The last two installments of VH1’s recurring “Hip Hop Honors” awards show and concert specifically honored the women and U.S. Southern natives who made their mark on hip-hop culture. This year’s ceremony will broaden its categorical focus and channel ’90s nostalgia to recognize a whole decade of Black creative excellence in hip-hop, film and television. As a symbol of that expanded lens, a star comedian and show creator will receive special honors at the 2017 event.
Billboard reported yesterday (September 7) that “VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The 90s Game Changers” will honor Martin Lawrence, the first non-rapper to be recognized at the ceremony. The multihyphenate comedian first achieved national prominence with “Martin,” his hit sitcom that ran for five seasons on Fox between 1992 and 1997. As Lawrence and co-star Tichina Arnold (“Survivor’s Remorse”) addressed in a recent Buzzfeed interview, the sitcom celebrated the 25th anniversary of its premiere episode on August 27.
Lawrence parlayed his “Martin” success into a lucrative film career, headlining ’90s blockbusters like “Blue Streak,” “Bad Boys” and “Big Momma’s House,” mixing big-budget action movie aesthetics and self-deprecating comedy to create box office gold.
“Anytime anyone wants to recognize you for your work, it’s an honor,” Lawrence told Billboard. “I am looking forward to a really great night of fun and music.”
“VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The ’90s Game Changers” airs September 18 at 9 p.m. EDT.