The Grammys’ 50th-anniversary celebration of hip-hop was, by most accounts, a rousing success. It celebrated 50 years of hip-hop history — give or take a decade — while allowing many of the pioneers of the genre to have a moment in the spotlight that they might not have gotten prior.
The 15-minute performance included 23 songs spanning from hip-hop’s earliest recordings to some of its latest hits. And while some folks had their complaints, Questlove explained some of the more obvious omissions, which included Will Smith backing out in order to finish filming Bad Boys 4.
But not everybody who watched the dedication knew who every performer was (just ask my mom) — which, when you think about it, is a testament to how vital it is to finally give some of these folks the recognition they’ve deserved, but might have been denied. So, here’s a list of everybody who performed, along with a track that everyone should hear to get a sense of their artistry (aside from the ones they performed at the Grammys).
Black Thought — “You Got Me” with The Roots
Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five — “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel”
Run-DMC — “Walk This Way”
LL Cool J — “Jingling Baby”
Salt-n-Pepa — “Let’s Talk About Sex”
Rakim — “Paid In Full”
Public Enemy — “Fight The Power”
De La Soul — “Eye Know”
Scarface — “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta” with The Geto Boys
Ice-T — “6 ‘N the Mornin'”
Queen Latifah — “Just Another Day…”
Method Man — “All I Need” Feat. Mary J. Blige
Big Boi — “Rosa Parks” with OutKast
Busta Rhymes — “Dangerous”
Missy Elliott — “Work It”
Nelly — “Country Grammar”
Too $hort — “Gettin’ It”
Swizz Beatz & The Lox — “Money, Power & Respect”
Lil Baby — “The Bigger Picture”
Lil Uzi Vert — “XO Tour Llif3″
GloRilla — “Tomorrow 2”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.