The 5 most Philly moments at the Grammy’s Salute to Hip-hop


Hip-hop’s year-long 50th birthday celebration would look vastly different without Philly rappers and DJs. That jawn was made clear on the Grammy’s two-hour salute to the genre that aired Sunday night on CBS.

Philly was seen and felt throughout the show, from behind the scenes to the front row: Questlove was a producer, while DJ Jazzy Jeff, Fresh Prince associate Charlie Mack, and author, journalist, and event promoter Mister Mann Frisby pumped their fists in the audience.

Digable Planets, featuring Mount Airy-born rapper Craig “Doodlebug” Irving, reunited to perform their neo-soul hit, “Rebirth of Slick.” And DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Will Smith himself, brought the house down to close out the show in head-to-toe Phillies gear.

Philly was in the house, for real. Here are the most Philly moments from “The Grammy Salute to 50 Years of Hip-hop.”

1. DJ Diamond Kuts hits the turntables with Two Chainz

Props go to Tina “Diamond Kuts” Dunham for paying homage to old school artists while giving a platform to newer artists. In a sparkling silver segment featuring Two Chainz, Gunna, and Coi Leray along with Nelly and Rick Ross, Power 99′s Diamond Kuts rocked the house, reminding the audience the influence Philly DJs like Lady B wield in the world of hip-hop.

2. Digable Planets gives us “Rebirth of Slick” in ode to Neo-Soul

Philly’s Craig “Doodlebug” Irving was one-third of the iconic Digable Planets, whose 1992 Grammy-winning classic “Rebirth of Slick” kicked off a new genre in hip-hop. Doodlebug, Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler and Mary Ann “Ladybug” Mecca joined iconic artists De La Soul and Common for a performance that was as slick as it was back in the day.

3. Black Thought raps with Big Daddy Kane and Rakim

Sandwiched between Big Daddy Kane and Rakim, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter laid down tight bars from his epic track on the 2017 Funkmaster Flex Freestyle. Black Thought was thorough. His flow was precise, confirming why this Philly emcee and lead rapper for The Roots is often named in the same breath as Kane and Rakim as hip-hop’s best lyricists of all times.

4. Questlove introduces DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Ahmir “Quest Love” Thompson reminded America the first hip-hop Grammy was awarded to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince in 1989. Clearly, he was excited. “I grew up idolizing these two from my hometown of ‘Illadelph’,” he said in the intro.

5. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince rock the mic in Phillies gear.

Will Smith has been notably missing during this year’s year-long celebration of hip-hop, save for the phenomenal Class of 88 podcast. But he was back on the scene in head-to-toe Phillies gear for the highly-anticipated reunion of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. The Fresh Prince performed Philly-crowd pleasers “Brand New Funk” and “Summertime,” and a sped-up rendition of the theme song to The Fresh Prince Bel-Air, in a performance that made Philly hip-hop heads proud.

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