Last night's VH1 Hip-Hop Honors show was full of hits (the return of Missy Elliott, for one), and misses (the glaring omission of Outkast, among many others). Still, much of it gave us some serious hometown pride. In a move that probably bothered Atlanta big-time, segments about Miami both opened and closed the show. Seriously, Miami really, really closed it, down to the ending credits. Here are our own honors for the top 10 most notable Miami-centric moments from the broadcast.
Best Coronation of a King: Luther Campbell
For all of Luther Campbell's bellyaching before the show, all was righted during the actual ceremony. Yes, though he also appeared during hte 2 Live Crew segment, he finally got his solo props for putting Southern hip-hop on the map with Luke Records. "The story of Southern hip-hop begins with Luther Campbell," said host Craig Robinson, making Luke grin with pride (and making ex-2-Live-Crew partner Fresh Kid Ice look very displeased). "When it comes to Southern hip-hop, he's truly the father." Happy now, Uncle Luke?
Most Glaring Unedited Verbal Slip: Luther Campbell, again
Luther Campbell, on a pre-taped interview segment discussing origins of booty bass. "Booty-bass music is uptempo, reggae-influenced, with Latin coongas, tom-toms..." Coongas? Couldn't they give him a re-do on this one?
Most Unexpected Celebration of Booty Bass: Kid Rock
Kid Rock's appearance on the program was strange (he's from far above the Mason-Dixon line), but was thankfully short, limited to a quick moment between Luke's first interview and his show-opening performance. We never knew he loved our music so much. "If you've ever seen women dance to a booty bass record," he said, "you will be very, very thankful to my man Uncle Luke."
Best Dizzying Display Of Basically Everything Miami at Once: Trick Daddy, Pitbull, DJ Laz, and Luther Campbell together on a medley of Uncle Luke hits
Everyone's favorite inappropriate middle school dance jams like "Doo Doo Brown": Check. Cuban dudes with shaved heads wearing sunglasses indoors: Check, thanks to Laz and Pit. Trick Daddy, period: Check. Miami Hurricanes merchandise: Check, for the baseball jacket on Pitbull. Showers of dollar bills at girls who alternately did the Wu-tang and the kneeling booty clap: Check. A freaking beeper, possibly, in Pitbull's pocket? Check (thanks to Twitter friend @josebluejeans for pointing that out).
Best Reasons for Orgullo: Again, DJ Laz and Pitbull
The two twins in baldheaded-ness together became the first Miami Cubans to appear onstage at a VH1 Hip-Hop Honors show.
Most Random Cameo on a Non-Miami Song: Trina, during the musical medley honoring Master P
Master P's segment briefly reminded everyone of the existence of Silkk the Shocker, and then quickly reminded everybody why they forgot him in the first place. Still, Trina dutifully showed up during a quick version of their old dual hit, "That's Cool," quickly spitting out a couple lines and then disappearing. Oh well, she got her time to shine again later in the show.
Best Argument For Changing Textbooks: Donald Glover's lesson on education through 2 Live Crew lyrics
No really, they're educational, the Community actor pointed out. On the topic of crisis management, he offered this nugget of 2 Live Crew wisdom: "I don't need no confrontation / All I need is ejaculation." On American history: "Abraham Lincoln was a good old man / He hopped out the window with his (beep) in his hand."
Most Disappointingly Short Performance: 2 Live Crew
Perhaps sending out Luke early on stole some of the whole group's thunder, but 2 Live Crew's special performance seemed too short and a bit deflated. Group co-founders Fresh Kid Ice and Brother Marquis started out on their own, sans Luke, but seemed to be tired, and rapped along slightly off-time to their own old vocal tracks. Marquis gets style points for his T-shirt decorated with a sequined version of 2 Live Crew's As Nasty As They Wanna Be cover, but the crowd didn't really react much until, surprise, Luke appeared about three-quarters of the way through.
Best Call-Outs of Haters, Even 20-Plus Years Later: Luther Campbell, during 2 Live Crew's performance
Luther Campbell will never, ever forgive Tipper Gore, calling her out at the end of 2 Live Crew's segment. Nor will he forgive Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, also early detractors. And just to update on people he can do without, he finished with this nugget: "Tea Party members, all y'all can kiss our ass!"
Best Show-Stopper: The Show's 305 Finale Featuring DJ Khaled, Flo Rida, Trina, Rick Ross, and Pitbull, again
Here's where everyone who didn't make it into that opening segment got time to shine (or, shine again, in Pit's case). Yes, you could have made a fast drinking game out of taking a shot every time DJ Khaled yelled "Dade County!" or "We the best!!" Yes, Flo Rida chose "Low" for his bit.
Yes, Trina wore sequined hotpants in a celebration of our city's penchant for thighs. Yes, Rick Ross wore an unseasonable fur coat for part of his appearance. And yes, Pitbull, again, wins ultimate painfully Miami style points for channeling Don Johnson and appearing to do part of his hit "I Know You Want Me "Calle Ocho") in a white suit with a pastel pink shirt.
Yes, in true Miami style, the segment started a bit late and ran all the way until the beginning of the end credits, which ended up smushed into the lower half of the screen while Craig Robinson ended the show thusly: "Make some noise for Miami .... uh, and all the honorees tonight! And the whole Dirty South!" We the best!