Lil Wayne Electrifies 2023 MTV VMAs, Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop

Minaj's tribute spotlighted Wayne's influential music journey

by Nouman Rasool
Lil Wayne Electrifies 2023 MTV VMAs, Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop
© Greg Doherty/GettyImages

Lil Wayne, the esteemed rapper from New Orleans, not only wowed the audience at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) but also paid homage to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, a milestone that has reverberated throughout the music industry.

At 40, Lil Wayne, affectionately called Weezy, dominated the VMAs stage in New Jersey, reminding the audience of his iconic status. He dazzled the crowd with a few of his best hits, opening with the electrifying "Uproar" from his Tha Carter V album.

Clad in a sleek black hoodie and shades, Wayne's energetic performance on the red-lit stage was a sight to behold. He followed this up with his freshly-released single, "Kat Food." In a bold move, Wayne delved into the audience, ramping up the excitement while his ensemble of dancers captured the stage's essence.

The rapper didn't forget to embrace each one warmly as his performance concluded.

Nicki Minaj Hails Wayne's Legacy

As a testament to Wayne's unparalleled impact in the industry, fellow Young Money stalwart and close friend, Nicki Minaj, christened him the "greatest rapper of all time" when she took the stage after him.

This year’s VMAs will witness other rap legends, including DMC, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and LL Cool J, honoring hip-hop’s significant milestone. This 50th-anniversary celebration follows the grand recognition that the genre received in August, marking exactly half a century since DJ Kool Herc's groundbreaking event in a Bronx apartment building.

Reflecting on this, DMC of the legendary rap ensemble, Run-DMC, recalled, "It made me feel powerful." The VMAs’ homage to hip-hop adds to the rich tapestry of celebrations this year. Lil Wayne, ever the flag bearer, hosted a colossal concert at Yankee Stadium, featuring legends like Nas and Run-DMC.

Adding to his impressive year, Weezy dropped "Kat Food" hot on the heels of his extensive 18-track anthology, I Am Music LP, underlining his status as a living hip-hop legend.

Lil Wayne