Questlove has responded to critics of the 50th anniversary Hip Hop tribute at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday night (February 5).

While the performance, which was curated by the Roots drummer, largely drew rave reviews and helped the Grammys earn a three-year viewership high, there were still some fans left wondering why certain artists were left out.

Questlove took to Twitter this week to give fans a better understanding of how tough it was to squeeze multiple generation and regions into a 15-minute performance while also dealing with artists bailing at the last minute.

“General ?s answered about last night: (some are asking if we are playing erasure games so uh….yeah I don’t play that so—in answering the questions of why wasn’t dada there?) 1. already booked 2. declined our offer straight up 3. or a third option im not gonna get into,” he began.

The Philadelphia native went on to explain that they deliberately avoided paying homage to dead artists and focused on those who were living.

“We had a criteria we wanted to follow: alive? harmonizing? turntablism? fighting shape? NYC? LA? BAY? ATL? NAWLINS? HOUSTON? MIDWEST? born before 1960? born after 1995? Superlyrical? Stylistic? Original? generally known by at least 2 generations?” he added, further highlighting the challenges that he and his fellow Hip Hop 50 organizers faced.

“Now granted they might not be your favorite (and there were 2 crucial 11th hour (more like 10 mins before taping) cancellations that mighta made it look like we were biased in our choices. but just understand we literally tried to SQUEEEEEEEZE everyone in.”

In response to a fan who questioned why Ice-T was the only Los Angeles Hip Hop representative for a performance held in the City of Angels, Quest explained: “welp: I asked like 10 legends so….sometimes you gotta go with the one who wants you. again might not be your preference but most of hip hop has side gigs. Acting was the main issue. lotta movies being shot.”

And as for why there were so few artists from the 2010s involved, he replied: “because they said ‘no’, or they walked out.”

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Will Smith was one of those who were forced to drop out due to obligations in Hollywood, with Questlove previously revealing that the “Summertime” hitmaker was supposed to be a part of the performance until his upcoming movie Bad Boys 4 got in the way.

Hosted by LL COOL J, the Hip Hop 50 segment served as one of the standout moments from the 2023 Grammys. The star-studded outing included a wide range of appearances from Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Method Man, Rakim, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, GloRilla, Big Boi, Too $hort and many more.