The MTV Video Music Awards returned to Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Monday night and brought with it all the outrageous, inspiring and sometimes confusing performances and speeches that made the award show great when it debuted in 1984.
From musicians with beef, to using the power of music to heal, to (kinda) remembering one of music’s great, here are the moments that everyone is talking about from the 2018 MTV VMA. And if you want more, you can rewatch all these moments, and the show in full over at MTV.ca.
Looks like not everyone is over Fifth Harmony’s break up. While Tiffany Haddish presented along with her Night School co-star Kevin Hart, Haddish threw some 5H shade. “Camila Cabello is here nominated for five awards,” said Haddish. “So those of you watching at home, hi Fifth Harmony!”
Accepting the award for Best Hip Hop, Nicki Minaj declared her allegiance to Normani, who appears on Minaj’s new album Queen. Issuing a warning to Haddish, Minaj said “Don’t be coming for Fifth Harmony because Normani is that bitch.”
The anti-Trump moments started early at the 2018 MTV VMA, first with comedian Kevin Hart. Hart decided to finally start using his platform for politics and called out President Trump while presenting alongside Haddish. “But at this game, you guys can kneel. You can do whatever the hell you want. There’s no old white man that can stop you,” Hart said. “You never know what’s going to happen at the VMA. I mean beefs pop off, bad language, people sending out crazy tweets. It’s basically like your typical day at the White House. In your face, Trump—suck it!”
Next up was rapper Logic, whose performance with Ryan Tedder put Trump’s anti-immigration laws on public display. Wearing a t-shirt that said ‘F*ck The Wall,’ Logic invited families displaced by Trump’s separation and detention policy, with hundreds of people wearing shirts that read ‘We Are Human Beings.’ The performance was reminiscent of Eminem’s famous MTV VMA performance from 2000, but with a big social message.
We knew we were going to feel nostalgic seeing the Backstreet Boys perform on the MTV VMA red carpet, but that wasn’t the only moment that had us double checking the calendar. We loved seeing Jimmy Fallon recreate his iconic Guns N’ Roses intro from the 2002 MTV VMA when he introduced Panic! At The Disco. Even better? Jennifer Lopez’s Video Vanguard Award performance which featured a surprise guest appearance from Ja Rule. MURDAH!
We’re not sure exactly who Nicki Minaj was talking about when she said “…tune in to Queen Radio to see who ‘(expletive)-sucker of the Year’ is,” but you can be sure we’ll be listening.
She didn’t perform, but that didn’t stop Cardi B from having a huge night. The rapper took home awards for Best Collaboration, Song of Summer, and Best New Artist and used her time at the mic to give working moms everywhere a shout out and possibly throw some shade at Nicki Minaj. It wouldn’t be the MTV VMA without beef, right?
It seemed like a great idea on paper. Madonna made a surprise appearance to present Video of the Year and paid tribute to fellow Detroit-native Aretha Franklin, who passed away earlier this month. Instead, the Material Girl spent the entire speech talking about her struggle to make it in the music industry, eventually saying that she covered “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” during an audition. Oh yeah, and she did a terrible French accent and wore an outfit that looked like about five different cultures being appropriated at once.
We don’t know when, but The Hills are coming back. Even though the series finale included a nod letting the audience know the whole show was fake, it’s now the latest series to be rebooted and you can bet we’ll be watching. We forgive and forget.
The original cast were on the red carpet at Monday night’s MTV VMA to make the announcement, with everyone returning for the reboot, except for Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad, aka the two biggest stars from the reality series. But don’t worry. You can comfort yourself with a pastel and floral sweater from Conrad’s clothing line watch Kristin on her new E! series Very Cavallari and see her at the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs.