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The VMA's (Still A Thing) Were Last Night And Puff Daddy, Not Taylor Swift, Stole The Show

Hollywood Reporter - Sean “Diddy” Combs took the audience at the 2023 VMAs back in time when he performed a medley of hits like “I’ll Be Missing You” and “Bad Boy for Life” before accepting the Global Icon Award.

The artist known as Puff Daddy also performed “I Need a Girl (Part Two),” and “Last Night,” with special guest Keyshia Cole. This was his first performance at the VMAs since 2005. 

“Puff’s impact on pop culture is immeasurable. His iconic music videos redefine the form. His global influence is forever felt across the entire music industry,” Mary J. Blige said when introducing the legendary hip-hop mogul and pioneer. She also invited Combs’ daughter, Chance, to the stage to help present the award to her father.

“This is so surreal,” Combs said while accepting the honor. “I appreciate y’all coming and giving me my flowers and celebrating me.”

He continued, “I got to thank God because that’s my secret weapon. You know, it don’t matter what religion you are, but make sure you know there’s a higher power of love and I want to just say, I give all glory to God. Thank you so much. This is a dream come true.”

I remember back in the good old days when MTV was the channel to watch when sports weren't on, and the VMA's were a must watch event. It may as well be ancient history today because of what the channel has devolved into- Ridiculousness marathons on 6 days a week, reality shows about teens having babies, and pretty much anything else that doesn't have anything to do with music, around the clock. But people who grew up in the '90's will tell you, back in the day, MTV was king. And the Video Music Awards was its crown jewel.

No joke.

The fact they got Taylor Swift to show up to this thing last night by only gifting her 9 VMA's is astounding. Thought her price would have been much steeper. 

(Best cinematography? lol)

(Sidebar- I kinda hate how I'm being pushed into rolling my eyes at the onslaught of Taylor Swift obsession and fanaticism. I know it sounds like hipster, hater, bullshit but it was much less insufferable, and actually enjoyable like 5-6 years ago when the only people who liked her were your little nieces or daughters and John Feitelberg.)

The fact they got Timberlake to show up and stand on stage next to Joey Fatone might be an even greater shocker. 

But nothing compared to when Sean Combs took the stage to perform a medley of his greatest hits. 


So many fucking jams. I have a blog in the hopper still about him gifting masters back to his Bad Boy artists and how it isn't quite what it seems, but not to be negative at all here, this guy has been fucking crushing it for 30-something years now.

This set was amazing. The stutter stops and drops into the next song. Sheesh. People forget this man is one of the greatest producers of all time. Partly because he has so much other shit going on, partly because he hasn't produced shit in so long. (He has a new solo album of his own coming out this Friday The Love Album: Off the Grid. And it is fucking stacked with features.)

If you're a west coast die hard you probably hate Puffy Combs, but love him or hate him, one thing you can't deny is the man makes bangers and fun music. That's been his aim since day 1 and it's sad he wasn't solely focused on music instead of clothing lines, liquor, television networks, etc. because rap music would be in a much better place today, with way better quality if he was. 

His acceptance speech was awesome.

“You just got to keep dreaming. I know sometimes we get hit with those hard things,” he said. “God made another choice, and I thank God for this choice that he made for me to be able to touch you with my music, give you a good time, make you dance, make you feel good. That’s the only intention, and also make sure that we all get the same 24 hours. You know what I’m saying? So when we came in the game, we came in as bosses, we came in as kings, we came in as queens and that’s what’s up.”

Combs concluded by thanking his team and fans for believing in him.

Isn't that what we all want out of hip-hop music? To dance, and sing along to funny punch lines and catchy hooks? Aside from not even being able to understand the words coming out of most rappers mouths today, if you can decipher them, all it is is talk about drugs, the feds, the "ops" (every rappers new favorite word), drugs, murder, guns, and more drugs.

Back then even the "hardest" rappers were making club anthems. There's a reason songs like "Party Up" and "Hypnotize" still go off in the club and at parties to this day.

I don't think people give Puff enough credit for how much he's meant to the hip hop genre. So it was good to see MTV honor him last night and to let him burn the place down.