As expected, the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors taping was a night chock full of collaborations. But, some acts didn't need the extra bonus of performing with one of their peers, for some it was just a matter of being back on stage.
After a tumultuous few years, DMX rocked the Brooklyn Academy of Music's opera house with his 1999 jam 'Party Up (Up in Here).' Full of the same amount of energy he was once known for, X, minus his famed pitbulls and former collaborator Swizz Beatz, took the stage and turned it out with his "comeback" performance. Before last night's event, the growling MC had not performed in at least three years.
This year's show, which honored Def Jam Records, featured other notable performances like Ja Rule and Ashanti's reunion, of sorts, and the show's big start with Eminem and The Roots.
Unfortunately, many of Def Jam's biggest stars were missing in action. Wale replaced Kanye West and performed 'Touch the Sky' during one of the night's medley moments. LL Cool J, who was honored by VH1 in 2005, was also absent on a day in which he was honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a nomination for the 2010 induction. A very vocal attendee repeatedly shouted, "Where's Jay-Z?" Hov was not in the building.
For more of the action, tune in to the broadcast of this year's Hip Hop Honors on Oct. 13 or, for minute-by-minute updates from some of the coolest hip-hop events, follow us on Twitter.