On a Grammy Awards night that already featured show-stopping performances from Justin Timberlake, Fun., Taylor Swift, Jack White, the Black Keys, Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Carrie Underwood and Rihanna with Sting, Bruno Mars and Ziggy and Damian Marley, how do you bring it all back home?
By letting the host do his thing.
The night ended with one of the most unique mash-ups in Grammy history, led by host, LL Cool J, who was joined by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, Public Enemy leader Chuck D, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and DJ Z-Trip.
“Well everybody, it’s been a great night, right?” said LL, who changed from his suit into an all-black ensemble, complete with leather jacket and beanie. “Everyone’s done their part, so how about I do mine?”
With Z-Trip manning the turntables, PE’s D jumped right into his band’s “Welcome to the Terrordome” as Barker bashed away at his kit in rapid fire bursts. Waiting for his spot, Cool J worked in his new single, “Whaddup,” whose title flashed across the onstage screens in huge letters.
The fast-paced hip-hop blitz moved into LL’s “Rock the Bells,” which Barker accented with some cowbell, before “Whaddup” came roaring back courtesy of Morello’s chugging riffs. While the amped LL kept returning to his hard-hitting new single, D waited for his spots, dropping in the “Terrordome” refrain “I got so much trouble on my mind, refuse to lose,” whenever he could.
At one point, the two men squared off center stage to yell the PE lyric at each other before Chuck threw it over to Morello, who tore off one of his signature turntable scratch-like solos. As the Rage guitarist moved into the booming riff from the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” LL raised his hand to salute and said, “Beastie Boys, MCA forever!,” in homage to Beastie Adam “MCA” Yauch, who died last year.
With “RIP MCA” scrolling across the screen, Cool J and D yelled the B-Boys song’s chorus together before dropping back into the “Terrordome/Whaddup” mashup as the credits began to roll.
Speaking to MTV News on the red carpet before the big show, LL confirmed that all of his guests on Sunday night will appear on his upcoming album, Authentic, due out in May.