2023 “VMAs” and BACARDÍ reveal an all-star Hip Hop finale performance

2023 “VMAs” and BACARDÍ  to unite a select group of MTV’s most celebrated artists for a show-stopping finale featuring some of Hip Hop’s most iconic tracks

DMC, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL COOL J, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj to perform LIVE on Tuesday, September 12th at 8PM ET/PT

  • MTV and BACARDí together reveal an all-star 2023 “VMAs” finale performance featuring an iconic lineup of some of MTV’s most celebrated artists, including DMC, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and LL COOL J, who join previously announced performers Lil Wayne and show emcee Nicki Minaj, for a can’t-miss tribute to Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary, airing LIVE from New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Tuesday, September 12th at 8PM ET/PT.


      • The legendary Hip Hop icon will make a triumphant return to MTV’s stage for the first time in 35+ years after RUN-DMC’s groundbreaking, genre-bending performance of “Walk This Way” alongside Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, paving the way for future “VMAs” cross-genre collaborations. The first rap group on MTV was also the first to grace the cover of Rolling Stone and to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for revolutionizing the genre by lending rock and rap elements with their hard-hitting beats and no-nonsense rhymes. With 40 million record sales and ½ billion song streams, their eponymous album “Run-D.M.C.” marked a turning point in Hip Hop, becoming the first rap album to earn a Gold certification. Subsequently “Raising Hell” earned multi-Platinum status and is still regarded as one of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all time. DMC is co-founder of The Felix Organization, an Advisory Board Member for Hip Hop Public Health and has received numerous awards for his philanthropic endeavors.


      • Known as the “Human Beatbox, Fresh is credited for his beatboxing techniques and innovations, setting the standard for future generations by creating complex rhythms and sounds with his mouth, which was groundbreaking and influential in the development of Hip Hop music. Beyond music, he serves as an ambassador for Hip Hop, championing the culture and positive aspects, and an advocate for education, using his platform to inspire young people.


      • Hip Hop’s groundbreaking innovators will take the “VMAs'' stage for the first time ever for this historic finale performance. The first rap group to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, they fundamentally elevated the ways Hip Hop was performed and experienced; “Grandmaster Flash“ pioneered the foundation for modern DJing. The group’s seminal track “The Message” was a game-changing moment in the genre with its socially conscious lyrics and vivid storytelling.

    • LL COOL J

      • Video Vanguard Award recipient (1997) returns to the “VMAs” stage to perform for the first time in 25+ years after serving as one of the show’s emcees last year. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and “VMAs” winner for “Best Rap” (1991) was the first Hip Hop artist to amass 10 consecutive platinum-plus selling albums. He was also the first rapper to earn the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor and received his star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016. Founder of Rock The Bells, his global platform has become the preeminent voice for timeless Hip Hop, and paves the path from genre icons to those inspired by their groundbreaking influences.


      • The 5x GRAMMY Award-winning and multi-platinum global music icon returns to the “VMAs” stage for the first time in more than a decade where he will perform his new single dropping on 9/1, “Kat Food”, live for the very first time. With a discography highlighted by over 120 million records sold worldwide including 26 million albums, Lil Wayne has cemented his legacy as one of the best-selling artists in history and one of the most influential artists in Hip-Hop. In 2022, Lil Wayne earned his first Diamond certification from the RIAA with his generational smash hit “Lollipop” feat. Static Major. The 14x nominee will once again compete in the “Best Hip-Hop” category for the coveted Moon Person, an award he first won in 2008.


      • The 4x “Best Hip Hop” award winner is set for a triumphant return to the MTV stage, reprising her dual role as performer and show emcee. For the second consecutive year, Minaj will announce the show’s star-studded lineup of performers, presenters and winners and stun fans with a world premiere of her newest single, “Last Time I Saw You.” Last year, the 6x winner of the “VMAs” commanded the event as emcee, performer, winner of “Best Hip Hop,” plus recipient of the coveted Video Vanguard Award. Minaj boasts an impressive 25 overall “VMAs'' nominations, including 6 nods this year. She’s notably nominated once again for “Best Hip Hop,” a category she first won 12 years ago and another 3 times thereafter (2015, 2018, 2022). This year, her other 5 nominations include the sought after categories of “Video of the Year” and “Artist of the Year.”

  • About BACARDÍ’s involvement with “VMAs”:

    • BACARDÍ, MTV and Paramount Brand Studio will pay tribute to 50 Years of Hip Hop.

    • BACARDÍ Rum is the first-ever spirits brand to sponsor the MTV “VMAs”, a distinction that suits the brand, which has long been ingrained in the music and culture of Hip Hop (more info).

