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Tonight at 8/7c, get ready for the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, the last one before the Mayan apocalypse kills us all! Here at the Guy Code Blog, we’ve been getting geared up for it by looking through the archives for our favorite moments. Not surprising, our favorites revolve around the ballsiest, coolest under pressure and most reckless performers to ever grace the VMA stage. So, we have collected our votes for the seven most badass VMA attendees of all time.
1. Snoop Dogg
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Dude was in the middle of a gang-related homicide trial when he was booked, so for the 1994 VMAs, he planned what any tough-as-nails OG rapper in his right mind would: Choreography! He performed “Murda Was The Case,” starting with a goth-gospel choir dancing to his offstage rap-narration of doom. Then he gets wheeled out in a wheelchair with a fresh perm that matched the perm of the guy wheeling him out. At the end of the song, he says “I’m innocent” twice in a voice so mellow that you want to find him not guilty while falling asleep.
2. Adam Yauch aka MCA aka Nathaniel Hornblower
Also at the 1994 awards, when R.E.M. won “Best Director” for “Everybody Hurts,” MCA of the Beastie Boys felt he had to protect his director Spike Jonze‘s rep…by dressing up as a Swiss goat herding nutcase and taking over the mic to declare his outrage. With a humorless Michael Stipe behind him, Nathaniel Hornblower convinces everyone that Jonze should have won for “Sabotage.” Then he’s carried off by a security detail who clearly hate the Swiss.
3. Herbie Hancock
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While your grandparents were busy whining about the moral scourge that is music videos, Herbie was busy being the coolest old man of the 1980s, winning 5 Moonmen for “Rockit” at the first ever VMAs in 1984. If you stop a dude on the street and tell him that an old man was the first to make turntables really cool, his voice will choke up a bit, but you’ll still be able to hear him say “that’s badass.”
4. Lil’ Kim
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The one boob dress Kim wore to the 1999 VMAs was as shocking and iconic as the three-boob mutant from “Total Recall.” Kim’s dress was badass back in 1999, and looking at her whole get-up now, we realized that she’s like a ’90s version of Katy Perry, if Katy Perry had Manny Pacquaio for a father. If Lil’ Kim made a Katy Perry-style video today, she would take one of those giant candy props and beat someone senseless with it.
5. Kanye West
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How come when a white rapper dressed in lederhosen interrupts a sad musician’s acceptance speech, everyone thinks it’s quirky and adorable, but when a black rapper does it to a prom queen, the media goes all crazy? When Kanye interrupted Swift‘s 2009 acceptance speech to say that Beyoncé deserved the award, it was funny. When the camera showed Beyoncé with a half-embarassed, half-this-guy-is-off-his-meds look, it was legendary.
6. Russell Brand
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Russell Brand to America at September 2008 VMAs: “Some people, I think they’re called racists, say America is not ready for a black president.” America to Russell Brand: “OK, we’ll vote for Obama.” And that is how Barack Obama became the first black president. Badass.
7. Missy Elliot
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When you learn public speaking, they tell you to picture everyone in your underwear. When Missy Elliott joined Britney, Christina and Madonna onstage at the 2003 awards, there was no way for her not to think about it. However, she had the added difficulty of joining them after they’d declared a tongue war on each other’s faces. A hot, trashy tongue war. So what did Missy do? She rapped the s*** out of “Work It,” which has too weird of a beat for three divas to make out to.