Rap superstar Jay-Z and newcomer Nicki Minaj were the big winners at the 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards on Saturday, taking home three honors each.
The "99 Problems" hitmaker was named Best Live Performer, while his New York anthem with Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind," earned him the Perfect Combo prize and his album "The Blueprint 3" was hailed as CD of the Year.
Lil Wayne's protegee Minaj continued to garner recognition for her work, walking away with the Rookie of the Year, People's Champ and the Made You Look accolades - despite having yet to release her debut solo album, "Pink Friday," which is due in November.
Meanwhile, Rick Ross landed two prizes for his song "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" - Track of the Year and Club Banger of the Year - and Keys' new husband Swizz Beatz was praised as Producer of the Year.
Salt-N-Pepa were honored with the I Am Hip-Hop Award for their contributions to the rap industry.
But it wasn't just the winners who got fans at the Atlanta, Georgia ceremony talking - Ross brought out rap veteran MC Hammer for a surprise rendition of his classic "2 Legit 2 Quit," while DJ Premier paid tribute to his late pal Guru, who died in April after losing his battle with cancer.
The show also featured the first performance of Cam'ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freeky Zekey as the reunited Diplomats crew, having settled their differences over the summer.
The 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards, hosted by comedian Mike Epps, will air on TV on October 12.
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