    • “Collaborating with BACARDÍ to celebrate 50 years of Hip Hop is a monumental cultural moment and together we've built a custom marketing activation that celebrates artistry and the fans of both,” said Matthew Newcomb, SVP Activation, Paramount Brand Studio. "We're excited to see this iconic performance come to life with BACARDÍ."

    • "As the ‘VMAs’ have long celebrated both the sound and the style of Hip Hop, BACARDÍ has long been embedded in Hip Hop culture,” said Lisa Pfenning, BACARDÍ's Vice President of North America. “We look forward to celebrating tonight’s ‘VMA’ nominees and the legacy of the artists and music that have defined this genre.”

    • During Tuesday’s broadcast, BACARDÍ will partner with the VMAs for a special 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop tribute performance, along with the debut of custom BACARDÍ content featuring Don Toliver and DJ Premier.

    • BACARDÍ launched a Limited-Edition BACARDÍ x VMA bottle timed to the awards, which is available while supplies last here

    • BACARDÍ has created an all-new signature cocktail that will be sipped by attendees at the VMA ceremony –the Mojito Mo-Problems made with BACARDÍ Superior rum – along with an extended custom cocktail menu. Full recipes can be found here.

    • This past Friday, BACARDÍ launched the BACARDÍ Vintage pop-up in New York City: a shoppable retrospective of hip-hop fashion, stocked by Stadium Goods and Metropolis, featuring exclusive BACARDÍ x VMA merch.

Previously announced “VMAs” news:

  • TUNE IN:

    • The 2023 “VMAs” will air LIVE from New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Tuesday, September 12th at 8PM ET/PT on MTV, along with a live hosted simulcast on UniMás at 8PM ET/PT with an encore to follow on Univision at 11:30PM ET/PT, making it available to the most global audience in “VMAs” history. Univision’s Alejandra Espinoza will host exclusive live in-show segments throughout the broadcast.

    • Music’s most iconic night will also simulcast across MTV sister networks BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop, TVLand & VH1

    • The 2023 “VMAs” pre-show will air at 6:30-8:00 PM ET/PT. NLE Choppa and Sabrina Carpenter are set to perform during the 90-minute event, hosted by award-winning rap star Saweetie with Nessa, Dometi Pongo and Kevan Kenney.


    • The star-packed performer lineup includes Anitta, Demi Lovato, Doja Cat, Fall Out Boy, Karol G, Kelsea Ballerini, Lil Wayne, Måneskin, Metro Boomin with Future, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Swae Lee & NAV, Olivia Rodrigo, Peso Pluma, Shakira, Stray Kids and TOMORROW X TOGETHER. (more info)

    • Legendary mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs will accept the prestigious Global Icon Award, performing live for the first time since 2005. (more info)

    • Global sensation Shakira will receive MTV’s coveted Video Vanguard Award, presented by Toyota, and perform live for the first time since 2006. (more info)

    • Nicki Minaj reprises her dual role as emcee and performer. (more info)

    • The first round of announced presenters includes Bebe Rexha, Charli D'Amelio, Coco Jones, Dixie D’Amelio, Emily Ratajkowski, French Montana, GloRilla, Ice Spice, Jared Leto, Madelyn Cline, Rita Ora and Sabrina Carpenter. (more info)

    • Extended Play Stage Presented by Doritos® lineup includes Kaliii, Reneé Rapp and The Warning.


    • With the addition of Social Categories, Taylor Swift (11) still leads Nominations, followed by SZA (8), BLACKPINK, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo (6), Kim Petras and Sam Smith (5 each), Beyoncé, Diddy, Drake, Ice Spice, Karol G, Metro Boomin, Shakira and TOMORROW X TOGETHER (4 each).

    • General fan voting is now closed; voting remains open for Social Categories and “Best New Artist.” 


    • SPONSORS: Official sponsors of the 2023 “VMAs” include BACARDÍ® Rum, Burger King®, Clearblue®, DESCOVY®, Doritos®, HEINZ, M&M’S®, Swiffer, and Toyota Motor North America.

    • CREDITS: Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic are Executive Producers. Barb Bialkowski is Co-Executive Producer. Alicia Portugal and Jackie Barba serve as Executives in Charge of Production. Wendy Plaut is Executive in Charge of Celebrity Talent. Lisa Lauricella is Music Talent Executive.

    • RELEASES: Previous press releases available here.

    • CREDENTIALS: Applications are closed; contact with questions.

For updates and additional information, be sure to follow @MTV and @VMAs across social platforms to keep up with all-things #VMAs.