Sunday’s Saturday Night Live anniversary special was a fond look back at four decades of one of television's most important shows. During the special we were treated to speeches by some of SNL's legendary alumni including Chris Rock, Chevy Chase, and Tina Fey. Some of music's biggest names who have performed at 30 Rockefeller Center throughout the years also came through to bless the stage for the special occasion.
Miley Cyrus decided to chill out and cover a Paul Simon song, while Paul Simon capped off the night with a beautiful number backed by the house band. But the high point of the show for many occurred when Kanye West took the stage to perform a melody that included his early career hit "Jesus Walks," his new Paul McCartney-produed lullaby "Only One," and his newest single "Wolves." The performance, which included Sia and Vic Mensa, was, like Ye's other SNL performances, provocative and innovative.
Through SNL's 40-year history, rap performances, though few and far between, have helped set the bar for what a good performance should be. The show, which started in 1975, was one of the first to feature rap acts. We decided to take a quick look through the years to find what we think are the 10 best rap performances in SNL's storied history.
Chaz Kangas is a writer living in New York. Follow him at @Chazraps.