Capping the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, LL Cool J, blink-182‘s Travis Barker, Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello, Public Enemy‘s Chuck D and DJ Z-Trip crossed a wide range of musical genres to unite for a bombastic onstage performance medley based around the song “Whaddup.”
The song incorporated Chuck D rapping lyrics from Public Enemy’s 1990 tune “Welcome to the Terrordome,” followed by a flashy drum solo from Barker. Morello also took a featured guitar solo during the performance, which wrapped up underneath the show’s closing credits, as this year’s ceremony ran almost a full half-hour over the allotted three-hour show time.
The performance incorporated elements of the Beastie Boys‘ 1987 track “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn,” a tribute to the band’s rapper Adam “MCA” Yauch, who died last May after battling salivary gland cancer.
Rumors of the collaboration spread earlier in the week when Barker posted a photo online featuring himself in the studio with LL Cool J and Z-Trip and mentioning Morello, causing some to speculate that a GRAMMY surprise was in the works.
“He represents so much history with his work in hip-hop … to this day he’s in it, he’s respected for it and we thought, ‘gee, it’s right under our noses, let’s do something with LL and have a lot of fun with that,’” Said Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) regarding show host LL Cool J to MTV News. “He’s not a hired gun and last year after we did the nominations show we said, ‘let’s do [something] this year’ and he was up for it.”
-Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local