LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, hip-hop greats join forces for 50th anniversary Grammys tribute: Watch

The 65th Grammy Awards celebrated 50 years of hip-hop with a blow-out performance, kicked off by LL Cool J, that featured dozens of icons spanning generations performing onstage.

With Jay-Z leading the cheers from the Crypto.com arena, and DJ Khaled holding up his lighter to the music, the unrelenting tribute’s all-star lineup played their greatest hits.

"We always talk about Grammy moments," Jimmy Jam predicted correctly to USA TODAY from the Grammy's MusicCares party Friday night. "This is definitely going to be a Grammy moment."

The line-up included Big Boi, Busta Rhymes with Spliff Star, De La Soul, DJ Drama, DJ Jazzy Jeff, GloRilla, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Mele Mel with Scorpio and Ethiopian King, Ice-T, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, The Lox, Method Man, Missy Elliott, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Questlove, Rahiem, Rakim, The Roots, Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa and DJ Spinderella, Scarface, Swizz Beatz and Too $hort.

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The all-star celebration for 50 years of hip-hop at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
The all-star celebration for 50 years of hip-hop at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.

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The celebration of the genre was a joyous medley of classics paying homage to the greats, jumping from its early days with Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC and LL Cool J to Queen Latifah's "U.N.I.T.Y." and Nelly's "Hot in Herre" before moving forward to the present day with songs from Lil Baby and GloRilla.

Ice-T told USA TODAY that he wasn't going to miss Questlove-directed hip-hop tribute.

"Quest calls me, says 'Ice, I want you to perform at the Grammys. I was in New York resting. It was cold. It was 5 degrees. I said, 'Man, I'm not coming out to West Coast,' " Ice-T said. "He says, 'You don't want to be the person that watches this performance and says, 'I was invited' and you weren't in it. And I got my Black (self) on the plane and I'm here."

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LL Cool J ended the performance onstage with a shout-out to the "multi-generational" celebration of 50 years.

"From the Bronx to TikTok, to the whole world. We love you baby," Cool J shouted from stage. "We started in the Bronx and ever since then it's gone everywhere – to the five burroughs, to the West Coast, to the heartland, overseas, to Europe, to Africa, to Asia, to TikTok and whatever else is next."

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  • Grandmaster Flash, "Flash to the Beat"/"The Message"

  • Run-DMC, "King of Rock"

  • LL Cool J and DJ Jazzy Jeff, "I Can’t Live Without My Radio"/"Rock the Bells"

  • Salt-N-Pepa, "My Mic Sounds Nice"

  • Rakim, "Eric B Is President"

  • Chuck D and Flavor Flav, "Rebel Without a Pause"

  • Black Thought and LL Cool J interlude ("El Shabazz Skit")

  • Posdnuos of De La Soul, "Buddy"

  • Scarface, "Mind Playing Tricks on Me"

  • Ice-T, "New Jack Hustler (Nino’s Theme)"

  • Queen Latifah, "U.N.I.T.Y."

  • Method Man, "Method Man"

  • Big Boi of Outkast, "ATLiens"

  • Busta Rhymes, "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See"/"Look at Me Now"

  • Missy Elliott, "Lose Control"

  • Nelly, "Hot in Herre"

  • Too $hort, "Blow the Whistle"

  • The Lox and Swizz Beatz, "We Gonna Make It"

  • Lil Baby, "Freestyle"

  • GloRilla, "F.N.F. (Let’s Go)"

  • Lil Uzi Vert, "Just Wanna Rock"

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Contributing: Ralphie Aversa

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Grammys hip-hop tribute: Watch LL Cool J, Queen Latifah lead medley