Old school met new school at the Hip Hop Inaugural Ball II sponsored by Heineken at Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. On the eve of President Obama’s inauguration, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, 2 Chainz, Maxwell, Meek Mill, and more gathered to celebrate their peers and hip-hop’s impact on the election.
2 Chainz, who launched Respect My Vote! to educate convicted felons on voting, cleaned up nicely in a suit as he accepted the street soldier award.
“Doing my thing on the charts is one thing, but to be honored on another avenue, it just feels like a blessing,” he told Newsday. “I’m keeping my head leveled and staying humble.”
His fellow honorees Swizz Beatz and John Legend were also dressed to impress in suits. Lil Mama sported blonde bangs as she joined Yo-Yo and Smooth in a tribute to her idol MC Lyte, who received the lifetime achievement award along with Doug E. Fresh.
Legend was on hand to accept the humanitarian award and spoke about hip-hop’s role in re-electing Obama.
“I think hip-hop had a role in making sure we elected a black president in America because we made it so that black people were in people’s homes through our music and through our culture,” he told Newsday. “I think it made Barack Obama and more people like him possible, so I’m really thankful for hip-hop and the role it plays in society.”
Meek Mill and Marsha Ambrosius also took the stage to perform. The British songstress entertained with “Butterflies” and “Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player),” joking that it was Obama’s favorite song.