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VH1 to honor hip-hop pioneers

Rap groundbreakers will be celebrated with an award shows that will feature performances from current hip-hop artists as well.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Hip-hop’s pioneers will be celebrated with a new awards show to air later this year on VH1.

Though it has recently changed its focus to pop culture and has profiled rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, VH1 has hardly been synonymous with hip-hop over the years.

But network president Christina Norman says VH1 is the perfect venue for such an awards show, which will be an annual event. “The people who grew up listening to the Sugar Hill Gang and Run-DMC,” Norman said, “those are our viewers.”

“VH1 Hip-Hop Honors,” scheduled for Oct. 8, will honor groundbreaking artists with a show that mixes old-school and current rap performers.

Although other awards shows that celebrate rap, including the Source Awards and the BET Awards, Norman says VH1’s show will provide an opportunity to laud veteran rappers who may not have gotten accolades in the past.

She noted that the first rap Grammy wasn’t given out until 1989, though hip-hop had been around for at least a decade before that.

“This is a way for us to acknowledge the unsung heroes of hip-hop,” she told the AP on Thursday.

No honorees have been determined yet, she said. The show will coincide with a five-part documentary on the history of hip-hop that will air on the network that week.

“When you think of all of the influence hip-hop has had on our culture, it’s a hugely impactful art form,” she said. “Hip-hop definitely needs to get its due.”