The MTV Video Music Awards are nothing if not an event. Taking place at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, this year marked the second year that HipHopDX was invited to cover the event. And while this year was much more “Hip Hop friendly” than last year — or, to be more accurate, every year prior — there was more than enough drama to fill the stadium.

There was the good (Missy Elliott’s performance, Megan Thee Stallion’s pre-show warm-up, Lil Nas X), the bad (Taylor Swift shading Kanye West ten years after the most infamous interruption OF ALL TIME!), and the ugly (more outfits on the red carpet than we’d care to admit).

Naturally, much ado was made about the aforementioned Swift shade, and the fact that Miley Cyrus was performing for the first time since announcing her split from Liam Hemsworth, but there’s even more to be said about a few standout Hip Hop performances.

Rising star Lizzo, for example, had an empowering message for the big girls as she performed in a yellow swimsuit for the screaming crowd, before shutting it down during the tribute to Missy Elliott later in the evening.

Megan Thee Stallion kept the outside crowd entertained when she performed “Hot Girl Summer” and “Cash Shit” for the first time on national television.

ASAP Ferg & Big Sean performed an absolutely monstrous version of “Berserk.”

And Lil Nas X performing “Panini” before taking home the Best Song of the Year Award? ‘Nuff said.

Check out the images from the VMAs below. (All images by Bernadette Giacomazzo for


Keke Palmer

Justina Valentine

JuJu (Love & Hip Hop: New York)

Naughty By Nature

Redman & DoItAll

DJ Khaled

Amara La Negra

Fetty Wap



Nikita Dragun

Queen Latifah


Video Vanguard

WINNER: Missy Elliott

Video of the Year

WINNER: Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down”

Artist of the Year

WINNER: Ariana Grande

Song of the Year

WINNER: Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]

Best New Artist

WINNER: Billie Eilish

Best Collaboration

WINNER: Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello: “Señorita”

Push Artist of the Year

WINNER: Billie Eilish

Best Pop

WINNER: Jonas Brothers: “Sucker”

Best Hip-Hop

WINNER: Cardi B: “Money”

Best R&B

WINNER: Normani: “Waves” [ft. 6LACK]

Best K-Pop

WINNER: BTS: “Boy With Luv” [ft. Halsey]

Best Latin

WINNER: ROSALÍA / J Balvin: “Con Altura” [ft. El Guincho]

Best Dance

WINNER: The Chainsmokers: “Call You Mine” [ft. Bebe Rexha]

Best Rock

WINNER: Panic! At the Disco: “High Hopes”

Video for Good

WINNER: Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down”

Best Group


Best Power Anthem

WINNER: Megan Thee Stallion: “Hot Girl Summer” [ft. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign]

Song of Summer

WINNER: Ariana Grande and Social House: “Boyfriend”

Fashion Trailblazer

WINNER: Marc Jacobs

Best Direction

WINNER: Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus] (dir. Calmatic)

Best Visual Effects

WINNER: Taylor Swift: “ME!” [ft. Brendon Urie] (visual effects: Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX)

Best Editing

WINNER: Billie Eilish: “bad guy” (editing: Billie Eilish)

Best Art Direction

WINNER: Ariana Grande: “7 rings” (art direction: John Richoux)

Best Choreography

WINNER: ROSALÍA / J Balvin: “Con Altura” [ft. El Guincho] (choreography: Charm La’Donna)

Best Cinematography

WINNER: Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello: “Señorita” (cinematography: Scott Cunningham)

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