Honestly, we tuned into last night’s MTV VMAs to see Missy Elliott finally get a Video Vanguard Award. BUT, we were honestly pleasantly surprised by some of the performances from the night.
Hip-Hop was present and accounted for in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Before the show began, fans were treated to a medley from the leader of the now “Hot Nerd Fall” movement Megan Thee Stallion. Despite being robbed of performing on the main stage — where should have been — Thee Stallion didn’t miss a beat. Hip-Hop’s hottest act had the pre-show crowd buzzing with performances of “Big Ole Freak,” “Cash Sh*t,” and her single “Hot Girl Summer.”
Lizzo took VMA’s attendees, and viewers to church with two spirited of performances of her singles “Truth Hurts” and “Good As Hell.” Lil Nas X opted not to go with his viral hit “Old Town Road” (Remix) — which he won a moon man for— performing his single “Panini.”
H.E.R. and Normani were paired together to slow things down a bit. The enigmatic singer debut a new single titled “Anti” while Normani performed her latest single “Motivation” that has everyone buzzing.
Big Sean used the annual award show to premiere his new energetic track “Bezerk” featuring A$AP Ferg. We even got to see the two show off their dance moves. Maybe it was the fact Missy was in the building they felt the need to bust a move a more two. Their Milly Rocks need serious work though.
Speaking of Missy, she didn’t disappoint at all. This year’s Video Vanguard Award recipient reminded us as well as re-introduced herself to the masses who are not familiar with her work. Elliott wowed the crowd with a medley of performances of classic records like “Hot Boyz,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Lose Control,” “The Rain,” and “Pass That Dutch.” It wouldn’t be a Missy performance without lit choreography, and there was plenty as she accurately recreated the dance routines from each song’s video.
Last but not least, MTV closed out the VMAs with a tribute Jersey and the Hip-Hop acts the state birthed. Proud jersey natives Queen Latifah, Ice-T, Redman, Naughty By Nature, Wyclef and Fetty Wap (really?) all performed their classic hits. If you didn’t get to see any of the performances or want to relive them, we got you in the gallery below.
Photo: Noam Galai / Getty