Questlove explains why Will Smith dropped out of the Grammys’ hip-hop celebration
The 50th anniversary of hip-hop was celebrated during the Grammys Sunday night with a star-studded tribute featuring numerous performers, including Lil Wayne, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes. DJ Jazzy Jeff was also in the lineup, but his former partner, the Fresh Prince, was missing.
“I’ll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was apart of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting Bad Boys 4 this week,” the segment’s producer and musical director, Questlove from The Roots, told Variety.
“There were a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will.”
Questlove added that getting the Emancipation star for the tribute was “a shot in the dark,” because the actor is “always shooting movies.” Quest said the celebration “had a lot of people, and some of them have other jobs,” such as TV stars Queen Latifah, Ice-T and LL Cool J, who had to “leave their respective shows” to join the tribute.
Smith announced last week that Bad Boys 4 is now in production.
LL introduced the tribute, followed by narration by Black Thought from The Roots.
The performance medley, backed by The Roots, featured dozens of artists, including Run-D.M.C., Nelly, Rakim, Salt-N-Pepa, Public Enemy‘s Chuck D and Flavor Flav, Method Man, Too $hort, Big Boi, Future, GloRilla and DJ Drama.
“Multi-generational. 50 years. From the Bronx to Tiktok, to the whole world. We love you baby,” Cool J said in closing. “We started in the Bronx and ever since then its gone everywhere — to the Five Boroughs, to the West Coast, to the heartland, overseas, to Europe, to Africa, to Asia, TikTok. What else is next?!”
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