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The Best VMA Performances | Takin' Mines
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The Best VMA Performances
By  |  08.26.2013  | 
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On Sunday, the 30th MTV Video Music Awards 2013 took place in Brooklyn, New York. Just for you, we decided to made a small compilation of the best performances of the night.. check ’em out:


Kanye West – “Blood On The Leaves”



Kanye performed “Blood On The Leaves” off Yeezus using Steve McQueen‘s “Lynching Tree” as a backdrop. With this single performance, West finally tied Madonna for the most VMA performances of all time. West was set to also perform “Back Skinhead.” Instead, he sang a sample from Nina Simone’s 1965 take on “Strange Fruit” in addition to C-Murder’s “Down 4 My Niggaz” which influenced part of his track. When Kanye has the light shinning on his face he appears more contained, restricted, the second the lights are gone and West appears as a silhouette he turns into a ninja jumping up and down and owning the entirety of the stage. Kanye posted the tweet below to explain the image he chose to be in the background during his performance:



The image is off Steve Mc Queen’s latest project. “Lynching Tree” produced in 2013, was created for an exibition in Basel as a testimony “to an odious past” explains the gallery.


It shows a tree near New Orleans that once served as a gallows for slaves. The ground around the tree is filled with the graves of the lynched victims. This work is related to the artist’s latest film production, ‘Twelve Years a Slave,’ scheduled for release in movie theaters this fall.- Schaulager


Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar – “We Can’t Stop” and “Give it 2 me” (Remix)



You should skip to 4:16 to check out 2 Chainz, Robin Thicke and Kendrick Lamar bring fire to the stage. The trio incorporated elements from their soon-to-be released music video such as the female footballers dancing around Kendrick.


Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – “Same Love”



Macklemore and Ryan Lewis came to the VMAs with six nominations, which is a win of its own. Their performance of “Same Love” came on a momentous as the dynamic duo won for video of the year and best hip hop video. While performing their innovative track, Mack and Ryan were joined by The Heist guest Mary Lambert, and later Jennifer Hudson. Their performance was minimalistic but high in emotions. Macklemore truely is an incredible performer who gives his whole every time he hits the stage. Prior to his performance Macklemore said:


Hopefully we will be in the present moment, we will capture some magic on stage that will be transmitted to the televisions of the world. – Macklemore


Drake – “Started from the Bottom” and “Hold On” (Medley)



Drake kicked off his performance by singing in front of a backdrop similar to the one featured on his upcoming album, Nothing Was The Same.


I get to do the new record, I’m doing ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ into ‘Started From The Bottom.’ So [it’s] really just an exciting performance to show the range and also show the diversity of music on the album. – Drake


Ariana Grande – “The way” and “Baby I”



Ariana Grande has one of the most incredible voices out there. Her pre-show performance was worthy of the VMA stage. Sadly, Mac Miller did not join her to perform their hit track, “The Way,” but she did not fail to impress standing on her own.


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Greg Grease – “Forward”



If you’ve managed to get this far during the week, you probably deserve a break. And what good timing to introduce Greg Grease‘s latest video for “Forward”, a stripped down, less-is-more banger that doesn’t need to be overdramatic to get it’s point across. Directed by Adam Dunn as a part of his #LABB (Lights and a Backdrop) series, the visuals are as minimalistic as it gets, allowing the Grease, his DJ and his turntable to play centre stage. Check it out and be sure to pick up Greg Grease’s Black King Cole EP if you don’t already own it.


  1. Blu & Nottz (feat. Rashad) – “End of the World”
  2. CJ Fly (feat. A La $oul & Phife Dawg) – “Seek Well”
  3. Boldy James (feat. Earl Sweatshirt, Da$h & Domo Genesis) – “Reform School” (prod. by The Alchemist)
  4. Danny Brown (feat. Scrufizzer) – “Dubstep”
  5. Black Milk – “Dismal”
  6. Alterbeats (feat. Guilty Simpson & The Rockness Monstah) – “Fruit Punch”
  7. Snow Tha Product (feat. CyHi The Prynce) – “Hold You Down”
  8. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Harold’s”
  9. Childish Gambino – “Yaphet Kotto”
  10. Stan Ipcus – “Wifey Material”
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