By Paul Cantor
Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber are at war ... sort of. They’re actually competing against Jason Derülo, Broken Bells and Ke$ha in the Best New Artist VMA category. To some people, though, it’s a two-horse race. Nicki’s nominated for “Massive Attack,” Justin for “Baby.” To an outsider, “Baby” was a much bigger hit than “Massive Attack,” but Best New Artist is voted on by the fans, so come Sunday, who’ll rep harder, the Barbies or the Beliebers?
Hit the jump for more on Nicki and Justin B ...
By Rahman J. Dukes
At the launch for Eminem and Jay-Z’s joint stadium tour in Shady’s background at Comerica Park last week, hundreds of fans turned out in hopes of catching their favorite gal Rihanna take the stage with Em. Fans didn’t exactly go home with a frown on their face when Rihanna was a no-show -- Eminem’s high-powered performance hardly left time for fans to miss the Barbadian beauty. Besides, the next opportunity for the pairing could potentially go down a week later at the MTV VMAs, considering the Billboard champ has a must-see slot locked in, right? Well, not quite.
A betting man would suggest Eminem is guaranteed to put the show in high gear, and the mere thought of Rihanna making an appearance would only fan the flames even more. However, the singer is currently filming her first movie, "Battleship," in Hawaii, and sends her regards for missing out on the performance but promises a dominant return to the stage.
MTV News' "RapFix Live" wraps up all the VMA excitement and breaks down the most unexpected moments in a special-edition, 45-minute, MTV.com-exclusive live stream airing immediately following the last song of the night. Sway and special guest B.o.B (who will be performing in the big show) hold down the AEG balcony high above the red carpet adjacent to Nokia Theatre, analyzing show highlights and what artists and performances fans are talking about on Twitter as well as taking questions from @MTVRapFix! MTV News correspondent SuChin Pak will be on hand to grab all your favorite VMA hip-hop performers and presenters as they exit the show for immediate reactions as they exit the venue and head to the parties.
It’s looking to be a big night for performer and nominee B.o.B, and we’ll bring him to you live in person on RapFix. Previously, B.o.B shared his excitement at the thought of taking home a Moonman.
"It's very special to me. I think it's a lot more special than the success of the singles, because this reflects the work I've put in over the years and the word of mouth I've helped create," he said. "It's definitely amazing. I'm trying to find the words to explain it, but I can't. It's inexplicable. I'm a real simple man, so, you know, I accept every gift with generosity and gratitude."
B.o.B is up for five VMAs, including the highly touted Video of the Year for his “Airplanes” track featuring Paramore's Hayley Williams.
Who would you like to see at the "RapFix Live" VMA post-show? Let us know in the comments!
By Rahman J. Dukes
“Oh you fancy, huh? You fancy, huh?” Don’t be surprised to hear Drake rapping those very words to a backdrop draped by a swarm of dime pieces at this year's Video Music Awards. After all, we do know the boy wonder is a ladies' man.
Grammy Awards, #1 Billboard debut, platinum albums, shut down shows in New York City, you name it. Drizzy has had a banner year, and come this Sunday, he plans to raise the stakes yet again, and maybe take a Moonman or two with him back across the Canadian border.
Hit the jump for more on Drake's performance ...
By Bridget Bland
MTV has enlisted the help of some incredibly entertaining stars to host their annual Video Music Awards over the course of the past 27 years, and it was inevitable that some of these notable figures would have ties to the world of hip-hop.
Since the first MTV Video Music Awards, where Bette Midler and Dan Akroyd passed out Moonmen to the biggest music acts of 1984, the show has had its share of comedic geniuses on hand to host, like Eddie Murphy, Rosanne Barr, Ben Stiller and more recently, Russell Brand. They've kept viewers laughing in between music acts.
This year's host, Chelsea Handler, also has close ties to the hip-hop community and, as we inch closer to the big show, we take a look at back at some of the previous years' VMA hosts.
