25 years ago, Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue’s “Whatta Man” hit the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and Sunday night fans got to watch the tribute to that history unfold live and in full effect. But, before we got there, Salt-N-Pepa kicked things off with a few key selections of their own.
The legendary rap group was introduced by host Kelly Clarkson who reminded us all of the 30-year anniversary of Salt-N-Pepa being the first female hip-hop act to hit the Top 40 in the Billboard Hot 100. They would soon pop out to deliver renditions of their hit “Shoop,” “Let’s Talk About Sex,” and “Push It” single.
“Whatta Man” would soon follow in a sultry performance that surely shrouded the MGM Grand in a cloud of nostalgia as DJ Spinderella stepped out from behind the booth to deliver on her verse on the track. It was the cherry to top of an evening in which hip-hop’s dominance in the mainstream was a constant reminder–something T.I. wouldn’t dare let us forget when he presented the award for Top Rap Song to Post Malone for the 21 Savage-assisted “Rockstar.”
Other hip-hop names that won big included Cardi B who earned the title of Best Female Rap Artist while Kendrick Lamar picked up a total of six awards all before the show even aired, including Best Rap Artist and Top Streaming Song for “Humble.”