Though it’s been 12 years since “Lip Gloss” rapper Lil’ Mama crashed Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ performance of “Empire State of Mind” at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, we now finally have an idea what conversations took place in the immediate aftermath.
Per Revolt, during a recent interview on the Drink Champs podcast, Keys explained to hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN that she wasn’t even aware Lil Mama was on the stage at the time because she was too deep in the zone; it was Jay-Z who informed her of what happened after it was over.
“The truth of all the truth is, all I know is we was on that stage: Jay was here, I was here,” Keys said, motioning with her hands. “In my head, I was such a guerilla at the time, in my eyes, I was like ‘this is what’s happening. I’m gonna destroy this record tonight.’ That’s all I had in my head. Somehow, however she got over here, I didn’t even bear witness to. The whole show I was iced, so focused on making it amazing. I went backstage and Jay was like, ‘so, you ain’t see that?’ And I was like ‘what?’ He was like, ‘so you ain’t see what just happened?’ And I was like, ‘yeah, we killed it. That’s what just happened.”
Jay furthered explained how he felt during an interview with Angie Martinez shortly after the ordeal, saying:
“Me personally, I would never do that. I would never have the nerve to do that. It’s just like, someone’s up there performing, we worked, we went to rehearsals, we did run-throughs. We worked really hard at the performance to put on a show for people and to interrupt that moment for us, I don’t think that was the right thing to do.”
He added, “I’m cool with her being excited and all that, I understand that. But you also have to understand that people put in work to make that performance happen.”
According to The Source, Lil Mama has said she tried to reach out to both Jay-Z and Keys but claims that she hasn’t heard back from either one of them since that day.
“I entered the industry as a teenage Black girl from Brooklyn & Harlem New York,” she said earlier this year. “These situations are with mature adults at least 10 years my senior. I reached out in private to create an opportunity for communication and clarity. I haven’t heard back from either party yet. With that, continuously misrepresenting my brand in public won’t be tolerated.”