Rita Wilson Declared a Better Rapper Than Son Chet After Emmy Performance

Rita Wilson became a surprise hit at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night, when she helped open the show with a rap performance.

The actress and singer, 64, joined the likes of host Cedric the Entertainer and rapper-actors LL Cool J and Lil Dicky to perform a tribute to hip-hop legend Biz Markie, who passed away in July.

Wilson drew gasps of delight from the audience as she showcased her lyrical flow while rapping about this year's nominated shows as the track for Markie's classic track "Just A Friend" boomed through downtown Los Angeles' L.A. Live.

With Pose star Billy Porter enthusiastically clapping to the distinctive, bass-heavy beat and cheering her on, Wilson confidently spat her bars to the camera as she made her way through the star-studded audience.

"Who knew, who knew they had so much TV?" Sleepless In Seattle star Wilson rapped, before sending a shout-out to long-running children's TV show Sesame Street (without which, she rhythmically insisted, the rap would not be "complete").

"So many characters I love. In fact, that's Bert and Ernie's business, we don't care about that," she went on, before tossing the closing bars back up to her musical collaborators on the stage.

As well as impressing her fellow celebrities, Wilson's performance also proved to be a hit with viewers, who took to Twitter in droves to express their excitement.

In fact, a number also commented that the actress easily outshone the skills of Chet Hanks, the rapper son she shares with actor Tom Hanks.

The mother (Rita Wilson) of Chet Hanks is a better rapper than him! 💀#Emmys pic.twitter.com/92lErosFCk

— Afua S. Owusu (@afuasowusu) September 20, 2021

Rita Wilson just eclipsed son Chet Hanks' entire rap career in 10 earnestly awkward seconds.

— Mikey O'Connell (@mikeyoconnell) September 20, 2021

Rita Wilson's mixtape would still be better than Chet's.

— Hugh McIntyre (@PopBangHugh) September 20, 2021

Sharing a video clip of the performance, journalist Afua S. Owusu wrote: "The mother (Rita Wilson) of Chet Hanks is a better rapper than him! 💀"

"Rita Wilson just eclipsed son Chet Hanks' entire rap career in 10 earnestly awkward seconds," tweeted The Hollywood Reporter writer Mikey O'Connell.

Forbes writer Hugh McIntyre predicted Wilson one-upping her son in a face-off, opining: "Rita Wilson's mixtape would still be better than Chet's."

Even the Los Angeles Times got in on the action, posting a clip of the video while asking: "Is Rita Wilson the best rapper in the Hanks family?"

Meanwhile, NPR host Aisha Harris compared the moment to Glenn Close's brief-yet-memorable impromptu twerk at the Academy Awards earlier this year.

"Rita Wilson saw Glenn Close doing da butt at the Oscars and said, 'Hold my beer,'" Harris wrote on the micro-blogging platform.

Also reacting to the performance, comedian Guy Branum tweeted: "Rita Wilson is my favorite hip hop artist."

tonight i lost an emmy but looked very good while doing it. some say that's an emmy win all of its own. then rita wilson rapped which was another win for me. okay, back to the woods bye! pic.twitter.com/rGVxDxt865

— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) September 20, 2021

Rita Wilson saw Glenn Close doing da butt at the Oscars and said, "Hold my beer"

— Aisha Harris (@craftingmystyle) September 20, 2021

Rita Wilson is my favorite hip hop artist.

— Guy Branum (@guybranum) September 20, 2021

Demi Adejuyigbe, whose writing work on The Amber Ruffin Show earned him an Emmy nomination this year, gave a summary of the highs and lows of his night.

Sharing a video clip, in which he showed off his ensemble, he wrote: "Tonight i lost an emmy but looked very good while doing it. some say that's an emmy win all of its own. then rita wilson rapped which was another win for me. okay, back to the woods bye!"

In the hours following her performance, Wilson took to Instagram to share a photo of herself onstage at the Emmy Awards.

Captioning the image, she wrote: "Well, that was fun! Thank you @televisionacad for inviting me to rap with @cedtheentertainer @llcoolj @lildickygram to @officialbizmarkie Just A Friend I gotta go to bed now cuz I'm working on some @missymisdemeanorelliott rhymes .... #werkit."

For those in the know, this isn't Wilson's first foray into rap—in 2020, she teamed up with Naughty by Nature's Vin Rock to record a remix of his collective's classic "Hip Hop Hooray" after her own Instagram performance of the track went viral.

In a subsequent interview with NPR, Wilson—who also shares son Truman with Hanks—expressed her admiration for Naughty by Nature and their biggest hit, the lyrics of which she had learned for her role in the 2020 movie Boy Genius.

Recounting her month-long quest to perfect the lyrics, Wilson said: "I thought, well, I'm either going to get completely trashed for this and people will think it's insane, and Naughty By Nature will be, like, trolling me on the internet. I really didn't know. But I did have a moment of, like, here goes, when I pushed send."

Rita Wilson and Chet Hanks
(L-R) Rita Wilson was declared a better rapper than her son, Chet Hanks, after she took part in a tribute to late rapper Biz Markie while opening the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday. Rich Fury/Getty Images;/Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET