The Queensbridge legend hit the stage on Friday night (August 11), and while he wasn’t on the official bill, many expected him to perform due to his Mass Appeal company being behind the concert.
“Right now I feel like I’m in the only place I should be. Since ’73, Hip Hop was born for you and me,” Nas said before introducing Hill to an eruption from the crowd as she performed “Nobody.”
The duo moved into their It Was Written classic collab “If I Ruled The World” and then Lauryn Hill took centerstage for “Ready or Not,” “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Killing Me Softly With His Song” and “Fu-Gee-La.”
Nas also brought out Kool G Rap and finished off his set with “One Mic” before exiting the stage and passing the baton to Run-DMC.
Watch the clip below:
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) August 12, 2023
It was a celebratory night in honor of Hip Hop 50 as thousands of fans filled Yankee Stadium to honor Hip Hop culture in its birthplace.
Other performers at the star-studded show included the reuniting of Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, Fat Joe, Lupe Fiasco, Eve, Lil Kim, Remy Ma and Trina.
The concert also paid homage to trailblazers who helped pave the way like Kurtis Blow, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Caz, Roxanne Shante, Melle Mel and the Sugarhill Gang.
There was even a special appearance by The Captain and New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter who fired up the crowd in the stadium he once called home.
It’s been a banner week for Nas. On top of Mass Appeal pulling off the massive Hip Hop 50 concert, Escobar was honored days prior as he was inducted into Billboard‘s Hip Hop Hall of Fame alongside Lil Wayne.
“I didn’t get into it for awards; we got into it because we love the artform,” he said. “50 years of Hip Hop. 50 years of Hip Hop saluting some of the pioneers who inspired me…since DJ Mr. Magic started rap radio, since Marley Marl and Red Alert made us record mixtapes of our own when this shit was underground.”
He continued: “From seeing it from back then, I’m just so honored to still be alive to see it be 50 years as a fan. So I want to thank you all for getting awards at 49, not when I was 29. But I appreciate you. I ain’t gonna lie, I stayed away from award shows back then, I thought that shit was the devil … But it ain’t. You make it what it is.”