VH1 honored the Dirty South for the 2010 edition of Hip-Hop Honors. We flew out there and sat in on the taping this past weekend. Or we Tivo'd it while we put our kids to bed and then watched it afterwards. One of those is true.
8:00 p.m.: Oh, good. Darrell from The Office is hosting tonight. Let's go ahead and keep a running count of the guys that make cameos tonight that didn't really need to be here. First up: Darrell from The Office. He's like the fifth funniest guy on that show. This should go well. 8:01:45: It took exactly one minute and 45 seconds before Paul Wall reinforced a stereotype about Southern MCs (the gold-grill thing). At this point, you pretty much have to love Paul. 8:01:53: Eight seconds later and Wall's already dropped a signature karats-as-vegetables simile. How long is this show? What's the over/under for the number of times this happens. 8:04: "The story of Southern hip-hop begins with Luther Campbell" - Darrell from The Office. That seems true enough. Uncle Luke has been at it for a while. We remember watching the video for "I Wanna Rock" and being completely blown away. You can watch it here. Oh, and here's a link to an article on how to file for unemployment, because watching that video will absolutely get you fired. Ron Jeremy watched that video and was like, "Ewww, this is pretty vulgar stuff." 8:08: Add Kid Rock to the "Guys Making Cameos That Didn't Really Need To Be Here" list. 8:09: First concert set is starting. If you've never seen one of these shows, the way it works is like this: First, somebody will come out and give a brief intro speech about someone - in this case, Kid Rock did for Uncle Luke - then there will be a video played where the person being honored talks a little about their come up, then the video will end and various artists will pay tribute through song. Most of the time, it's artists affiliated somehow with the honoree. 8:10: DJ Laz, cool. Trick Daddy, cool. Pitbull, not cool. Why is he always dressed like he's an uncle at a quinceanera? 8:13: Guess who's got a great view of the gaggle of women on stage dancing around in a very whorish manner? Yep, an infant. Timbaland is holding her. Awesome. 8:14: Eddie Griffin is doing the black people version of the "You Might Be a Redneck..." gag. Please don't say that he's introducing... 8:14:35: Ohgoddammit. There are about six billion people in the world and Houston's contribution to the everlasting history of hip-hop get's intro-d by the guy from The New Guy. That's just perfect.
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8:16: They're playing J. Prince's "This is how I came up in the industry" video. What's weird about Prince is that he looks so, so normal that he is absolutely terrifying. It's like everything he says is accompanied with a "you know I've had people killed over this shit, right?" stare. They cut to Prince sitting in the honorees panel and he looks even more villainous. He's dressed like he just walked off the set of Harlem Knights. Vera's no doubt would have lost more than a pinky toe if he paid a visit to her. 8:17: Willie D is performing "Mind Playin' Tricks On Me," arguably the most important rap song to ever come out of the South. Supplying Bushwick Bill's verse: The Game(?). Supplying Scarface's verse: Nobody. 8:18: Do you wanna ride the backseat of a caddy, chop it up with Do or Die? How was that song not called "Do You Wanna Ride"? Do you understand how frustrating a conversation that is to have? "Hey, what's that one song that Do or Die does?" You mean the one where they say 'Do you wanna ride' 50 times? "Yes." It's called 'Po Pimp.' "Oh what the fuck?" 8:22: Juvey! "Nolia Clap." That's a likeable guy right there. Even if you knew nothing else about him, you'd be able to tell that he's entrenched in Louisiana culture. 8:23: The opening wonkiness to Bun's "Get Throwed" cranks up. That has to be one of the illest "This Is What I Want You To Play When I First Come Walking Out On Stage" songs of all time. Its illness is topped only by the ending line of Bun's verse ("'Cause a bitch know I might just explode and slap her in the face with a pie a la mode"). Like, how cool is Bun B that he could make a dairy desert-related threat sound cool? Maybe more puzzling though, why would a bitch think that would happen if he got angry? And why is it so easy for him to access pie a la modes? After a while wouldn't people around him smarten up and be like, "Ay, are you about to give Bun some bad news? Well you might you might want to get rid of all of these pie a la modes lying around. I'm just sayin', man. Trust me." 8:26: Jonah Hill? He's the intro guy for Jermaine Dupri'? That makes sense, we guess. They're both human, so they have that in common. Oh, and they both breathe air. Kid Rock, Darrell