While the pop culture universe all but imploded in the wake of Kanye West stage-crashing Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for best female video last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, there has been relatively little chatter in regards to the evening’s other bold stage-crasher, rapper and judge on “America’s Best Dance Crew,” Lil Mama.
Toward the end of a rousing show-closing performance of “Empire State of Mind,” Lil Mama jumped onto the stage, much to the visible chagrin of Jay-Z. While Jay-Z turned his back on her and embraced Alicia Keys during the ovation at the end of the song, Lil Mama stood her ground next to the multi-platinum performers.
“You gonna T-Pain me?” is what Jay-Z reportedly said to the stage-crashing rapper, in reference to rapper and producer T-Pain crashing Jay-Z's stage when he debuted the song “D.O.A.” at a New York radio concert this summer.
“I did not mean any disrespect towards Jay-Z or Alicia Keys. I admire them and look up to them as role models,” Lil Mama told MTV News after the incident. “ 'Empire State of Mind’ had my emotions running high. In that moment, I came onstage to celebrate my two icons singing about N.Y.”
But given the much higher emotions surrounding West and Swift, Lil Mama’s unscripted appearance will go down as just another bizarre curiosity during an evening filled with them. Our own “Envelope” column even credited her as just an “audience member who managed to grab her 15 minutes of fame during the last moments of the two’s performance.”
UPDATE: During an interview with Kathy Lee Gifford and and Hoda Kotb on the Sept. 16 broadcast of the "Today" show, Alicia Keys was quoted as saying "We can appreciate her being overwhelmed and inspired, but we would have appreciated it if she would have did it from her seat."
-- Scott T. Sterling
Photo: From left, Lil Mama, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday in New York City. Credit: Christopher Polk / Getty Images.