On a night when New Jersey earned more shout-outs than Taylor Swift dance cut-away shots at Monday's (Aug. 26) 2019 MTV VMAs, the show closed down an atypically sedate night of performances and awards with an energetic, all-star tribute to the Garden State's native hip-hop legends.
The night's crowning group go-round was set up by West Coast rap legend and Newark native Ice-T ("the only ICE you want to see these days" quipped barely seen host Sebastian Maniscalco), who took the stage with a quick verse of his 1986 gangsta rap classic "6 'n the Mornin'."
That gave way to Naughty by Nature's Vin Rock amping the crowd up with a chorus of "jump, jump" as Treach and a hype man in a bear costume gave the packed Prudential Center crowd just a little taste of "O.P.P." before Lords of the Underground's DoItAll set up Redman for a verse of "Da Rockwilder." The action qiuckly moved over to Fetty Wap, who busted out some "Trap Queen" from inside a circle of flourescent red lights set up on the arena floor.
Newark's native son Wyclef Jean strummed a guitar for a verse of his solo single "Gone Til November" and a nod to Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry," with a slight tweak of the lryics to move the government yard from Trenchtown to Jersey and a surprise handstand at the end. The state's unofficial royalty, Queen Latifah, rode in on a red motorcyle and made sure the crowd knew that no queens were going to be disrespected in the house on her watch.
Backed by a live band, the actress/rapper got arms waving in the air for her 1993 take-no-mess anthem "U.N.I.T.Y.," before the Naughty crew and the rests of the Jersey strong contingent came out for a group jam on "Hip Hop Hooray" as confetti filled the air.
Watch the performance below.