The VMAs, MTV’s annual youth gathering that celebrates the best music videos of the year, took place in Newark, New Jersey last night (Aug. 26). As expected, it wasn’t short on epic moments, firsts, great performances, and of course ridiculousness.
Let’s be honest: we were really all tuned in to see Missy Elliott finally get her flowers in the form of the Video Vanguard Award. BUT there were definitely other bright spots during the show to keep us engaged. We recap them below:
Megan Thee Stallion!
Our favorite Hot Girl is showing no signs of slowing down despite the summer coming to a close. The “Big Ole Freak” rapper is making sure the energy continues in the fall. Despite MTV dropping the ball by relegating hip-hop’s hottest act to the pre-show stage, Megan still made the most of the moment. She definitely deserved to show off her impressive twerking skills (and the strength of those knees) on the main stage.
Regardless, Thee Stallion let the world know she isn’t going anywhere and her rise to the top isn’t stopping no time soon. Oh, and she took home her first moon man as well. She won the VMA for Best Power Anthem for single “Hot Girl Summer’ feat. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign.
Lil Nas X Is No One-Hit Wonder.
When it comes to Lil Nas X, this horse has legs and is definitely not a one-trick pony. The mastermind behind the infectious hit “Old Town Road” proved to the world he can also put on a live performance. Minus the lip-synching (we totally understand), Nas X showed off his dance moves alongside his background dancers for his performance of his next single, “Panini.” His knack for infusing technology into his act is also very impressive.
He also took home his first moon man as well. He won the VMA for Song of The Year for “Old Town Road” (Remix) featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Being the crafty social media presence he is, Lil Nas X also managed to make a viral moment out of the significant accomplishment.
H.E.R. & Normani Are the Future of R&B.
H.E.R., the enigmatic musician who has taken the R&B world by storm, showed the world why she is a force to be reckoned with. She slowed things down a bit, showcasing her sultry voice to debut a new song titled “Anti.” While she didn’t walk away with a moon man last night, she made a strong case as to why she will back next year. Next time she won’t be just performing, but making an acceptance speech as well.
Following H.E.R. was Normani, R&B’s newest princess who had the internet buzzing with her new single “Motivation” and its accompanying energetic visual. She didn’t let viewers and attendees down recreating that same magic while showcasing her gymnastic skills with an eye-opening dance routine.
Lizzo Took Us to the Church of Positivity.
Lizzo is quickly becoming the Queen of feel-good music that pushes nothing but pure positivity. You can’t help but love the person you are after you hear her one of her songs. Following her impressive BET Awards performance, Lizzo took us to church with magnificent performances of her smash single “Truth Hurts” and “Good As Hell.” The only thing missing last night was a flute solo.
Missy Elliott Finally Gets Her Recognition.
Finally, Missy Elliott got the recognition she so deserved. Missy’s contributions to hip-hop were not just through her lyrics but her creative visuals as well. Elliott took full advantage of the moment by performing a medley of her classic hits like “Get Ur Freak On,” “Lose Control,” “The Rain,” “Hot Boyz,” “Pass The Dutch,” “Work It,” and new single “Throw It Back.”
Missy proved she hasn’t missed a beat by recreating all of the iconic dance moments from each visual. She even brought back Alyson Stoner, who stole our hearts with her appearance as a young dancer in the video for “Work it.”
She closed things out with a humbling speech thanking everyone who made the moment possible and contributed to her storied music career. No one deserved a Video Vanguard Award more than Missy.
Queen Latifah, Redman, Wyclef Jean, Naughty By Nature, Ice T and Fetty Wap Put on for New Jersey.
MTV decided to give its young fans a hip-hop history lesson last night. It was a tribute to the state of New Jersey, and the hip-hop acts that it gave us. NJ natives Queen Latifah, Ice-T, Naughty By Nature, Wyclef Jean, Redman, and Fetty Wap hit the stage.
While Fetty Wap’s inclusion was a bit of a head-scratcher, he definitely didn’t ruin the moment of nostalgia. Each of the iconic acts performed their hits like “O.P.P.,” “Da Rockwilder,” “Trap Queen,” “Gone To November,” “U.N.I.T.Y,” and more. It was the perfect way to close out the show.