Wednesday, September 2, 2009


If any label deserves its props at VH1's Hip-Hop Honors, it is Def Jam. Of course, Def Jam in 2009 has as little in common with its early roots as Motown in 2009, Rhino in 2009, Atlantic in 2009, etc. But the history of Def Jam certainly deserves to be celebrated: LL Cool J (still on the label, I think!), The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy (all of whom have been honored on their own) and EPMD (who, insanely, have not). Not to mention Method Man & Redman (seperately and as a duo), The Roots, Ghostface, and probably some others that I'm forgetting about. 3rd Bass! I hope this isn't just some way to get Jay-Z on VH1, I know they're hot for him there. The show airs on VH1 on October 13.

I worked at VH1 the first year we did Hip-Hop Honors. It was really a proud moment for me. When I started there, the channel was super white and seemingly not into hip-hop. At some point, that all changed. Hip-Hop never had a real awards show to celebrate its history, and thanks to VH1, now it did. Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, plus 2Pac and some real founders of the artform: DJ Hollywood, DJ Kool Herc, The Sugarhill Gang and The Rock Steady Crew. I got to interview lots of cool people: D.M.C., Pac's sister, Wyclef Jean, KRS-One, Kid Rock and a few others. It's impossible to top that year's class - it's like the first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: after you've inducted Chuck Berry, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Fats Domino and Ray Charles, you are only going down from there. But back to Hip-Hop Honors, I'm glad they're still doing it, and I hope EPMD get some props at this.

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