NEW YORK (AP) _ VH1 has celebrated pioneering women hip-hop stars Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim and Salt-N-Pepa in its Hip Hop Honors event, held amid the racial tension that has gripped the nation.
In accepting the honor Monday night, Latifah remarked that “racism is still alive and kicking, and we have to change that.” Rapper Common used his appearance to praise Diamond Reynolds, the woman who livestreamed the aftermath of her boyfriend’s fatal shooting by police in Minnesota last week.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza opened the show alongside activist Darnell Moore. Garza says the movement “is grounded in black people’s dignity, justice and freedom. It’s about love, not violence.”
“VH1 Hip Hop Honors” returned following a six-year hiatus. This year’s all-female installment was dubbed “All Hail the Queens.”