Questlove has announced that he will bring this year’s Hip Hop 50 celebrations to the Grammy stage by co-curating a special tribute performance at the February awards.
Quest, who himself is a six-time Grammy winner, said in a video announcement he will join forces with Nas’ Mass Appeal for a special performance that will include “some of the biggest names from the genre coming together to celebrate Hip Hop history.”
“Hip Hop has been a driving force in the music and the culture,” Questlove said in part. “It’s had an immeasurable impact on our culture and our world and I’ve had the great privilege of co-curating this thing with the Roots and many others that are gonna join us that night.”
Check out Questlove’s announcement below:
Join us LIVE this Sunday at 8pm ET/5pm PT for a celebration like no other, honoring 50 years of Hip Hop with an EPIC performance. pic.twitter.com/3KerHIFnjU
— CBS (@CBS) January 31, 2023
Rap actually hasn’t been a part of the Grammys for that long. The Recording Academy first introduced its Best Rap Performance Hip Hop category in 1989, with DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (aka Jeff Townes and Will Smith) taking home the first-ever award in the category for their single “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
This year the 65th Annual Grammy Awards will take place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California on February 5, 2023, and Hip Hop and R&B acts have received numerous nominations across the board. Beyoncé leads all artists with nine nominations, followed by Kendrick Lamar with eight. Meanwhile, Future, Lizzo and Mary J. Blige each have six.
Questlove’s forthcoming Grammy tribute performance is just the latest event planned this year in celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th birthday.
Multiple rap legends descended on New York’s City Hall in November, including Grandmaster Flash, Roxanne Shante and Slick Rick, who stood next to Mayor Eric Adams to speak about the celebrations planned in coordination with Bronx’s Universal Hip Hop Museum, which will finally open its doors in 2024.
“Today, hip hop legends came together at City Hall to announce @uhhmuseum and NYC’s plan to celebrate hip hop’s 50th anniversary in 2023,” Flash wrote on Instagram at the time. “It’s going to be big – I can’t wait to get started.”
Among the celebrations so far, a new photography exhibit titled Hip Hop 50 “Conscious, Unconscious” opened this past week in New York City at Park Avenue’s Fotografiska Museum. The exhibit sports a collection of Hip Hop photography collected from the past five decades and has already attracted rap royalty visitors such as Nas, Raekwon, N.O.R.E., Styles P, Grandmaster Caz, Melle Mel, Havoc, Fabolous, Maino, Dave East, A-Trak and Ralph McDaniels.