NEW YORK — "VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South" might have represented Atlanta, Texas, Miami, New Orleans and everywhere in between, but all points were a unified front for the event Thursday night (June 3) at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
"I always say the East Coast is one piece of bread, and the West Coast is another piece of bread," honoree J. Prince of Rap-a-Lot Records said during the tribute. "And the South is the meat. I describe it that way, 'cause everyone has roots in the South."
Drake, Bun B, the Game, Juvenile and the Geto Boys' Willie D all performed as a part of the Rap-a-Lot set. Drake paid homage to the late Pimp C as he and Bun joined forces for "Get Throwed."
"Office" actor Craig Robinson replaced Tracy Morgan as host of the festivities, and with the help of Lil Jon and Paul Wall, he received a Southern makeover. "You got to put your money where your mouth is," Jon told the host, as Paul Wall "DDS" presented Robinson with grillz.
Jon and Wall scored plenty of laughs throughout the night via a series of sketches. In one, the pair attempted to dole out directions to a bystander, but the combination of slang ("slabs" and "shawty") left him confused.
Paul Wall also put in time onstage as he, Chamillionaire and Slim Thug were part of the Texas tribute. The Lone Star State, Miami and Atlanta were all recognized, in addition to official honorees Master P, Timbaland, Jermaine Dupri, J. Prince, Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew, and Outkast producers Organized Noize.
JD's set rivaled the Rap-a-Lot tribute for the highlight of the evening. The producer brought out Dem Franchize Boyz, Diddy and Bow Wow, who brought fans to their feet when he rose from the audience with his clothes on backward, in honor of Kris Kross. " 'Cause inside-out is wiggity wiggity wack," he rapped.
Uncle Luke suffered through technical difficulties during the 2 Live Crew set. Mannie Fresh helped keep things moving throughout the delay, shouting out Tony Draper and his pioneering company Suave House Records.
Master P's tribute went through without a hitch. His son Romeo, brother Silkk the Shocker, Trina and Mystikal hit the stage to pay homage. Mystikal was a frenetic force of energy, as he and Romeo performed P's breakout hit "Make 'Em Say Ugh."
Gucci Mane, T.I., Bone Crusher, DJ Drama and the Ying Yang twins honored Atlanta, while Trick Daddy, Pitbull, Flo Rida, and Trina repped for Miami.
Rick Ross and DJ Khaled proved to be showstoppers as the pair put on mink coats for the Boss' latest single, "Super High."
Producer Timbaland and Organized Noize brought out a bevy of guest to celebrate their discography, from Fabolous and Keri Hilson to Nelly and Asher Roth.
"VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South" airs Monday at 9 p.m. on VH1.
Whose set are you most looking forward to on Monday? Let us know in the comments!