VH1 threw open the vault of hip-hop history and honored the genre’s most iconic innovators. This year’s honorees included quirky svengali Missy Elliott, West Coast legend Snoop Dogg, alt-rap superstars A Tribe Called Quest, Teddy Riley and Andre Harrell — the producers behind the New Jack Swing movement, old-school legends Whodini, and the fi lmmakers behind the hip-hop staple Wild Style.
“I didn’t even know I had been in this for this long,” said an obviously fl attered Elliott. “This is big for me — this means a whole, whole lot.”
Hosted by funnyman Tracy Morgan, impassioned tributes were paid to honorees from such superstars as Common, Nelly, Harvey Keitel, Ice-T, and Nelly Furtado, hip-hop’s greatest were given the accolades that they so richly deserve. “All the rappers infl uenced me, because we’re from the same community,” said comedian and self-described hip-hop head Chris Rock. “My comedy’s probably closer to [hip-hop] than it is to a lot of comedians’ stuff — I probably got as much from KRS-One and Ice Cube as Eddie Murphy.” – todd williams