In 2009, Hov and Keys were performing “Empire State of Mind” when Lil Mama surprised them both by crashing their set.
It has gone down as one of the most memorable moments in Hip Hop history, but the aftermath was a disaster for Lil Mama. Back in 2009, fans tuned in to the MTV Video Music Awards and watched several of their favorite artists take to the stage, including Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. The pair of hitmakers were all set to perform “Empire State of Mind,” however, during their set, a strange, unforgettable moment occurred.
Out of nowhere, Lil Mama slowly danced her way up the stairs and onstage, confusing Jay-Z who seemed to try to give her the nod to go away. As the song concluded, Lil Mama stayed alongside Jay and Keys, even posing with them at the end.
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This incident has been the catalyst for several meme movements involving Lil Mama, and Alicia Keys addressed the controversy while visiting The Morning Hustle. The hosts jokingly asked her if she ever forgave Lil Mama for the 2009 moment and the singer delivered a gracious answer.
“Of course, of course. Listen, to this day, I truly never knew she was even on the stage,” Keys admitted. “That’s the craziest part of the whole thing for me. I was on that stage, Jay was in the middle, she was on the other side of Jay, and I never saw her. Never. So, that was wild to me.”
“But I absolutely…it’s not even a statement. That was then,” she continued. “You know, she’s from New York, too. You know, I think she really felt the energy of the record and she loved it and she couldn’t hold herself back. Look, this is what my music does to people. What can we say?” Watch below.
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