Last night, I watched the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. Yes, that’s right. Instead of watching Thursday night football, I was watching the BET Hip Hop Awards. I actually used to watch this channel religiously during my early adolescent years. It was a time of identity crisis when I wore baggy clothes designed by urban outfitters, hoping that it would get me accepted into the black community. It was also a time when I was first getting into hip-hop and was determined to know and hear every popular rap artist at the time. Admittedly, with YouTube being what it is, I don’t tune into BET much anymore. But let me tell you—watching the award show last night was epic. Here are some of the most notable moments of the night:
Snoop Dogg—excuse me. Snoop Lion, as he now calls himself, was the host of the show. Snoop isn’t much of a rapper anymore, since he claims to be the resurrected Bob Marley and dabbles more with reggae these days. But damn, the man is funny, and if you’ve ever seen him at a Comedy Central Roast, then you know what I’m talking about. He performed a skit called “The Other Butler,” where Snoop, as a White House butler, interacted with a number of different presidents. When Lincoln asked Snoop if he should go to the Ford Theater and see a show, Snoop hesitantly asked, “Did you sign the Emancipation Proclamation yet?” And when hanging out with Obama, Snoop casually disclosed the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, asked him to legalize weed, and invited the president to play a game of basketball. At the end of the show, Snoop gave everyone in the audience Mr. Pibb and egg sandwiches. What are the chances that those sandwiches were cooked with weed?
I’d say pretty HIGH (cue drums).
The cyphers were the best part of the show. In case you don’t know, a cypher is a pre-recorded event where MCs showcase their flows and lyrical abilities by rapping over a beat of their choosing. It’s like a freestyle, only everything is rehearsed. My personal favorites were Joe Budden, Crooked I, and all of TDE, including Kendrick Lamar. Watching Kendrick (or “King Kendrick” as he calls himself) on the cypher was like watching a teacher criticize his students. He was pointing his index finger every which way, looking here and then over there, as if addressing specific people in the audience. I’m not usually a fan of Kendrick, but I have to applaud his competitive spirit, brash delivery, and unique style.
Comedian Kevin Hart also had a cypher, though it was really more of a comedic skit. The cypher featured a shirtless Kevin Hart, J.B. Smoove (who you may know as Leon from HBO’s hit show Curb Your Enthusiasm), Nick Cannon, and Nelly. Yes, that’s right, Nelly. As in Country Grammar and E.I. Nelly. Their rhymes mostly consisted of jokes and playful jabs at each other, except Kevin Hart, who seemed to spit out whatever popped into his head (e.g. “That makes me glad” followed by “I miss my dad”). Also, I had no idea that A$AP Rocky had a group called A$AP Mob, where literally all of its members have the word “A$SAP” in their moniker. As braindead as this may sound, they were actually pretty legit. Finally, legendary Lil Kim was also featured in a cypher. Unfortunately, the Queen Bee is now just shell of her former self, both lyrically and physically. Her flow was almost as bad as her Michael Jackson nose. Almost.
Overall, the performances were nothing special. Even Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who closed out the show, was nothing to marvel at. Rick Ross flaunted his humongous stomach on stage, and Kendrick, 2 Chainz, French Montana, and Meek Mill did what they could to ignite the crowd. However, it was P. Diddy who stole the show. Forever flashy and ostentatious, Diddy sported a golden crown during his performance, taking a fun jab at Kendrick (who claimed to be the king of New York, even though he’s from the west coast) and proving that he’s actually the one who holds that title. It was a fun moment, but let’s be real. Diddy, you were never the king of anything. You just made one (RIP Notorious B.I.G). Speaking of hip-hop legends, MC Lyte received the “I Am Hip-Hop” award during last night’s show. In case the name sounds unfamiliar, she was one of the first female rappers and paved the way for artists like Queen Latifah and Eve and eventually Nicki Minaj.
Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter at @MJ_Perrino!