They did the time, but don't get the glory
VH1 decided to honor the people who reinvented the hip hop game in the ’90s. The network invited plenty of special guests who were influential back in the day (along with some who really weren’t) who performed on a set street scene with colorful ’90s graffiti art surrounding the stage. Icon Missy Elliott opened the show with her song “She’s a B**ch,” complete with skin-tight black body suits with futuristic studded black leather clothes on.
Other honorees included names like Mariah Carey, Martin Lawrence, and Jermaine Dupree… but some other influential names were noticeably absent from the guest list and they aren’t happy about it.
While the show was well-received by many, not everyone was on board. Much of that backlash is coming from the musicians on the ’90s who weren’t invited to participate in the event. Lelee Lyons of the female group SWV (Sisters With Voices) wrote on Instagram, “Soooooo, VH1 is doing a show on game changers of the 90’s, but not invite most of the artists that changed the game? Where they do that at? I’m so sick of the d**k riding, popularity contests that flatters this new industry.” SWV formed in 1986, but really gained fame in 1992 with their singles “I’m So Into You” and “Weak,” their name becoming synonymous with the sounds of ’90s R&B divas!
T-Boz of the equally-important female group TLC concurred, saying, “I feel you!” TLC formed in 1990. Their 1994 album CrazySexyCool had four singles that reached into the Top 5 slots of the Billboard Hot 100. “Creep” and “Waterfalls” were Number 1.
There were many game changers in ’90s hip hop, especially because that’s the era when hip hop was coming into the mainstream. Artists were everywhere, and there may just be too many to mention in one show.
Despite the drama, the night was full of incredible throwback performances. Mariah Carey managed to redeem herself for her New Years Eve fiasco with a performance of “Honey” alongside Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri, and The Lox & Mase. She was recognized at the event for being the best-selling female artist of all time due to her 220 million sold records and 18 Number 1 hits. She’s also known as a prolific collaborator having worked with Busta Rhymes, ODB, and P. Diddy.
Rapper Jermaine Dupri was also honored at the event thanks to his prolific career as a producer at So So Def Records. Some of his earliest hits were with huge names like Kris Kross, Xscape, and Da Brat. Fellow producer Master P was recognized for his contribution to ’90s hop hop with his group TRU. Their song “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” went double platinum, and he has already been inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
They might not be musical artists, but actor Martin Lawrence and music video director Hype Williams were given their due for their contribution to the entertainment world of that decade. Martin’s self-titled sitcom won an NAACP Image Award. Hype created music videos for the likes of DMX, Missy Elliott, and P. Diddy. Their presence at the event probably didn’t help those artists who were fed up that they didn’t get in invite!
Some other highlights of the night included Lil’ Kim’s performance alongside Fabolous and Havoc as well as a star-studded homage to the ’90s most notable genre: the party jam. Ty Dolla $ign, Xscape’s Kandi & Tiny, Warren G, Fat Joe, and Remy Ma were tasked with performing a medly of these songs much to the delight of the audience.
What artists do you feel were the biggest game changers of the 90s? Let us know in the comments and SHARE this story!