Lil Wayne, Nas, Ice Spice and more helped celebrate the genre.

Hundreds of R&B and hip-hop executives helped Billboard honor key power players across both genres and celebrate 50 historic years of the genre on Tuesday (Aug. 8). Held at Novo in downtown Los Angeles, Billboard’s 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players Event featured appearances from a slew of hip-hop’s biggest and brightest stars, including recent Billboard cover stars Lil Wayne and Nas.

Weezy, who has earned five Grammy awards and 185 Billboard Hot 100 entries to date, graciously accepted his induction into Billboard’s Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, saying, “You already know I gotta give thanks to the man up above.”

Fellow hip-hop icon Nas, who recently released fifth Hit-Boy-produced album in three years, also received the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Inductee Award at the event. Other honorees included Larry Jackson, this year’s Executive of the Year Award winner, and Ice Spice, who was crowned 2023’s R&B/Hip-Hop Rookie of the Year. Quality Control CEO Pierre Thomas took home Billboard’s first-ever peer-voted R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players’ Choice Award.

Billboard’s 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players event was a history lesson as much as it was a celebration. From Jackson’s rousing speech — during which he read a 1997 letter from Clive Davis to Billboard that blasted the publication for “a personal crusade against the genre of rap albums” — to Gail Mitchell — Billboard executive director, R&B/Hip-Hop — reminding attendees that 50 years ago, hip-hop was being dismissed as a fad, the event commemorated the longevity and persistence of one of the world’s most powerful and influential art forms.

Check out Billboard’s 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players event in the photos below:

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