A Grammy celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop was rudely interrupted Sunday night by ads on the Atlanta CBS affiliate WANF-TV in what appeared to be human error.
Wu-Tang Clan and Method Man were performing “Method Man” at 10:31 p.m. EST when the station inexplicably cut to commercials.
An ANF Atlanta United contest ad popped up, followed by ads for MSC cruises, Nature’s Own bread and SCANA Energy, eating up one minute and 45 seconds.
Busta Rhymes was rapping when the live broadcast came back.
What did Atlanta miss? Ironically, Atlanta’s Big Boi performed Outkast’s “ATLiens” solo while Atlantans watched the commercials. (His Outkast colleague André 3000 seldom performs nowadays.)
Later during the medley, Atlanta’s Lil Baby gave trap music some love performing “Freestyle.”
The identical ads ran again at 10:42 p.m.
The truncated WANF-TV newscast that aired after the Grammy’s did a segment on the Grammy’s itself but did not acknowledge or apologize for the mistake.
A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Gray Television, which owns WANF-TV, provided a statement Monday morning saying it was “the result of human error at the broadcast hub that provides services to WANF. We are told the incident is being addressed internally. At the same time, we regret the broadcast was interrupted and apologize to our viewers.”
This year marks 50 years since DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy threw parties in the Bronx, which many historians consider the start of hip hop via Herc’s two turntables and a mixer. He was not involved in the Grammy medley.
Others who participated in the celebration included Missy Elliott, Run-D.M.C., Queen Latifah, Method Man, Public Enemy, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel.
Paramount+ subscribers on Monday will be able to watch the entire sequence in full and it’s available for free at cbs.com.
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