"VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South" promises fans energetic performances by some of rap's all-time greats, when the latest installment in the tribute series airs Monday night (June 7).
This year's show is dedicated to hip-hop originating from down bottom: Luther Campbell and his Miami group the 2 Live Crew; producers Jermaine Dupri, Organized Noize and Timbaland; J. Prince and the Houston-based Rap-A-Lot music empire; and Master P and the No Limit soldiers who turned New Orleans on its ear.
"Tonight is gonna be historical," DJ Khaled told MTV News last week as the show taped at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. "To be a part of a historical moment like this ... I been with [Rick] Ross, I seen Bun B, I seen Luke. I seen Pitbull, Trina, Goodie Mob. Just the rehearsal alone, I had goose bumps. This is big for the South — this is big for music period."
Among the acts honoring this year's class are Khaled and Ross, Paul Wall, Lil Jon, Drake, Trina, Pitbull, Nelly and the St. Lunatics, as well as Diddy and Gucci Mane. Meanwhile, T.I. and Jonah Hill participated as presenters; Craig Robinson hosts.
"Just being in jail three weeks ago, that was so big for me," Gucci told Miss Info about his involvement in the ceremony. "No pressure. Everything is downhill from there," he told the media personality. "Nothing bigger than ... getting your freedom back. I don't have nothing to prove."
During rehearsals last week, Silkk the Shocker said he was proud of what his brother, Master P, had accomplished.
"With me, first of all, shouts out to him, 'cause I got to see greatness for a long time," Silkk said. "It's very good to finally see him get honored for it. And then, I think a lot of people out there also appreciate what he's done. I perform all the time, but to actually perform and give back to him and show him what he means to us, that's amazing for me."
P told MTV News that one of his greatest contributions was selling so many records without the backing of a major label.
"When it comes down to putting out records, people are afraid. They say, 'I don't want to put out too many records,' " P explained of the conventional rationale. "My thing was, with No Limit, when you're hot, you're hot, you give 'em whatever you can give 'em. That's what I teach my family: When you got 'em, give it to 'em, 'cause when you got a fanbase, feed that fanbase. There's no such thing as too much music. We accomplished something that nobody did, to be able to sell 75 million records independently and to be honored for hip-hop is a blessing and lets you know we been dong the right thing."
Some of the can't-miss moments on this year's "Hip Hop Honors" are Bow Wow dressed up like Kris Kross to perform the JD-produced classic "Jump," and the lively return of Mystikal during P's "Make 'Em Say Ugh."
Whose set are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!