We’re expecting some hip-hop history when Nicki Minaj takes the stage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. We’re not sure what the Young Money MC has planned, but if we know Nicki she’ll be looking to steal the show when it goes down this Sunday, August 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
It won’t be the first time hip-hop has rocked the VMAs, in fact hip-hop has had some pretty unforgettable VMA moments. Here are 12 times hip-hop ruled at the Video Music Awards.
1. “Walk This Way”
Run D.M.C. became the first hip-hop act to perform at the VMAs when they rocked “Walk This Way” alongside Aerosmith in 1987. Pay homage.
2. The First Award
In the 1980s, hip-hop was a fast-growing genre that hadn’t quite found a place at mainstream awards shows. In 1989, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (that’s Will Smith to you) won the first award for Best Rap Video at the VMAs, beating out MC Hammer, Ice T, Kool Moe Dee and Tone Loc.
3. Uncle L
Before he was an actor on “NCIS,” LL Cool J was a damn good rapper who tore the house down at the 1991 VMAs, performing his classic “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
4. “Murder Was The Case”
Snoop Dogg pulled out all of the stops for his 1994 VMA performance, recreating a funeral scene to the tune of “Murder Was the Case.” The Dogg moved the crowd and then moved our souls at the end when he proclaimed: “I’m innocent” in response to the real-life murder trial he was facing at the time.
5. R.I.P. B.I.G.
With the hip-hop world still reeling over the shooting death of the Notorious B.I.G., Diddy paid tribute with “I’ll Be Missing You,” joined by Sting, 112 and Biggie’s widow, Faith Evans, in 1997. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
6. The Time We Saw Lil’ Kim’s Boob
Boys became men the night Lil’ Kim wore a pasty and a one-shouldered jumpsuit at the 1999 VMAs.
7. Eminem + 100
Em had one of the largest entourages we’ve ever seen, at the 2000 VMAs: just him and a few dozen Slim Shady clones. No big deal.
8. Crazy In Love With The Carters
Back when they were just dating and way before they went on the run, Jay Z and Beyoncé performed “Crazy in Love” together at the 2003 main show.
9. Hey Ya, Hip-Hop Won Video Of The Year
In 2004, Outkast took home Video of the Year for “Hey Ya” and all was right with the world.
10. That Time Biggie And Snoop Dogg Performed Together
Would’ve been hard to imagine in the ’90s that we’d ever see the Notorious B.I.G. and onetime Death Row artist Snoop together. Thankfully, in 2005 Diddy and MTV green-lit this once-in-a-lifetime stage show.
11. And That Time Lil Mama Got Onstage
Jay Z and Alicia Keys moved the crowd in 2009 when they performed “Empire State of Mind.” Fans were beside themselves — just ask Lil Mama, who was so inspired she crashed the duo’s set and struck a b-girl pose. Never not funny.
12. The Return of Kanye
Kanye West brought the house down when he debuted “Runaway” at the 2010 VMAs, just a year after his infamous Taylor Swift incident.
13. Nothing Was The Same
Drake proved he was a grade-A VMA performer in 2013 when he rocked the Barclays Center with a combo performance of “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “Started From the Bottom.”