Eminem, Jay-Z, Drake Engage In Hip-Hop Battle: Better Know A VMA Category

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are fast approaching, which means that soon you’ll be treated to an excellent night of performances and appearances by the likes of Eminem, Linkin Park, Usher, Paramore, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, B.o.B and Deadmau5 (who will serve as the house DJ at the show). While people tend to remember the classic performances and the unhinged moments, the coveted Moonman is the reason why people show up and tune in. This year, there are 16 categories wherein some of the biggest music stars in the universe will compete for the coolest trophy in awards shows. Today, we take a look at the nominees in the Best Hip-Hop Video category.

Eminem and Jay-Z may be working together on their Home and Home concerts, but when the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards kick off on Sunday, September 12, they will be at odds. Both Marshall Mathers and Jigga are competing for the Moonman for Best Hip-Hop Video (Em for “Not Afraid,” Jay for “On to the Next One”). But even with those two titans present, it isn’t just a two horse race. B.o.B (“Airplanes”), Drake (“Forever,” which also features Eminem as well as Lil Wayne and Kanye West) and Kid Cudi (“Pursuit of Happiness”).

Best Hip-Hop Video is the result of three different categories coming together. Best Hip-Hop Video was initially given out for hip-hop inspired clips, which allowed for the likes of Sisqo’s “Thong Song” to score victories. More traditional rap clips were rewarded by Best Rap Video and straight R&B tracks were taken care of by Best R&B Video. But the latter two were conflated into one singular catch-all category called Best Hip-Hop, which has incorporated winners like Outkast, Jennifer Lopez, Missy Elliott, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Will Smith and Eminem.

Who will take home Best Hip-Hop Video this year? With all the star power involved, can anything topple “Forever”? If anybody is going to, it’s going to be Jay-Z, but Drake and his band of merry men should be considered the favorites.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.