By Bridget Bland
Making the perfect performance takes risk, creativity and more than a hot record. Sometimes it takes a mash-up of people to leave audiences wanting more. Since its creation, the MTV Video Music Awards have been one of the first networks to push the envelope with medleys of songs from myriad artists. And the hip-hop genre has given it some of its most beloved posse performances. On the eve of the 2010 VMAs, where the likes of Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Drake and Eminem are poised to make some new lasting impressions and sure to bring out a number of surprise performances, we take a look at some of these memorable hip-hop posse performances from over the past decade.
Hit the jump for the top performances …
Ludacris has graced the VMA stage more than once since becoming one of the South’s biggest rap stars. But his performance of “Money Maker” with Pharrell in ’06 defined him as one of the elite hip-hop performers. So it was only right that Luda would enlist the help of the Pussycat Dolls, who proved they were professionals at shakin’ their money makers for the crowd.
G-Unit reigned supreme at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami, where the crew’s frontman, 50 Cent, joined by Mobb Deep and Tony Yayo, ran through a string of hits including “Disco Inferno,” “Outta Control” and “So Seductive.” The performance also marked the first time gangsta rap duo Mobb Deep would perform at the awards. Unfortunately, the string of curse words aimed at Fat Joe toward the end of their set, overshadowed the entire moment.
Outkast might have taken home four Moonmen in a close battle with Jay-Z and closed out the show with their Grammy Award-winning tunes, but the 2004 VMAs also included a who’s who of Atlanta crunk music rappers and one New Yorker who had one of the year’s biggest club tunes. Dave Chapelle introduced Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz, who performed their infectious club banger “Get Low,” followed by the Ying Yang Twins’ “Salt Shaker” and Petey Pablo’s “Freek-a-Leek.” Vivica Fox, who ironically appeared as 50 Cent’s date just the year prior danced along in short shorts and then Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe took the stage for their smash “Lean Back.”
One of the greatest R&B and hip-hop mash-ups took place at the 2002 VMAs where Busta Rhymes, Ginuwine, Diddy, Pharrell and Usher joined forces for an all-star performance. The Bad Boy mogul performed “Bad Boy for Life” after a year of trials and tribulations, when he was found not guilty on charges stemming from a shooting in Times Square, New York City. At the time there was a lot of speculation over whether his pop-friendly songs “I Need a Girl (Part I and II)” were about ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. Ginuwine and Usher sang the hooks on those songs and Pharrell and Busta got the crowd amped with Buss’ infectious radio hit “Pass the Courvoisier” – an anthem to the cognac brand.
Missy Elliott has always been an innovator in her videos and performances. From intricate dance routines to next level costumes, she doesn’t let her fans down, and her 2001 VMA performance was no exception. Landing in a gold pantsuit from the sky, Missy launched into “Get Your Freak On” with Nelly Furtado sliding down the tongue of a giant mouth. Ludacris and Trina joined shortly after for the chart-topper “One Minute Man.” At the end of the performance, Missy shouted out her late friend Aaliyah.
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles tomorrow September 12. The party starts with MTV News’ VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.
What was your favorite Video Music Awards hip-hop crew performance? Let us know in the comments!