Kanye West Will Join These Elite Rappers As A VMA Vanguard Winner

andres tardio, mtv.com
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Get ready for Yeezy’s big day.

Kanye West is about to win the super coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year’s VMAs. In doing so, Yeezus is joining an elite class of rap stars — it’s actually a really exclusive club, because this particular Moonman has only been given out to rappers twice before. And no MC has gotten it since 1998.

Here’s a look at the legends ’Ye’s about to join with his Vanguard win.

 

LL Cool J

James Todd Smith is known to blaze trails. In 1997, he became the first rapper to win the Vanguard trophy for classic videos like “Going Back To Cali” and “I Need Love.” Ladies Love didn’t stop there, of course. Since then, he’s unleashed a series of new projects including G.O.A.T., 10 and Authentic. Plus, he’s become a huge actor and host.

 

Beastie Boys

The year after Cool J broke the Vanguard wall for hip-hop, the Beastie Boys took home the award for memorable videos like “Fight For Your Right” and their “Intergalactic” classic, which was released that year. Although the group went strong after their Vanguard win — dropping To The 5 Burroughs and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two — tragedy followed when Adam “MCA” Yauch died after a battle with cancer in 2012.

Yeezy’s about to join that short list, but he’s actually presented the Vanguard before. In 2006, the MC gave Hype Williams his Moonman when the celebrated rap-centric director earned the trophy. Now, it’s Yeezus’ turn to take one home.