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KRS-One says the Grammys "ignored hip-hop for 49 years"

A photo of KRS-One.
KRS-One. (Shutterstock/Michael Scott Milner)

KRS-One wasn't a fan of the Grammy Awards' "50 Years Of Hip-Hop” celebration.

On December 10, the Grammys celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with a live concert which included performances from Common, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, 2 Chainz, YG, and more.

The show concluded with the reunion of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, who performed a medley of group and Will Smith's solo hits, including “Miami" and "Summertime."

In an interview clip shared Wednesday on social media by Daddy-O, KRS-One explained why he turned down LL Cool J's invite to perform at the show.

“When I got the call, I immediately said, 'Nah,'" the "Sound of da Police" rapper explained. "First of all, it’s the Grammys? You get no respect here. None."

"You ignored hip-hop for 49 years," he said. "At the 50th year, you wanna call us? You couldn’t even call on 47 and gear it up to 50. You wait to the 50th year to call hip-hop’s authentic teacher? Nah, you don’t get that privilege.”

KRS went on to criticize the Grammys for failing to recognize the fundamental elements of hip-hop in its show.

“If we know for a fact that hip-hop is breaking, emceeing, graffiti art and DJing –  what is all this other stuff?” KRS asked. “What is this other stuff that you’re calling hip-hop? That’s not hip-hop.”

“If you’re gonna do a hip-hop 50th anniversary, and you’re gonna call hip-hop to it, you have to have hip-hop there," he added. "Hip-hop was not there.”

KRS-One wasn't the only rapper to turn down an invite to the Grammys' "50 Years Of Hip-Hop” celebration.

In a series of posts on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, on Monday, The Roots drummer and the executive producer of the Grammys' show Questlove revealed that MC Hammer, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, and Wu-Tang Clan also declined offers to perform.

Questlove said it was being shunned by Hammer that "hurt the most."

"We really wanted him to have his flowers," he wrote.


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