from The Office, make room for Jonah on the list, sirs. 8:32: A nice little "I'm Happy, Nevermind, Oh Wait, I'm Happy Again" moment during Jermaine Dupri's tribute concert: After an only mildly irritating snippet from Dem Franchize Boyz ("In My White Tee") and a couple of other lackluster spots, Kris from Kris Kross emerges from the underside of the stage to perform "Jump, Jump." (Happy) Only, after about five seconds, it's clear that it's not actually Kris (Nevermind). But it turns out it's Bow Wow doing the rapping (Oh Wait, Happy Again). That's the perfect pick for that spot. He crushes it. Then he does a nice little bit from when he was the cutesy kid rapper. Diddy pops out at the end of the show for a solid cameo. Nice work, So So Def. You still kind of have teeth like a chimp though, Jermaine. 8:41: Romeo is giving the intro for Master P's segment. This is a slightly more appropriate pick than Jonah Hill. 8:42: Is it just us, or does Master P emit that same creepy vibe that the guy from Requiem For a Dream does when he's talking Jennifer Connelly into participating into performing that sex show? We suspect it has something to do with how sticky his skin looks all the time. 8:43: Oh shit. Mystikal is going bananas during his verse from "Make 'Em Say Uhhh." When'd he get out of jail? 8:43:02: By the by, if you're ever caught in a conversation about a rapper that you don't know very much about but want to seem like you do, the ""When'd he get out of jail?" line always makes you seem like you know what's going on. Other barnum statements you can lob out there: "Did you hear that remix of Snooop's 'I Wanna Rock' [rapper] did? It was okay, but not as good as the original."; "Yo, I heard [rapper] was beefing with 50. That's not a good look"; and "[Rapper] is a completely underrated lyricist. His flow is always so observant and dexterous." That shit always works. 8:55: Hey, T.I.'s here. When'd he get out jail? (See.) This past weekend MTV did their Movie Awards show. TI made a quick cameo to introduce someone there too. He started it with a completely awkward and forced, "Ay, whas ha-anin'?". He just did the exact same thing right now. Oh, T.I. 8:56: Yikes. Bone Crusher is huge. He can barely walk. Something appears to be wrong with one of his legs. Sad to see. We've always liked him. 9:10: They're honoring Timbaland right now. Bun is out there again doing "Big Pimpin'," which Timbaland helped produce. Missy shows up too. Solid set from her. No joke, Missy is sexy for a fat girl. She is. There's just no denying it. 9:22: Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Cham and Michael Watts do the obligatory Ode To Texas set.
9:29: Don Glover (the funny kid from Community) is introducing 2 Live Crew. That list is filling up pretty quick now. He does have a funny sound bite though about how 2 Live Crew "showed a whole nation how horny we so was." 9:31: Man, Fresh Kid Ice (the Asian-looking one) from 2 Live Crew looks dead. Is he even breathing? This interview has a very distinct Weekend at Bernie's vibe. 9:33: During their video, Uncle Luke references all of that court stuff that went on on account of how explicit 2LC's lyrics were. He cites the Supreme Court's ruling in their favor, saying the "highest court in the land said what we do is art." Well, they didn't say that, Lukey, but sure. We get the point. 9:43: The guys from the landmark Atlanta production team Organized Noize tell a great story about being super pumped after a show they did in New York was met with silence because that's what New Yorker's do when they don't boo you. "We celebrated like we won a Grammy that night." 9:46: Nice Atlanta set, highlighted by Goodie Mob's Khujo stalking around stage in leather pants and a leather jacket with not shirt underneath. He looks like The Undertaker. 9:48: Asher Roth? Seriously? 9:55: The Miami set is closing out the show. It's becoming clear that there were really only about six or seven really influential people in Southern hip-hop. You know when you're at the end of a first date and you're kind of hesitant to end it because it's been going pretty well so you end up sticking around for about 25 minutes too long, and then becoming completely flustered and doing something like lightly jabbing the girl in the shoulder with your fist and say something like, "Well, I'll give you a shout tomorrow, kiddo," then hate yourself on the walk back to the car? That's the phase of the show we're in now, the "First Date Awkward Shoulder Jab" segment. Somehow, Uncle Pitbull is allowed to be the final act. 9:59: It would've been nice to see some of the people that didn't show up, most notably Outkast, Bushwick and Scarface, and maybe some more of the Cash Money guys, but all in all this was a pretty decent show.