom. Street creativity, cultural weight, and commercial clout summarized nicely. See ya Monday night.

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Cover Your Ears, America! Don Imus Is Coming Back

imus.jpgIf rumors and the Associated Press are to be believed, white devil Don Imus is preparing for his return to radio. You probably remember Imus as the cowboy-hat wearing talk show host who called the Rutgers Women’s basketball team a bunch of “nappy-headed hoes.” Even if you don’t remember Imus, you might remember how the reaction to his comments caused a media sh*tstorm and wound up publicly trying hip-hop in the court of public opinion. Everyone from Snoop to Russell Simmons weighed in on the issue. Can you say overkill? Anyway, Imus has apparently been negotiating with Citadel Broadcasting, which owns ABC Radio, and also promotes such stellar modern commentarians as Sean Hannity. Is this smart business or just the way business works? We can’t tell you. But in a month that’s already seen a visit to Columbia University by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — where the anti-semitic and homophobic world leader, who was invited to speak, explained that there were no gay people in Iran — we’re sort of spinning. What’s next? Kanye West donating vowing to become an ascetic and donating his riches to the poor? Anything could happen!

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They’re Playing Bas-ket-ball…

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Think Common has a decent head fake? Any chance Rakim can hit a three-pointer? Whadya think, can MIMS show us why he’s hot by dunking the damn thing? Lots of rappers consider themselves decent ballers – they’ve often got hoops in their head. This Sunday in Brooklyn there’s going to be a generational clash of the titans, and we’ll see what’s what (that pic over there is Chris Brown from last year’s game). As part of Hip Hop Honors, the Celebrity Hoops game unites a swarm of famous participants; Chubb Rock, Dana Dan, Grandmaster Caz, CL Smooth, DJ UNK, Positive K, Lyfe Jennings, Love Bug Starski, and more will all be on the court. Swizz Beatz is rocking a half-time spot, Chrisette Michelle trills the national anthem, and Salt-N-Pepa, Irv Gotti, and New York herself are stopping by. Grandmaster Melle Mel is one of the coaches. If you’re a baller and you’re in NYC’s greatest borough these weekend, you should be there, too.

Two questions: What artist do you listen to most often when you’re shooting around on your own? What’s the hippest rhyme in hip-hop about being on the court?