Questlove Reveals Why Will Smith Dropped From Grammys Hip-Hop Tribute

hip-hop 50th grammys
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 05: (L-R) DJ Spinderella, Melle Mel, Jadakiss, Cheryl James, and Scorpio perform onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The performances at this year’s Grammys were remarkable. Bad Bunny shut the house down, Lizzo took us to church and Mary J Blige reminded us that it’s a good morning, gorgeous. But one performance brought the entire audience and viewers at home together. The Hip-Hop 50th anniversary tribute paid homage to the growth of the genre.

The performance boasted performances from everyone to LL Cool J and Queen Latifah to Missy Elliot and Lil Baby. But there was one person who couldn’t make it to the festivities: Will Smith.

Questlove produced the performance. While speaking withVariety, he mentioned the Fresh Prince was supposed make an appearance during the performance, but had a scheduling conflict.

“I’ll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was a part of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting Bad Boys 4 this week,” Questlove, told Variety on the red carpet. “There were a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will.”

He also added that he knew trying to get Smith for the perofrmance was a “shot in the dark.” This due to the fact that he’s always shooting movies. Questlove explained that he originally planned for the set to be 23 minutes long before cutting it down to 15 minutes.

The Grammys Hip-Hop 50 Performance

“We had a lot of people, and some of them have other jobs,” he said. “[Queen] Latifah and LL [Cool J] had to leave their respective shows to come and do this so there were a lot of legit reasons why we couldn’t be all-inclusive of some people. I promise you it’s going to be amazing,” and it was.

The performance included a homage to Nelly’s Hot in Herre and Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella’s My Mike Sounds Nice. We were taken on a trip through the history of Hip-Hop. It was wrapped up with Lil Uzi Vert’s Just Wanna Rock to remind the crowd of the future of the genre.