The awards ceremony, which took place on Saturday (November 18), kicked off with the King’s Disease rapper reciting lyrics from “Paid in Full,” before paying tribute to the Long Island native and Hip Hop pioneer.
“That verse — that song, ‘Paid In Full’ — said, ‘I can think it,'” he began. “Because of you, my brother, I made it,” he said directly to Rakim. “Because of Doug E. Fresh, Flavor Flav, I gotta shout out all my heroes.”
Nas proceeded to pay tribute to Scarface before continuing: “Because of y’all, I made it. And I’m forever in debt to y’all.”
Check out the full video tribute, along with some select photos from the event, below.
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) November 19, 2023
The event honored Rakim and Scarface as the inaugural recipients of a big grant from the Paid In Full Foundation. The two rappers were honored at the foundation’s Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards in Las Vegas on Saturday (November 17).
The event was thrown by Nas, as well as Ben Horowitz, co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz, and Ben’s wife Felicia.
This is not Horowitz’s first venture into Hip Hop. He was an early investor in the lyric annotation site Genius (then known as Rap Genius) and has been friends with Nas for many years.
The news of the Grandmaster Awards was first revealed by Steve Stoute on the latest episode of the Rap Radar podcast.
“Myself, Ben Horowitz, Fab 5 Freddy, QD3, Felicia Horowitz, Ben’s wife — we have a fund, a charity called Paid In Full. And on November 17, we are honoring those who have led the culture but have not received the financial rewards that are on par with their cultural contribution.
“And we’re giving significant money, a half a million dollars, and health care, to these people who we believe were contributors who didn’t get what they deserved.”
More information has been shared on the foundation’s website: “Unfortunately, many of the most impactful original [Hip Hop] artists never received recognition proportional with their exceptional contributions to arts and culture.
“The Paid in Full Foundation aims to rectify that through its grantmaking program, by both honoring the people who built Hip Hop and enabling them to pursue their creative and intellectual pursuits for the benefit of society.”