VH1 pays homage to 25 years of Def Jam Records in its 6th year celebration of Hip Hop Honors

TAPED FROM THE BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC (BAM), HOWARD GILMAN OPERA HOUSE IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

“30 Rock’s” Tracy Morgan Returns as Host for the Third Time to Commemorate One of the Greatest Record Labels of Hip Hop

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NEW YORK, NY, June 2, 2009 – Back for its sixth year saluting the best in hip hop, VH1’s Hip Hop Honors 2009 will celebrate the achievements of one of hip hop’s greatest brands — Def Jam Records.  The music event will tape from the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York, and air on VH1 on Tuesday, October 12 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.

VH1’s Hip Hop Honors 2009 celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Def Jam in a show filled with the stars of this venerable label, as well as funny, painful and inspiring stories from its most renowned creators.  Hosting for the third time is “’30 Rock’s” Tracy Morgan.  This year, the music, the influence and the artists from Def Jam’s history past and present will be recognized through performances in collaboration with some of today’s hottest talent.  Generations of hip hop will bridge the gap for one exceptional night to set it off with the original style and flavor that sparked and inspired the evolution of this now global music phenomenon.  Previous celebrations have honored hip hop luminaries who broke new ground and propelled the genre into the true cultural phenomenon that it has become.  Last year’s honorees included Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Naughty by Nature, Slick Rick and Too $hort.  Additional talent will be announced as it is confirmed.

VH1’s Hip Hop Honors 2009 is the first time that the show has honored a record label.  For 25 years, Def Jam created the stars that pushed hip hop culture forward, including LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Kanye West, Slick Rick, Rick Ross and Rihanna.  The men behind the scenes are as legendary as its artists, including Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, LA Reid and Jay Z.  The Def Jam brand didn’t just innovate in music, it also launched a breakthrough comedy show (Def Comedy Jam), a dynamic spoken-word showcase (Def Poetry Jam), and set trends in fashion, film and advertising.  Def Jam led a cultural movement that changed the world.

“It is impossible to pay tribute to the best in hip hop without recognizing Def Jam Records.  Throughout the years VH1 has honored numerous artists from the Def Jam label, but due to the magnificent impact that Def Jam as a company has made on not only hip hop culture but pop culture as a whole, we thought they definitely deserved the opportunity to be honored,” says Lee Rolontz, EVP of Music Production.

Performances and other video elements from “VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2009” will be available on VH1.com and VH1 Mobile leading up to and following the on-air premiere of the show. Honoree profiles, exclusive online programming, show information and more will be available on VH1.com this summer.

“VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2009” is executive produced by Lee Rolontz for VH1 and Jac Benson for blacjac Entertainment. Louis J. Horvitz will direct.  Nelson George and Fab 5 Freddie are co-executive producers.

*All times ET/PT

VH1 red carpet video at 2009 Hip Hop Honors

YBF video from red carpet at 2009 Hip Hop Honors

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(press release courtesy of VH1)

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