SEAN “DIDDY” COMBS took to the stage at the 2023 VMAs for the first time in 18 years. He last performed at the MTV awards show in 2005, when he both hosted the event and also shared the stage with Snoop Dogg and a full orchestra, accompanied by a video of his late friend and collaborator Notorious B.I.G.
The legendary rapper and producer was present at this year’s ceremony in Newark, New Jersey to receive the Global Icon Award, an honor that has previously been bestowed on rock-n-roll mainstays the Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
But this was no lifetime achievement award given to a musician who has come to the end of their career: Diddy’s new record The Love Album: Off the Grid is about to drop, his first since 2010’s Last Train to Paris, and he was also up for four awards. “Gotta Move On” with Bryson Tiller, Ashanti, and Yung Miami was nominated for Best Rap and Best Collaboration, and the remix of “Creepin'” which he features on alongside 21 Savage and The Weeknd was nominated in the Best R&B and Best Collaboration.
But arguably one of the most exciting moments of the evening was Diddy’s live performance, where he performed with the help of special guests Keyshia Cole and Young Miami. On a night which also featured standout moments from Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, it’s safe to say that the 2023 VMAs were a celebration of the best talent that hip-hop has to offer… and the internet agreed.
Not only did the internet agree, but Taylor Swift appeared to as well:
Some people have seen this act before:
Some people were thinking about the old days:
And many were enjoying it:
While others wanted some more special guests (particularly some from those same old days):
…including Jackie Brown herself, Pam Grier:
It all felt a bit familiar, though, did it not?
Look, when you’re a legend, you’ve got to play the hits, right?
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.
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