VH1’s Hip Hop Honors are hot, hot, hot.
Host Tracy Morgan says he doesn’t have to prepare for the night’s festivities. “I am hip hop,” he tells me. “I don’t have to prepare.” What’s his biggest award, and where does he keep it? “An Emmy,” the 30 Rock star tells me. “I don’t have one – only the producers get one – and I keep it in my heart.”
Sure, Nelly’s won tons of Grammys, but what about the first award he took home? “Probably in baseball, saying I’ve got the MVP of the all-star games back in 1994,” he tells me. “I love that one.”
Snoop Dogg provides comic relief. Where does he keep his most prestigious award? Three guesses! “I keep it in my pants,” he tells me with a sly smile, sending my fellow red carpeteers into fits of laughter. Yikes!
Here comes Ciara, who is looking lovely in a shimmery dress. How did she choose it? “My stylist had a couple dresses, and we didn’t get to any of the other ones,” she tells me. “We stopped right here. When I saw it, I was like ‘this is hot.’ It’s really strong, something different for me, and it just felt right.” She says her dream duets would be with Alicia Keys or Janet Jackson. “I think they’d be really cool,” she says.
LL Cool J tells me he can’t wait to see all his friends. “It’s like a reunion,” he tells me. “It’s an opportunity for me to get with a lot of guys I grew up with in the business. I’m surrounded by people who’ve been in it longer that I have been. It’s actually fun to feel new again.”
Missy Elliott says her mom’s a Christian, and she’s glad she’s not at the ceremony to see her drinking. Kerry Washington is presenting her award, so who is her favorite performer of all time? “It will always be Barbra Streisand because she’s amazing and I love her,” Kerry tells me, admitting it’s event-inappropriate. What about her best vacation? “I do not remember the last vacation I took, but I would love to have one.”
Ne-Yo tells me he’s in the midst of a “messy legal situation” dealing with his son Chimere, 2, but he’s quick to share a story about Rihanna, who is part of the Valerie Gallery. “She’s a klutz,” he tells me. “She’s really tall, and she trips over stuff all the time. Luckily there are never any cameras around to catch her!”
Dressing drama happens for Eve, who is wearing a spangly Phillip Lim cap. “This was an afterthought,” she tells me. “At first I had on a dress, and I was going to do the whole dress thing. Then, I was like ‘I can’t wear this.’ I threw this outfit on, and my stylist picked out a cap to go with it, and I was like ‘this is it.’”
Bow Wow can’t wait to perform with Snoop, whom he dubs his “big brother.” “I’m Lil’ Bow Wow tonight,” he tells me. “I brought the Lil’ back out of retirement.” How does he spend his cash? “I’ve got more than four cars, but my best cars are my Phantom, my Lamborghini, my Ferrari FO-30, and I’ve got a Bentley,” he tells me. “I got the hottest four cars of any rapper. You ask any rapper that comes down here if they have those four cars in their collection, and I guarantee they don’t.”
Ice-T, whose charming wife Coco joins him, goes on rumor patrol. “People say I don’t like Will Smith, but I love Will Smith,” Ice says. “Whatever you do, respect what other people do. It just might not be what you do.”
Ring the alarm! It’s time to start the show. Catch VH1’s Hip Hop Honors tonight at 10/9C.