By Thomas A. Harden
Eminem is no stranger to the VMA’s stage. In 2000, he kicked off the VMA’s at Radio City Music Hall in New York, with a stellar performance of his smash single “The Real Slim Shady,” off of his sophomore album, The Marshall Mathers LP. Fast forward ten years, and Mr. Mathers finds himself in a familiar position, as he’s set to open the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
This Sunday, September 12, is already proving to be a victorious evening for Em, as he’s nominated for eight Moonmen, the second-most behind Lady Gaga, for his hit “Not Afraid.” While there’s speculation brewing from fans regarding which chart-topping numbers the rapper will perform, one thing is for certain, just as he and Jay-Z rocked Comerica Park in Detroit for the Home and Home tour, Slim Shady will make history at this year’s VMA’s.
In anticipation of Eminem’s opening act, we took a trip down memory lane and uncovered Marshall’s top five MTV performances. Hit the jump to see which show was most memorable.
By Bridget Bland
There’s no television personality that has embraced hip-hop more than this year’s MTV Video Music Awards host, Chelsea Handler. The author and ‘Chelsea Lately’ late-night talk show host released a
statement shortly after her high-profile gig was announced, “This has been a huge year for hip-hop and rap, and it is well-known that I have the closest ties with these communities – musically and sexually."
She joked, "I am to rap and hippity-hop what Warren Buffet is to finance, minus the sex."
But, those who are fans of the 35 year-old comic can attest she really does support rappers - having them on her show to promote their albums, movies, books, and products over the years. After all, this is the same woman who sought advice on nailing a rapper from Erykah Badu.
Hit the jump to see our favorite Chelsea Handler rap connects and a flipbook of the talk show host with the MC's.
By Bridget Bland
Over the years, MTV’s Video Music Awards have become synonymous with talked-about show moments. And while their awards show presence has been felt most in the last five years, rap stars have generated their fair share of very memorable happenings, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Here's our look at the five most memorable hip-hop moments.
Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift’s Acceptance Speech (2009):
No hip-hop VMA moment is more talked about than when Kanye West, a frequent VMA performer, decided to bum-rush the stage during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video. The 'Power' rapper, who was spotted carrying a bottle of Hennessy on the red carpet shortly before the show started, interrupted Swift by proclaiming, "Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you. I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time." The cameras panned to Bey who looked on from the crowd, stunned. West was later escorted out of the awards show and has since apologized to Swift for ruining her big VMA moment.
Lil Mama Crashes Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' Performance (2009):
After Kanye West jumped onstage at the 2009 Video Music Awards and interrupted Taylor Swift's big VMA moment, viewers thought they'd seen the last of the stage-crashers, but they were wrong. While closing out the night with their blockbuster hit "Empire State of Mind," Alicia Keys and Jay-Z had their performance interrupted by rapper and "America’s Best Dance Crew" judge Lil Mama. She jumped onstage, planting herself between the two superstar artists and, after acting as their hypeman for the last few minutes of the track, even posed with her arms crossed in between them. Lil Mama later revealed that she was so moved by the performance she thought that Hov was encouraging her to come on up.
By Shaheem Reid
The Great Nicki Minaj. I always knew she would live up to the hype. And with today's announcement that she'll deliver her first-ever televised solo performance during the 2010 VMA pre-show on Sunday, September 12, she taken another huge step.
It's been extremely exciting to see Nicki's career blossom. Minaj is not just the lone female MC making noise right now, she's one of the most exceptional MCs period on the mic. Nicki has branded herself to practically guarantee a show-stealing verse every time she hops on a track.
Her latest two guest appearances, Trey Songz's "Bottoms Up" and "Monster," probably most embody where she's at right now. She comes off sexy, fierce, sings, changes cadences and vocal inflection about as easily as LeBron James dribbles a basketball in an open court.
Nicki is here to stay. Last Spring, me and my partner Rahman Dukes told the world she was a force, when we named her tape Beam Me Up Scotty our Mixtape Daily Main Pick.
Being from NYC, we'd heard about Nicki maybe two years prior. She's from Queens just like us and we actually shot the Mixtape Daily piece in Baisley Park right across the street from my elementary school, P.S. 223, and down the block from Nicki's elementary school, P.S. 45.
There's been some great entrances in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards.
Diddy arrived to the Miami show via a yacht. Eminem entered Radio City Music Hall with hundreds of look-alikes. And Jay-Z introduced the show from the top of New York City's Chrysler Building (and we like to hope he eventually took the elevator down, right?).
So, for Drake, making his VMA debut, there's some pressure.
But the Toronto lyricist has some grand ideas, even though one in particular--arriving with Lil Wayne--might be impossible.
"That would be the illest moment," Drake said of walking in with the Cash Money superstar. "Mob through. The whole Young Money. ... Nobody knew about it. We just all show up. ... Or we could get him out for a day. And even if he had to wear a jumpsuit or something."
Weezy, however, is currently incarcerated. The New Orleans MC is locked up in New York's Rikers Island stemming from a 2007 arrest that he later reached a plea deal on. The deal, though, called for the rapper to spend a year behind bars.
Lil Wayne is set to be released in November. It doesn't appear he'll make the VMAs. But it was a grand idea.
What do you think Drake should do? Let us know in the comments section or tweet us over at, @MTVRapFix!
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.