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2023 MTV VMAs: Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, and more pay tribute to hip-hop’s 50th year

LL Cool J, DMC, Grandmaster Flash, Nicki MInaj, and Lil Wayne. Photos via MTV, Lil Wayne by Theo Varga/Getty Images.


The 2023 MTV VMAs were closed out this year with a performance in celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, featuring on-stage appearances from Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Doug E. Fresh, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

Opening up the set was Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, appropriate given that their single “The Message” was hip-hop’s first hit. That was followed by Doug E. Fresh (and a surprise appearance from Slick Rick) for “The Show,” and Nicki Minaj, who performed a few cuts including “Itty BItty Piggy” from her mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty. Lil Wayne took it back to 2008 with “A Milli,” then it was back to ’80s with sets from LL Cool J and Run-DMC.

The 2023 MTV VMAs are taking place at the Prudential Center in Jersey. Other performers include Shakira, Doja Cat, Tomorrow x Together, Peso Pluma, and many more. Follow along on our live blog here.