Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were onto something when they recorded one of rap’s earliest hits, “The Message,” in 1982. Not only would hip-hop rock the party for years to come, but the then-budding genre would grow to become the CNN of the streets — detailing the ills of the inner-city ghetto. On November 30, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross and LL Cool J will join Furious Five members Melle Mel and Scorpio for a special performance of “The Message” during the Grammy Nominations Concert, airing live on CBS.
The one-hour show will reveal the nominations for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will take place on February 12, 2012, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. LL Cool J will host the awards and Lady Gaga, Ludacris, Rihanna, Sugarland and Usher have already been announced as performers while Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry will be on deck as award presenters.
For the fourth time the nominations will be announced during prime time and the Grammy Nominations Concert will not only feature the cross-generational rap performance, but will also boast performances from past Grammy winners and nominees.
On November 21 it was announced that “The Message” would be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, 30 years after it was recorded. On the track rappers Melle Mel and Ed “Duke Bootee” Fletcher rhymed about junkies in the alley, pimps, prostitutes and the rampant unemployment of the 1980s. The groundbreaking lyrics were summed up perfectly on the track’s hook, “It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under.”
“The Message” has since been a staple in hip-hop. It was sampled by Ice Cube in 1993 on a remix to his “Check Yo Self” single and again on Diddy’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” in 1997.
The Grammy Nominations Concert Live — Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night will air on November 30 on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/PT.