Will Smith Takes Center Stage In CBS’ ‘Grammy Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop’


In a grand finale to the 50th anniversary celebration of hip-hop, the Recording Academy partners with CBS for “A Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip-Hop.” This two-hour special not only pays tribute to the roots of the culture but also documents its profound impact over the decades.


Diverse Performances Capture the Essence of Rap Music

Filmed at Inglewood’s YouTube Theater on Nov 8

"Join Will Smith, Queen Latifah, and Public Enemy in a musical journey celebrating 50 years of hip-hop. A star-studded Grammy Salute to the iconic culture."

The event, held at Inglewood’s YouTube Theater on November 8, features a diverse array of performers from various decades and regions. Icons such as Queen Latifah, Common, Public Enemy, Rakim, and many more come together, showcasing the broad spectrum of style and substance within rap music.

Fresh Prince Reunion: Will Smith Takes Center Stage

Memorable Moments from the First Grammy-Awarded Hip-Hop Act

Will Smith, also known as the Fresh Prince, steals the spotlight in a memorable moment, reuniting with DJ Jazzy Jeff for a medley of solo and collaborative hits. Questlove introduces the duo, highlighting their historic Grammy win in 1989, and the performance becomes a significant highlight of the night.


Journey Through Hip-Hop History: From East to West to the Dirty South

A Curated Exploration by Jermaine Dupri

The special takes viewers on a journey through hip-hop’s history, acknowledging its roots in the East Coast and West Coast before shifting the spotlight to the influential Dirty South. Jermaine Dupri curates a performance featuring Jeezy, T.I., Three 6 Mafia, and others, celebrating the defining role of Southern hip-hop in mainstream culture.

Homage to Hip-Hop Legends and the Native Tongues

Remembering Pioneers and Progressive Movements

The show pays homage to early queens of hip-hop, featuring performances by Monie Love, Remy Ma, and Latto, blending classic and modern tracks. Additionally, the Native Tongues, a collective from the ’80s and ’90s with progressive ideals, is remembered with renditions of their iconic songs.


Global Impact: International Segment and Celebration of Lives Lost

Akon Leads International Tribute; Doug E. Fresh Honors Hip-Hop Legends

The special recognizes the global impact of hip-hop with an international segment led by Akon. Doug E. Fresh pays tribute to the lives lost in the hip-hop community, including DMX, Nipsey Hussle, Tupac Shakur, and others.

A Grand Finale: The Legacy of Hip-Hop

Harvey Mason Jr. Reflects on the Cultural Impact

The night ends on a positive note, with Harvey Mason Jr. reflecting on the enduring legacy and impact of hip-hop. He emphasizes the genre’s ability to serve as an antidote, bringing people together and acknowledging its indispensable role in the music industry.

A Night to Remember: Permanently Cementing Hip-Hop’s Legacy

Acknowledging the Cultural Contributions to the World

In his closing remarks, Harvey Mason Jr. asserts that the celebration not only acknowledges but permanently cements the legacy, impact, and contributions of hip-hop to the culture and the world, emphasizing its role as a universal language that unifies even the most divided.

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