It’s that time of the year again as BET celebrates black excellence and acknowledge those who continue to push the culture forward at the BET Awards.
Led by Jamie Foxx, we took a trip to Blackanda (rolls eyes) last night (June 24th) for the 2018 BET Awards. Kicking things off was TDE’s most overlooked artist Jay Rock with his single “Win” who quietly released one of best Hip-Hop albums of the year.
Once we got past the over saturation of Black Panther references (we get it already), it was an entertaining and head-scratching experience. There weren’t too many surprises when it came to who took home a BET Award trophy. Winners included:
Best Female R&B / Pop Artist Award
Best Male R&B / Pop Artist Award
Best Group Award
Best Collaboration Award
DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
Best Male Hip Hop Artist Award
Best Female Hip Hop Artist Award
Video of the Year Award
Drake – God’s Plan
Video Director of the Year Award
Best New Artist Award
Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award
Lecrae feat. Tori Kelly – I’ll Find You
The Best International Act Award
Best Actress Award
Best Actor Award
Young Stars Award
Best Movie Award
Sportswoman of the Year Award
Sportsman of the Year Award
Album of the Year Award
DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
BET Her Award
Mary J. Blige – Strength of a Woman
Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
Cardi B – Bodak Yellow
Other highlights from the show included Foxx going off script and honoring Donald Glover for his hit record “This is America” and bringing him on stage to perform the record. It was also awkward being that there is a slight controversy swirling around the track after a song sounding very similar to Glover’s has been found. Debra Lee 32 year reign at the top as BET’s chairman and CEO is over so fittingly she was award the Ultimate Icon Award and ended her speech with her own variation of the Barack Obama mic drop.
The biggest highlights of the night belong to legendary singer Anita Baker and real-life heroes 11-year-old March For Our Lives speaker Naomi Wilder, Parkland teen hero Anthony Borges, Waffle House hero James Shaw Jr., Mali Spider-Man Mamoudou Gassama, North Carolina high-school student Justin Blackman, and writer/civil rights activist Shaun King who were named BET’s 2018 Humanitarian Heroes.
Baker was given this year’s BET Lifetime Achievement Award and got a fitting tribute kicked off by Jamie Foxx who sang a medley of her timeless hits.
He followed that up by introducing Marsha Ambrosius, Ledisi, and Yolanda Adams. Who did Anita proud with soul snatching renditions of Baker’s biggest hits.
During her incredible acceptance speech, Baker preached of bridging the gap between the old and new generations and asked: “that the music be allowed to play, that singers are allowed to sing, and rappers are allowed to rap, and poets are allowed to rhyme.”
As far as performances are concerned, they were hit or miss. Aside from Jay Rock’s great intro, the good consisted of J.Cole’s surprise performance of “Meditate”, Meek Mill blessing us with his new woke single, Ella Mai performing the song of the summer “Boo’d Up” on the small stage surprisingly and H.E.R. and Janelle Monae delivering what many were saying the best performances of the night.
Now onto the bad, we were subjected to a very uninspired performance from The Migos of their hit records “Walk It Talk It” and “Stir Fry”. BET Awards’ regular Nicki Minaj delivered a very lackluster and outright weird showing who did her best to sell us on her singles “Rich Sex” and “Chun-Li.” Her medley led into a somewhat decent performance of YG’s record “Big Bank” which features Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Minaj who ended the performance on top of a pink horse statue.
The night was closed out by West Coast legend Snoop Dogg who celebrated the 25th anniversary of his debut album Doggystyle. Uncle Snoop belted out “Who Am I (What’s My Name)” and a Dr.Dreless performance of “The Next Episode.” He closed things out by taking us to church and showing his versatility by performing tracks of his gospel album, Bible Of Love.
If you happened to miss them you can catch them below.
Photo: FayesVision/WENN.com / WENN