The Epic 50th Anniversary Of Hip Hop Grammys Tribute Was Supposed To Include Will Smith But He Dropped Out

February 6, 2023 / Posted by:

After you reach a certain age the Grammys become a snoozefest with constant moments of “Who is that?” and “This shit ain’t over yet?” But for last night’s 65th annual ceremony, they injected a bit of cool into the festivities by holding a gigantic tribute to hip hop, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. And instead of having a white party or cabaret like most fifty years olds, the Grammys threw a star-studded tribute to wake the audience up. Many pioneers like Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy rocked the mic right, but one throwback who was not in attendance was Will Smith. And no, it wasn’t because he doesn’t know how to keep his hands to himself. Will actually had a very valid reason for not being able to attend, and it’s 100% work-related.

According to Stereogum, the Grammys wanted to honor hip-hop for its contribution to the music industry, and in the words of Lizzo, it’s about damn time! But instead of having a few rappers come out in Run-DMC t-shirts, they actually went and got Run-DMC as well as a few other OG’s in the game to have a tribute that was equal parts historic and lit.

“For five decades, hip-hop has not only been a defining force in music, but a major influence on our culture,” Harvey Mason Jr., the CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “Its contributions to art, fashion, sport, politics, and society cannot be overstated. I’m so proud that we are honoring it in such a spectacular way on the Grammy stage. It is just the beginning of our yearlong celebration of this essential genre of music.”

Many of hip hop’s elite were in attendance, like Nelly, Big Boi, Salt N Pepa, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Method Man, before newer rappers like Glorilla and Lil Uzi Vert hit the stage and completely fucked up the vibe. Luckily it ended after them; however, with so many hip-hop pioneers rocking the mic, many wondered where the hell was Will? Apparently, Questlove admitted Will couldn’t be a part of it because of his scheduling for the upcoming Bad Boys 4. Variety reports;

At the 65th Grammy Awards, the Academy is celebrating 50 years of hip-hop. According to Questlove, Will Smith was originally supposed to be a part of the tribute but had to back out due to production on “Bad Boys 4.”

“I’ll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was apart of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting ‘Bad Boys 4’ this week,” Questlove told Variety‘s Marc Malkin on the red carpet. “There were a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will.”

Questlove went on to say that he knew getting Smith for the tribute was “a shot in the dark,” because the actor is “always shooting movies.”

The four-time Grammy winner said the celebration “had a lot of people, and some of them have other jobs,” adding that Ice-T, Queen Latifah and L.L. Cool J are all participating in the tribute but had to “leave their respective shows” to join the celebration. While he says the original tribute was going to be 23 minutes long, it has since been cut down to 14 minutes. “It’s going to be amazing,” Questlove promised viewers on the red carpet.

It’s probably for the best that will wasn’t there. Because he may have tried to high-five someone and ended up slapping them in the face as well. We can never tell when Will feels the urge to slap a bitch anymore.

Pic: Timothy Norris/FilmMagic

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