Billboard gave hip-hop icons Lil Wayne and Nas their flowers by inducting them into the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Tuesday night (Aug. 8) at Novo in downtown LA.
Billboard’s Executive Director of Hip Hop and R&B, Gail Mitchell, proved Wayne’s deserving of the induction by highlighting his five Grammy awards and 185 Hot 100 hits before allowing him to say a few words about his latest honor.
“Thank you, first of all,” the “How to Love rapper started. “Of course, you already know, got to give thanks to the man above (God)…also those that we lost, those that we wish were here, we thank you as well. And to my fans, I think I word it the best way when I say I ain’t s**t without you.”
The “Lollipop” hitmaker concluded his speech with, “Just another footnote, I ain’t stoppin’. They told me what time to be here, I was in the studio. They told me when I could leave, I’ll be going back to the studio. Thank you! I love you all…mula!”
Lil Wayne walked off before returning to the mic to passionately state, “Thank you to my motherf**kin’ kids. I love y’all.”
Billboard’s Deputy Director of R&B and Hip-Hop Carl Lamarre introduced Nas as another inductee into the Hall of Fame, underscoring the New York rapper’s six No. 1 albums and his ability to land in the top 10 of Billboard’s 200 list.
Nas shared that he began obtaining awards in his “third prime” and not in the ’90s when he reigned in New York’s hip-hop scene after the death of Notorious B.I.G.
“This is cool! Forty-nine years old, I’m ’bout to turn 50 along with hip hop, man. And I’m starting to see awards, too,” Nas said. “I didn’t get into it for awards. We got into it because we love the art form. The art form has been vampire and sent to all kinds of s**t that keep the pioneers from touching anything. Fifty years of hip hop. We have a concert in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx this Friday.”
The “Hate Me Now” lyricist continued, “So, I want to thank you all for getting awards at 49, n***a. Not when I was 29. Y’all motherf**kers was cheap.”
Nas said he avoided award shows, believing they were “the devil.”
Nas saluted his fellow inductee, Lil Wayne. And they both shouted out Ice Spice in the speeches, who scored Billboard’s Rookie of the Year award.