New York icons LL Cool J and Rakim recently paid tribute to the renowned Juice Crew producer Marley Marl at the 2023 BET Hip-Hop Awards with an epic performance. The Juice Crew beatmaker received the ‘I Am Hip Hop Award’ for contributing to the genre; many considered it overdue.
The prestigious award was bestowed upon the legend by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, who had both been awarded the ‘Rock The Bells Cultural Influence Award’ earlier in the night.
Before receiving the accolade, fans were moved by a highlight reel that showcased the magnitude of his prestige and accomplishments. The reel depicted the milestones of his career, including his production of Roxanne Shante’s ‘Roxanne’s Revenge’ and LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out.’
The reel included a segment of Eminem stating, “The energy that LL had with Marley’s production lit a fire under LL to make that album what it was.” The beatmaker corroborated this during his acceptance speech.
Addressing the roaring crowd, Marley Marl (real name Marlon Williams) declared, “Me and LL had something to prove, and we proved it!” Swizz Beatz, who was by his side, then proclaimed, “He said something that’s very G, that I don’t think a lot of y’all heard. He invented sampling on a record. This is Marley Marl right here!”
LL Cool J who worked with Williams for years, then delivered an electrifying performance rapping a medley of his classics such as ‘Jingling Baby,’ ‘Around The Way Girl,’ ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ and ‘Rock The Bells.’
Following this, 1980s star Rakim then took to the stage to perform classics including ‘Eric B. Is President’ and ‘Paid In Full.’ Technician The DJ and Jazzy Jeff were behind the decks for the entirety of their performances.