History of the Hip-Hop Awards: 30 Milestones – Billboard

Will Smith made history on Sunday, March 27, and not just for the slap he heard “around the world.” He also became the first artist to debut as a rapper to win an Oscar for his acting role. Smith won Best Actor for his performance as Richard Williams, father and trainer of future tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.

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Rappers have been winning awards and earning plaudits for decades. In fact, Smith has been responsible for many rap milestones both as a solo artist and, earlier, as one half of DJ duo Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.

Take a look at 30 milestones in hip-hop awards history.

1980: Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” becomes first rap single to top Pazz & Jop’s annual critics’ poll Voice of the village.

1988: second album of Public Enemy, It takes a nation of millions to hold us back, became the first rap album to top the Pazz & Jop poll.

February 22, 1989: “Parents Just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince becomes the first hip-hop recording to win a Grammy (best rap performance). But no rap group was invited to perform on the show. A year later, on February 21, 1990, the duo became the first hip-hop group to perform at the Grammys. “We would like to dedicate this performance to all of the rappers over the past year who have supported us and helped us earn the right to be on this stage tonight,” Smith said before he and DJ Jazzy Jeff did. I think I can beat Mike Tyson.

January 27, 1992: MC Hammer becomes the first hip-hop star to host the American Music Awards.

February 24, 1993: Arrested Development becomes the first hip-hop group to win a Grammy for Best New Artist. In a thoughtful speech, the group’s leader, Speech, thanked “our ancestors. Without them, we wouldn’t have our characteristics and the power to fight like we do. power to the people.”

December 6, 1995: Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” featuring LV becomes the first hip-hop hit to win single of the year at the Billboard Music Awards.

January 11, 1999: Smith’s solo debut, Big Willie Stylebecomes the first hip-hop album to win an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album.

February 24, 1999: the solo debut of Lauryn Hill, The bad education of Lauryn Hill, became the first hip-hop album to win a Grammy for album of the year. Sting and Whitney Houston present the award. “It’s crazy because it’s hip-hop music,” exclaims Hill.

September 7, 2000: Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” becomes the first rap song video to win Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards. (Note: TLC’s “Waterfalls” and Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, which contain hip-hop elements, won the award in 1995 and 1999, respectively.)

February 12, 2002: Smith becomes the artist who started as a rapper to receive an Oscar for his role as an actor. He is nominated for Best Actor for his performance as boxing champion Muhammad Ali in Ali.

December 9, 2002: Eminem’s fourth studio album, The Eminem Showbecomes the first rap to win album of the year at the Billboard Music Awards.

2002: “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five becomes the first recording by a rap group to be inducted into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

March 23, 2003: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem in 8 miles becomes the first rap song to win the Oscar for Best Original Song. Eminem co-wrote the hit anthem with Jeff Bass and Luis Resto. Only Resto was present to receive the award, from Barbra Streisand. “Oh my god,” he began. “It all goes to Marshall [Mathers]…It’s a good thing to work with Marshall day in and day out. He is creative. He has symphonies in his head which I have the privilege of putting on tape. He’s a good man, good heart. Over to you, Marshall.

February 8, 2004: OutKast’s fifth studio album, Speakerboxxx/Love From Below, becomes the first (and so far, only) rap release to win the Grammys for Album and Best Rap Album. (The bad education of Lauryn Hill was up for Best R&B Album at the Grammys.) The award is presented by Carlos Santana and Faith Hill. Big Boi calls LA Reid to join them on stage. “I want to bring Mr. LA Reid here,” he said. “He is the man who is responsible for our career; our big brother since day one.

2004: Public Enemy’s third studio album, fear of a dark planetbecomes the first rap album to be inducted into the National Recording Registry.

February 13, 2005: Queen Latifah becomes the first artist who began as a rapper to host the Grammys. At that time, she was also an Oscar-nominated actress (for Chicago) and a Grammy-nominated jazz singer (for Dana Owens Scrapbook).

August 28, 2005: Sean “Diddy” Combs becomes the first hip-hop star to host the MTV Video Music Awards.

December 6, 2005: LL Cool J becomes the first hip-hop star to host the Billboard Music Awards. He later hosted the Grammys five times, a total surpassed only by Andy Williams and John Denver.

March 5, 2006: “It’s hard here for a pimp” Bustle and flow becomes the first hip-hop song to be performed on the Oscars telecast. Three 6 Mafia teamed up with Taraji P. Henson to perform the song, which won an Oscar that night.

2007: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five become the first rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

June 15, 2008: Lin-Manuel Miranda raps his acceptance speech when In the heights won the Tony for best original score written for the theatre. “Mr. Sondheim, look, I made a hat/ Where there never was a hat/ It’s a Latin hat, besides,” he rapped. The show wins three more Tonys , including Best Musical.

2012: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message” becomes the first rap recording to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

2016: Run-DMC becomes the first hip-hop group to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy. (Note: Gil Scott-Heron, whose spoken word poetry paved the way for rapping, was honored in 2012.)

June 15, 2017: Jay-Z becomes the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

December 3, 2017: LL Cool J becomes the first hip-hop artist to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. Queen Latifah begins the tribute by noting, “Tonight we witness history. LL Cool J, one of the pioneers of hip-hop, is the Kennedy Center’s first hip-hop honoree” (as the camera cuts to Chief Justice John Roberts, clapping).

2017: NWA’s first studio album, Straight outta Comptonbecomes the first rap album to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

2018: Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album, DAMN., becomes the first rap album to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Lamar’s album was, in fact, the first non-jazz or classical musical work to win the award.

February 10, 2019: Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” ​​becomes the first hip-hop single to win the Grammys for record or song of the year. He wins both prizes. Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) co-wrote the song with Ludwig Göransson and Jeffrey Lamar Williams.

November 13, 2019: Lil Nas X becomes the first hip-hop star to win a CMA Award. He and Billy Ray Cyrus split the Music Event of the Year award for their mega hit “Old Town Road (Remix)”. During a press conference, Lil Nas X said, “I’m so happy that this song got accepted because it’s the bridge between two completely opposite genres and I’m just happy that it earned the respect of the people. two communities.”

April 25, 2021: Questlove becomes the first hip-hop artist to serve as music director for the Oscars telecast. (Note: Pharrell Williams, whose pop-soul sound incorporates hip-hop, played the role, along with Hans Zimmer, in 2012.) A year later, Questlove won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Feature) for the implementation. soul summer.

March 27, 2022: Smith becomes the first artist who began as a rapper to win an Oscar for his role. The award, coming after it swept virtually every other Best Actor award, was widely expected. Smith’s extreme reaction to a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was not.

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