On Tuesday night, BET aired the annual, highly anticipated Hip Hop Awards Show that highlights the achievements of entertainers in a genre that is often over looked. The night kicked off with a hype and energetic performance from the new rap group Rae Sremmurd with their hit “No Flex Zone.” This year’s show was hosted by our favorite marijuana advocate, Uncle Snoop, who kept the energy and the laughs coming the whole night. It seemed that the cast of Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta were the butt of all jokes and rapper punchlines (as they should be) but it was all in fun.
Throughout the night, hip-hop greats and rap legends blessed the stage in between the popular and growing acts of today. Rich Gang hyped the crowd with their song “Lifestyle” while Migos entertained viewers with two of their current hits “Fight Night” and “Handsome & Wealthy.” T.I. brought out Young Thug to help him perform “About The Money” in an effort to promote his new album Paperwork set to be released on October 21st. DJ Mustard’s set showed naysayers why he is one of the big contenders in hip hop right now as he DJ’d his songs with YG, Ty Dolla $ign and Lil Boosie. Legendary female MC’s YoYo, Queen Latifah, and MC Lyte gave a great show along with Brandy as they performed the remix to her hit “Wanna Be Down” that was released 20 years ago. I still find it amazing that these smart, beautiful women have remained such humble yet prominent figures in hip-hop 20-plus years later in this game. The most powerful performance of the night came from none other than the forever conscious mind of Common when he brought out Jay Electronica and Vince Staples to perform their song “Kingdom.” Common dedicated the song to the memory of Mike Brown as he invited the slain teen’s parents onto the stage where they lead the audience in a moment of silence with their hands up in surrendering position. Bobby Shmurda ended the awards show with his song “Hot Nigga” and had the whole arena hitting the Schmoney dance.
This year’s cypher segments gave up a few of the hottest bars from rap vets and rookies. A few of the standout performances came from David Banner, Snow Tha Product, Remy Ma and Papoose, Taylor Gang, Vic Mensa, Dee-1, Emilio Rojas, and suprisingly Lil’ Mama. The Ultimate Rap Battle League presented the first ever BET live cypher on stage and with that, Murda Mook changed the entire cypher game along with Arsonal, Couture, and Calicoe. Mook gave up a verse that could rival Kendrick Lamar’s from last year’s cypher as he took shots at Drake, Jocelyn and MiMi and making note of the success he’s had from such a talent.
Snoop Dogg proved to be a great host as he interviewed celebs like French Montana and MiMi Faust onstage for his show GGN News. He also revealed his infatuation with Nia Long by performing a few skits with her in between announcers. Doug E. Fresh gave a very emotional speech and historic performance as he accepted the I Am Hip Hop Award, an achievement that he says he owes to his late mother. In the absence of Slick Rick, Snoop Dogg rapped the lyrics to the timeless classic “La Di Da Di,” as Doug E. beatboxed. The song stands as the only hip hop song that uses no instruments for the music, only the beats and sounds of Doug E. and ultimately allowed him to make his mark in hip-hop. Drake, who was absent due to being on tour, and DJ Mustard were the night’s top winners for their efforts in the genre this past year.
Each year, the awards show goes bigger, broader and better as it should and this year certainly didn’t dissapoint. Did you happen to miss the show? Don’t worry. You know BET will re-air the broadcast at least 3 times a week for the next 2 months so you’re bound to catch it sometime soon. Hopefully.
Here is a list of the night’s winners in their respective categories:
Album of the Year: Drake – Nothing Was the Same
Best Club Banger: Future feat. Pharell and Pusha T – “Move That Dope”
Best Collab, Duo or Group: YG feat. Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan – “My Ni–a”
Best Hip Hop Video: Drake – “Worst Behavior”
Best Live Performer: Drake
Best Mixtape: Wiz Khalifa – 28 Grams
DJ of the Year: DJ Mustard
Hustler of the Year: Dr. Dre
Impact Track: Common feat. Vince Staples and Jay Electronica -“Kingdom”
Lyricist of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
Made You Look Award: Nicki Minaj
MVP of the Year: DJ Mustard
Producer of the Year: DJ Mustard
Sweet 16: Best Feature Verse: Kendrick Lamar – “Control”
Track of the Year: YG feat. Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan – “My Ni–a”
Video Director of the Year: Hype Williams
Who Blew Up Award: Iggy Azalea
People’s Champ Award: Drake
Best Hip Hop Online: WorldStarHipHop