But she also made jaws drop on the red carpet before the show, during an interview with MTV News' Sway when she revealed that she's hooked up with one of his Bay Area brethren on a song for ARTPOP. When Swayasked if Gaga was working with any rappers on the album she said she'd actually hooked up with Oakland icon Too $hort.
"I'll give you one ... Too $hort," Gaga told a surprised-looking Sway when he asked if there would be any hip-hop guests on her album.
That's all she revealed, though, so we hopped on the phone with Shortdog on Sunday night to find out how this unexpected hook-up happened.
"I was doing some songs last year with one her producers, DJ White Shadow," $hort said about tunes he's recorded with Shadow for a house music project he's been working on. "He's been pretty busy, doing his thing around the world and he got back at me a little while ago and said, ''There's a song that Lady Gaga's doing that possibly they would want to get you on ... so I said, s--- I'm down with it!'"
Soon after, the session was booked in Los Angeles and $hort got in the booth and laid his verse down, just like that. "Then he called back and was like, 'She's going to debut the song at one of her shows' and I'm like,'s--- I'm there!'" $hort isn't sure which show Gaga is going to premiere the song at, but she has promised to play songs from ARTPOP at the iTunes festival on September 1.
The one thing $hort wasn't expecting was Gaga's shout-out during the VMA pre-show. But once she mentioned his name, he said his phone blew up. "I've been taking it in stride, man. I'm not the kind of person who goes around bragging to everybody, 'I did a song with Lady Gaga!'" he said. "But it happened and it's been a few weeks since we did it and I'm glad it's coming to surface now and I can actually talk about it."
$hort doesn't know what the song will be called and he was not about toblow up Gaga's spot by revealing anything about it before she does. He did,however, give a sneak peek at what it sounds like. "It's got that perfect medium ground where it would appeal as a pop song, but it's also got that hip-hop edge," he said. "I was just being me. It fits, it works. Like, you're trying to figure out, 'What is the bridge between Lady Gaga and Too $hort?'It's all music, it all fits. It works. I figure when she made it she was like, 'I can hear his voice on it.' The magic was that White Shadow was the bridge."
The collabo got started when Shadow was in $hort's studio in Oakland and the producer pulled out his laptop and Skyped with Gaga. $hort said he took the opportunity to peek in and introduce himself to the singer. A short time later, he was at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles and realized Gaga was a few tables over, so he introduced himself in person. The pair haven't spoken since, which is why $hort is excited to finally get with Gaga in person and perform the song live for the first time.
And, hopefully, film a video as well.
"It's a big deal for me. I've been around for a long time," said $hort. "I figure on her end it's great to work with the classics or the legends and on my end just it's great to work with one of the hottest artists on the planet. It's a big f---ing deal."