In 2005, MTV enlisted the help of Bad Boy Records founder Diddy to host the VMAs, which were held for the second year in a row at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The music mogul, who has launched the careers of the Notorious B.I.G. and Mase, to name a few, also owns a posh crib in MIA. He remains one of the few non-comedians to lend his witty, fly personality to the show as host. The "Get Him to the Greek" star definitely took the gig seriously – holding a dance-off, awarding Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg $50,000 for the charity of their choice for winning his Fashion Challenge and sharing the wealth in the form of a $10,000 Jacob the Jeweler-designed watch given to a lucky audience member.
By Rahman J. Dukes
Music mogul Jermaine Dupri has been hard at work the past two years cranking out hits for the likes of Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Usher and is now developing his latest musical sensation, Dondria. But in his offtime, JD has been one of the most sought-after club DJs with his name ringing bells from Peachtree Street in the A all the way across the map to Sin City.
The So So Def founder was in Los Angeles this week promoting his new mixtape I Think I’m Berry Gordy as well as taking on a few of the VMA gigs. Just last night, Dupri was tearing it down at the Verizon-sponsored Sean Kingston event when we caught up with him to get his take on the secret ingredients that make the partygoers shake their booty from the windows to the wall.
Hit the jump for more on JD ...
By Rahman J. Dukes
Things just keep getting better and better for Rick Ross. The embattled rapper, who embodied the title of his latest album Teflon Don, has had yet another all-star year culminating in arguably the best hip-hop album of 2010 (take that, Canadian boy wonder).
As if his massive ode to Detroit kingpin “Big Meech” weren’t enough on “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast),” not to mention his alliance with Bad Boy Records mogul Diddy, Ross has one more trick to pull out of his hat come Sunday night at the 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards. It was only a few years ago when Ross took the backseat at the VMAs when he was just a rookie in this wonderful world of rap. But as his enlightener the Notorious B.I.G. once spit "things done changed."
Earlier this afternoon, Ross and the brass at MTV were cooking up something special to put “asses in seats,” as they say at L.A.’s Nokia Theatre. Ross’ in-house A&R/lensman Spiff was on hand to witness the moment and was amazed himself.
By Paul Cantor
Typically it’s hard to convince the average rap fan that a guy who stands on stage with a big mouse mask covering his entire head is even remotely worth paying attention to. Tell them he doesn’t even kick rhymes and you’ll probably get laughed out of the conversation.
But that’s what you get with Joel Thomas Zimmerman, the Canadian electro house producer who calls himself deadmau5. The 29-year-old was announced as the house artist for the VMAs back in August, and when he takes to the booth Sunday, he’ll bring his unique brand of electronic music to an audience who would otherwise scratch their heads if they ever stumbled upon his work. That is, until they were forced to start dancing.
Hit the jump for more on Deadmau5 ...
By Thomas A. Harden
Snoop Dogg is up for two awards on Sunday at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards for his collaboration with pop star Katy Perry on her hit single "California Gurls," which is nominated for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video. On Tuesday, the Doggfather told CBSNews.com that if the super-duo wins, he has the perfect place to display his Moonman -- atop his Cadillac.
An odd place to store such a prize, to say the least, but with Snoop you never know what to expect. In fact, we couldn't help but wonder where else the eccentric rapper might showcase his music award.
Hit the jump to see what funky alternatives we were able to come up with ...
By Rahman J. Dukes
It doesn’t take rocket science to know that late-night host Chelsea Handler has a passion for hip-hop artists and their aggressive raps. Over the past few months, some of hip-hop’s ambassadors from 50 Cent to T.I. to Fat Joe have appeared on the sexy siren's show, each walking away with a memorable moment.
Raising her hip-hop stock, this coming Sunday, Handler will have the honors of hosting the 27th MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles at the Staples Center, brushing shoulders with a number of hip-hop artists expected to show up for the event.
This year's hip-hop categories are looking to arguably be as competitive as ever, considering the crop of talent. While Handler says she doesn’t possess the chops to predict who will walk away with a Moonman she did weigh in on another category in regards to three of rap’s key players.
Hit the jump to see what she had to say.