Legend, 2 Chainz, MC Lyte honored at Hip-Hop Ball
John Legend is seen at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 in Washington. (Photo by Larry French/Invision/AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Legend believes hip-hop played its part in helping Barack Obama become president, and he's proud at how the genre has matured over the years.
"I think hip-hop had a role in making sure we elected a black president in America because we made it so that black people were in people's homes ... through our music and through our culture," the R&B crooner said Sunday night at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball.
Rosario Dawson is seen at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 in Washington. (Photo by Larry French/Invision/AP)
"I think it made Barack Obama and more people like him possible, so I'm really thankful for hip-hop and the role it plays in society," he continued.
Legend was awarded the humanitarian award at Sunday's event, and it was one of many honors handed out at the Harman Center for Arts.
Hip-hop pioneers MC Lyte and Doug E. Fresh were both given lifetime achievement awards. Fresh even hit the stage, beat boxing while comedian-actor-singer Wayne Brady cooed Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" At one point, Brady even busted out his own rhymes.
2 Chainz is seen at the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 in Washington. (Photo by Larry French/Invision/AP)
Rapper Yo Yo earned a roaring cheer when she hit the stage to honor MC Lyte; Lil Mama also paid tribute to the "Ruffneck" rapper.
2 Chainz, who had a breakthrough year with his Grammy-nominated solo debut and multiple rap hits, earned the street soldier award for encouraging young voters as a spokesperson for the Hip-Hop Caucus' "Respect My Vote!" campaign.