MTV’s Video Music Awards have been held in some glamorous locations — including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas. Yet for some reason, last night’s MTV Video Music Awards were held in the great city of…Newark, New Jersey?! Not to knock the city, but it doesn’t exactly scream “high profile awards show location.” Yet we’re very happy they chose to hold the ceremonies at the city’s Prudential Center if for no other reason than it giving us a collection of New Jersey’s finest hip-hop talents rocking the stage in honor of their home state.
Jersey-born, Cali-raised Ice-T introduced the set with a quick rhyme before handing it off to the host of talent ready to kick the stage. Leading it off were favorite sons Naughty By Nature, who got the crowd moving with a shortened version of their “OPP” (sidenote: what was Treach wearing, though?) before Redman emerged from the audience to knock out his verse from “Da Rockwilder.” Next up was Fetty Wap, who once again trotted out club banger “Trap Queen.” Former Fugee Wyclef Jean then slowed things down a bit with a medley of “Gone Till November” and his cover of Bob Marley‘s “No Woman No Cry” before doing a quick handstand for some reason or another. The set’s show stopper was the one and only Queen Latifah, though. She rode up on a motorcycle while draped in head-to-toe custom MCM and then took her rightful reign on stage for a rousing performance of her empowering jam “U.N.I.T.Y.” Everybody came together at the end alongside Naughty By Nature to close out the epic set with a performance of “Hip Hop Hooray.” If you weren’t up on your feet in your living room by then, honestly, we don’t know what to tell you.
Just in case you forgot about what Jersey contributed to making hip-hop the global force that it is today, we suggest that you watch the star-studded lineup from the 2019 VMAs closing set and take notes. Get into one of the night’s best performances below.