You know how you can tell this year’s MTV Video Music Awards were extra-crazy/special? Somehow Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift wasn’t even the only unexpected person-leaping-on-stage event last night. No, there was also the odd spectacle of Lil Mama climbing up during Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ show-closing “Empire State of Mind,” attempting to join the performance (?), then standing there awkwardly beside Jay and Alicia in a B-girl stance when the song ended.

The incident promptly became a trending topic last night on Twitter. Shout out to tweet-happy rapper Fabolous for making the #lilmamais hashtag happen. “#lilmamais JayZ’s hypeman, she jus got there late,” joked Fab. “#lilmamais the bird that flew outta Lady Gaga’s nest on her face!!” And so on. But all the hi-larious Twitter punchlines in the world got us no closer to what we all really want to know: What on earth was Lil Mama doing on stage at that moment?!

We’ve reached out to Lil Mama and Jay-Z’s camps to see if they can clarify just what happened there. (UPDATE: A representative for Jay-Z tells EW she has “No clue how it happened.”) (UPDATE 2: Read Lil Mama’s explanation for last night.) In the meantime, watch the encounter again after the jump. Lil Mama’s appearance begins around the 5:07 mark. Warning: You may LOL when you see Jay-Z’s understated yet surprised-seeming body language.

What’s your take? Did you appreciate Lil Mama’s unexpected cameo? New Yorkers, would you have done the same to show your city pride if you’d been sitting in the front rows?

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Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/