Hip-hop is definitely making its mark at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards — what with Nicki and Macklemore taking the stage and Kanye taking home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (we’ll talk about that speech another time).
Twenty One Pilots’ explosive collaboration with A$AP Rocky carried on that tradition. It was all about the flow as the trio busted out a medley of TOP’s “HeavyDirtySoul” and “Lane Boy,” off of their record Blurryface, and “M’$” and “L$D” off of Rocky’s AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP.
“There’s two types of people who have a freedom to just be themselves,” Twenty One Pilots frontman Tyler Joseph told MTV News during rehearsals. “The first type of person is a tastemaker — someone who’s ahead of the game and knows where the next fad is going, and they can be themselves because they don’t really follow anyone, they’re setting the trends. I would describe A$AP Rocky as one of those guys. And then the other form of someone who knows how to be themselves is someone who is just OK with being ignorant to what’s happening — trying not to follow something but trying to create something that’s your own and it may not be cool to everyone, it may not fit sometimes, but it’s still yours. … When those two people come together, Rocky and us performing, it’s going to be a cool moment.”
“A cool moment” might be a little bit of an understatement. I don’t know about you all, but I didn’t expect the collaboration to be so rap-heavy — Tyler Joseph barely broke out his pop rock powerhouse singing voice, opting instead to bust out lightening fast rhymes that meshed pretty naturally with Rocky’s flow. Sure, we knew Tyler could rap, but DAMN. And that laser light show? It only amped up the drama — as did Tyler’s Blurryface-inspired black makeup.
Now, how about you all collaborate on some new tunes? Best Hip Hop Video 2016, perhaps?