Our vote for the question above goes to none other than Missy Elliott, who’s been more or less absent from pop culture since shortly after 2005’s The Cookbook (save the odd What Chilli Wants appearance). Missy’s one-two punch of “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It” (during the Timbland-tribute portion of the show) was met by the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors audience with rapturous response — the cameras could barely capture the feeling of elation that washed over that room. Missy returned the crowd’s energy tenfold. Let’s hope she keeps up the momentum — we miss you, Missy.
Entertainment Weekly, on the other hand, had a different pick…
Calling Bow Wow‘s performance of Kris Kross’ “Jump,” a “show-stealing surprise,” EW’s Music Mix blog christened the Jermaine Durpri segment of the show the “liveliest.” Indeed, this was a surprise (I don’t think anyone would have expected Bow Wow to be able to hold it down amongst such hip-hop heavyweights) and perhaps the best cover of the night (although the Game‘s take on “My Is Playing Tricks on Me” alongside Geto Boy Willie D was terrific).
Finally, understatement typically does not steal shows, but Luke‘s “Banned in the USA” monologue was short, sweet and effective:
“See, this thing that we call hip-hop in the South, we started this s*** when we said curse words on the record. People didn’t like what we was gonna say, but we said it. People like Tipper Gore. People like Al Sharpton. People like Jesse Jackson. People like C. Dolores Tucker. They couldn’t stop us. We did this s*** the right way, and the South lives and 2 Live is what we are. So all you right-wingers, Tea Party members, all y’all can kiss our ass.”
Luther Campbell: still choosing his words carefully after all these years.