Ice-T says that he nearly turned down Questlove’s request to have him perform at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Ice-T was among the dozens of artists to take the stage during the hip-hop 50 tribute performance. He reflected on the show during an interview with ET beforehand. He says that it’s good “to see all these legends together and you’re not here for a funeral.”

“Questlove calls me up and he says, ‘All right, you gotta come to L.A. this weekend… It’s a big performance, I got you in the lineup,’” he recalled. “And I was still hesitant ’cause it’s a long travel, But then he says, ‘You don’t want to be sitting at home watching this show, saying you should’ve been there.”

Ice-T at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Arena on February 5, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

“Real talk, unfortunately, that’s usually the only time we all get together and see each other,” Ice-T shared. “So the Grammys brought us together.” He then reflected on days when there was no representation for hip-hop at the Grammys. “I got one of the early GRAMMYs with Quincy Jones, you know, but I felt Quincy kinda snuck us in the backdoor.”

From there, he compared the experience to that of last year’s Super BowlDr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar all performed at the event. Ice-T continued: “They got everybody, they got all the hoodlums in here. We don’t get invited to this type of party! The people that were raised by us are now the people making the decisions, and so what a difference a day makes. You see Dr. Dre doing the Super Bowl with 50 Cent, Eminem, all the outlaws. That means that the culture has really broadened to where the people in power are our children.”

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In addition to Ice-T, Run-D.M.C., Rakim, Public Enemy, and many more legends made appearances on Sunday night. Younger artists such as Lil Baby and Lil Uzi Vert also took the stage. LL Cool J hosted the tribute while Questlove directed and co-produced it.