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As the weeks closes in on this Saturday’s (September 29) “2012 BET Hip Hop Awards” taping,  the star-studded evening event hosted by funnyman/actor Mike Epps has no shortage of big names that will grace the stages of the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. Headlining performers include Maybach Music Group brethren Rick Ross and Meek Mill, Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, and the red-hot 2 Chainz in front of a hometown audience. G.O.O.D. Music chief Kanye West  will surely rack up up this weekend as he leads all nominees with an astounding 17 nominations.

The “BET Hip Hop Awards” has continually paid their respects to past greats who paved a way for the stars of today. Adding a well-deserved honor to his list of achievements will be legendary and influential rapper Rakim, who will receive the “I Am Hip Hop Icon” during this weekend’s festivities. 

Rakim joins past awardees Grandmaster Flash (2006), KRS-One (2007), Russell Simmons (2008), Ice Cube (2009), Salt-N-Pepa (2010), and LL Cool J (2011). Beginning his career in 1986 alongside former partner Eric B., Rakim made a huge splash with the debut single “Eric B. Is President” – which caught the ears of Russell Simmons and landed the duo a record deal. As Eric  B. & Rakim, the pair released four albums before disbanding. Rakim’s signature baritone and heady rhymes place him atop many lists as the best lyricists ever, and the Long Island native is still adored by many.

The BET  network will also be saying goodbye to popular personalities in Terrence Jenkins and Rocsi Diaz, as they step down from hosting duties on popular live evening program “106 & Park.” This Friday (September 28), a farewell party hosted by LaLa Anthony and Pooch Hall will feature a long list of stars such as French Montana, Jim Jones, and Tigger along with video sendoffs from Alicia Keys, Big Sean, Mary J Blige, Common, Wyclef and many others.

The new hosts of “106 & Park” will be unveiled on Monday, October 1 at 6 p.m., after a summer-long search has narrowed down the list to seven finalists all vying for the coveted hosting gig.

Be sure to tune in to BET on October 9 at 8 p.m. to catch the recorded broadcast of the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards. For more information, follow this link.


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Photo: Rakim

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