Jay-Z Opens Up About Lil Mama Crashing His 2009 Performance With Alicia Keys at MTV VMAs

More than 12 years after Lil Mama crashed the stage during Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ performance at the 2009 MTV VMAs, Hov is sharing his thoughts on the viral moment.

During a recent conversation with Genius’ Rob Markman on Twitter Spaces, Jay recalled Lil Mama joining him and Alicia onstage while they played their hit “Empire State of Mind.”

When Markman asked if she was forgiven for crashing the stage, Jay responded by saying she was. “Of course, of course,” Jay said. “C’mon. Don’t do that… That’s our sister. Man, we love her. I wouldn’t recommend people just jumping on other artists’ stages…”

Hov continued, “She’s a New Yorker… She got excited. Things happen. Of course we love her… yes, she’s forgiven. It’s all love and she was coming from a place of love it’s just… may have been a little too excited.”

Jay’s comments arrive just weeks after Alicia Keys opened up about the incident during a recent interview with Complex.

“Basically, I remember absolutely nothing,” Alicia explained. “I think I was so focused on performing. Because when you perform, it’s a lot. You gotta hit it. You gotta nail it. You gotta kill it. It has to be perfect.”

She added, “When I tell you, 100 percent, I was oblivious to the idea that next to him was another person, which kind of scared the shit out of me later when I figured it out.”

Alicia also talked about the incident in another recent interview with Drink Champs.

“The truth of all the truths… all I know, we was on that stage,” Keys said. “Jay was here. I was here. In my head I was such a gorilla at the time and I was like, ‘This is what’s happening. I’m going to destroy this record tonight.’ …  Somehow, however she got over here, I didn’t even bear witness to.”

She added, “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?’ And he was like, ‘Nah, you ain’t just see what just happened?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, we killed it. That’s what happened.’”

Elsewhere during Keys’ Twitter Spaces discussion with Jay-Z, the 4:44 rapper said that he doesn’t think anyone can compete with him in a Verzuz battle. 

“No one can stand on that stage with me,” Jay said when asked if he’d potentially get in the Verzuz ring against an opponent. “It’s not a chance in hell that anyone can stand on that stage with me… You got to stand in front of the ‘Grammy Family Freestyle’ live? No one has ever even seen me perform that, you got to stand in front of that? That ain’t never going to happen.”

Alicia Keys’ new 26-track double album Keys, which features appearances from Pusha-T, Lil Wayne, Swae Lee, Khalid, Lucky Daye, and Brandi Carlile, is out now. Head here to stream it.

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