On a brisk, sunny Oct. 1 afternoon, I made my way down to the Atlantic Civic Center for the BET Hip Hop Awards. I’ve been covering this award show for years now. As conservative as I am, this show has been lots of fun for me because hey, I was a teen in the 80′s, so rap music is part my blood.
The black carpet was filled with lots of new and old rappers, winners, performers, honorees, presenters, managers, promoters, label execs and more. On the carpet I spotted; Tyrese,Wale, Mike Epps and his wife, Amare Stoudemire, LL Cool J and his wife Simone, Nelly, Wiz Khalifa, Wale, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Roscoe Dash, Tracee Ellis Ross looking sparkly (and in a better mood), Da Brat, El Debarge and his daughter Bobbie, Twista, Ace Hood, Busta Rhymes and a host of others. We then made our way to our seats inside.
The show opened with Jeezy coming out and I almost didn’t recognize him! He has trimmed down a lot. After a few bars, T.I. appeared and everyone jumped to their feet. He wore a gray jogging suit with Gucci accessories. They made the crowd go bananas and it was by far the best performance of the night!
Mike Epps then came to the stage and welcomed the crowd wearing a black velvet tuxedo with a red rose boutonniere. He looked very nice and had plenty of jokes. Nextwas the award for Best Featured Verse which was presented by Dj Khaled. That went to Busta Rhymes for his part on Chris Brown’s song, “Look at Me Now.” Busta hit the stage and thanked everyone and said, “It feels good when you hear cheers for your win.”
In between sets, they showed cyphers of rappers across the country spitting lyrics and everyone in the crowd cheered for their favorite artists. I personally liked Joe Buttens rap style, Blind Fury and Eminem.
Wiz Khalifa hit the stage wearing an outrageous outfit, I was dying with laughter, but the crowd didn’t pay that any mind! He performed ‘Taylor Gang” the crowd loved it! Malcolm Jamal Warner and Tracee Ellis Ross presented the award for Best Collaboration and that went to Chris Brown, Busta Rhyme and Lil Wayne for “Look At Me Now.”
After that, El Debarge came out singing, then Meek and Ricky Rozay followed suit. The crowd was back up on their feet. Ross finished with performing “Imma Boss.” A shocker for the night was when you heard someone growling but couldn’t see him. It was no other than DMX! He looked fab and did a great job,the crowd loved him! Swizz Beatz acted as DMX’s hype man, as he performed a few ofhis greatest hits.
The People’s Champ Award went to Chris Brown for “Look at Me Now.” Busta accepted all awards for him since Brown is on tour. After that, Too Short introduced Lupe Fiasco who performed with Erykah Badu. Big Sean then made a grand entrance with his side kick Roscoe Dash singing, “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay.” Nelly then welcomed to the stage, LL Cool J to receive his award for I Am Hip Hop.We watched a clip of his career over the years, then LL Cool J came to the podium and thanked his wife, family, God and more.
The Best Club Banger award went to Waka Flocka for, “No Hands.” He wasn’t present to accept the award. A slimmer Heavy D then closed the show doing his dance moves that we all love. It was a fun show to watch with lots of great set designs, effects, flashy lighting, explosions and more! Tune in Oct. 11 on BET at 8 p.m. EST.