By Alvin Blanco
Drake and his buddy Rihanna are set to perform a duet at the upcoming Grammy Awards on February 13. While the Toronto rapper and Bajan Pop/R&B songstress bring plenty of star power, they are not the first hip-hop flavored duo to collaborate on the Grammy stage. Hip-Hop used to be cool on the Grammy’s (what, you forgot that Jay-Z used to boycott the show?) but nowadays the Awards ceremony is incomplete without participation from rap stars. RapFix took a look back at some of the show’s most high caliber collaborative hip-hop performances of the past.
Drake featuring Lil Wayne, Eminem “Forever”
Drake isn’t new to the Gammy stage, in 2010 he closed the Grammys out with a live performance of “Forever” along with Lil Wayne and Eminem (Kanye West was MIA). The performance was a medley with Eminem and Lil Wayne performing “Drop the World” from the latter’s Rebirth album.
Kanye West And Daft Punk “Stronger” and “Hey Mama”
Kanye always has to be epic. At the 2008 Grammys West performed “Jesus Walks” with a little help from John Legend, Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys of Alabama. A darkened stage, lasers and smoke, as well as a Daft Punk cameo, complemented Yeezy’s futuristic swag. Then went from hyped to somber when performing “Hey Mama,” a heartfelt tribute to his mother Donda who had passed away away the previous.
T.I. And Jay-Z featured Kanye West, Lil Wayne And M.I.A. “Swagga Like Us”
M.I.A. opened the set performing her hit “Paper Planes,” which thanks to producer Kanye West’s use of the song as sample, slipped effortlessly into T.I. and Hov’s “Swagga Like Us.” Dressed to the nines in tuxedos like a hip-hop Rat Pack, the high wattage performance was one of the 2009 show’s highlights. That, and the fact that M.I.A. was about one day away from giving birth.
Eminem And Elton John “Stan”
The early Slim Shady era Eminem was at times unapologetically homophobic in his lyrics. This drew the ire of the gay community and artists like Elton John. In the ultimate olive branch, Eminem invited Sir Elton to play keys and sing while he performed his hit single “Stan.” The two even exchanged a hug at the end of the performance.
Jay-Z, Linkin Park And Paul McCartney “Numb/Encore” And “Yesterday”
Who ya’ know doesn’t want to rock on stage with Hov? At the 2006 Grammys then semi-retiree Jay-Z linked up on stage with Linkin Park to perform “Numb/Encore” from their Collision Course project. The ante was further raised when they brought out ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney to sing “Yesterday.” Shawn Carter playing hypeman while rocking a suit with a John Lennon tee, for the win.
What was your favorite Grammy’s performance featuring hip-hop? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!