Alicia Keys and Lil Mama have reunited for the first time in 14 years and seem to have put their infamous 2009 VMAs incident behind them once and for all.
On Wednesday (March 29), the two women shared a warm embrace at an event in New York City as Teyana Taylor looked on. While it’s unclear what the event was for — though Revolt suggested it was to celebrate Taylor’s latest film, A Thousand and One — it’s the video of the “Girl on Fire” singer and the “Lip Gloss” rapper-turned-actor that sent social media into a tizzy.
“God is Moving all up and through this MF!” wrote one commenter. “Hope she apologized again cause man…” wrote another.
Check out the now-viral moment below:
Alicia Keys & Lil Mama hug it out 14 years after infamous VMAs incidenthttps://t.co/52WCdDsvQrpic.twitter.com/73SFTQZZML
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) March 30, 2023
Back in 2009, Alicia Keys teamed up with JAY-Z to perform their hit song “Empire State of Mind” at the MTV VMAs. Lil Mama was, apparently, so moved by the performance that she hopped onstage to serve as the unofficial hypeman — even as Hov’s wife, Beyoncé, unsuccessfully tried to stop her from becoming a Twitter trending topic by repeatedly yanking her arm.
Despite Lil Mama becoming the punchline of many jokes afterwards, Keys told The Morning Hustle in October 2021 that she wasn’t even aware of the rapper’s presence.
“Listen, to this day, I truly never knew she was even on the stage — that’s the craziest part of the whole thing for me,” she said. “I was on that stage, [JAY-Z] was in the middle, she was on the other side of Jay, and I never saw her.”
Keys understood where Lil Mama was coming from as a fellow New Yorker and joked that her music tends to have that effect on listeners.
“That was wild to me,” Keys admitted. “She’s from New York, too. I think she really felt the energy of the record and she loved it and she couldn’t hold herself back. Look, this is what my music does to people. What can we say?”
For his part, JAY-Z wasn’t angry at Lil Mama either, as he told Rob Markman in an October 2021 Twitter Spaces event.
“Of course, of course,” he said about accepting Lil Mama’s apology. “C’mon. Don’t do that… That’s our sister. Man, we love her. I wouldn’t recommend people just jumping on other artists’ stages.
“She’s a New Yorker… She got excited. Things happen. Of course, we love her… yes, she’s forgiven. It’s all love and she was coming from a place of love it’s just… may have been a little too excited.”