Recap: BET Hip Hop Awards 2013
If only the Emmy’s had been as diverse as last night’s BET Hip Hop Awards 2013. With cameos from the Puerto Rican princess, Joseline, to Albanian rapper Action Bronson and even an appearance by interview icon James Lipton, the typically raucous celebration of rhythmic American poetry not only repped for the full spectrum, it managed to strike the right balance between ratchet anthems and impressive MCing.
Helmed by none other than Uncle Snoop (notably not going by his more Rastah moniker of Snoop Lion for the night), we got our thirst for real lyricism quenched in the cyphers and were also able to shake what our mamas gave us courtesy of some performances including French Montana’s and (begrudgingly admitting this) 2 Chainz. What some of the real heads admired was upheld (congrats to MC Lyte for her “I Am Hip Hop” honor), but that which makes the club vibrate got its just due from attendees including Manny Fresh and (cough) Future.
There were, however, some glaring absences by the biggest winners: Drake, A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg, but those who were in attendance kept it colorful and copacetic.
We were even inspired to give out some awards of our own. Check them out, and let us know if you have any more nominees.
“Best Entrance” Award
Snoop kept it relatively low key as host with only a smattering of sketches (“The Other Butler”) and his opening with the “Inside the Actor’s Studio” host James Lipton. But he certainly earned the entrance of the night award, rolling onstage in a drop top amid a smoke screen. Tabernacle!
“You Go, Girl” Award
She fully deserved the “I Am Hip Hop Award,” as well as a tributes from stars including Will Smith, Missy Elliott and Latifah, but rapping icon and role model MC Lyte deserves an extra accolade for speaking up against the misogyny in rap in a respectful, peer-to-peer tone. She also used her acceptance speech to reach out to the women in the crowd and beyond, urging them to act like ladies if they want to be treated as such. Now that, 2 Chainz, is a true story.
“What Not to Wear” Award
Rick Ross might be a boss, but the suits he was wearing, including a vivid one he rocked while performing with Diddy, French Montana and Uncle Snoop…halp. He looked like a casino exploded all over him. He looked like he shared a stylist with Siegfried and Roy. He was channeling old-school Mr. T meets Flavor Flav. Okay, you get the point.
My personal combination of “nope” and “naw” is reserved for the worst. Future’s dissonant, electronic storm of a performance made me feel awkward. On the heels of reportedly being tooted and booted from Drake’s tour for arrogant remarks about being a better entertainer than Sir Aubrey and other contemporaries, I would think he’d come better than that. But then again, based on “Some Type of Way,” he probably can’t.
“Awww, That’s My Ish” Award
I know I’m not the only one who leaped to my feet and started dancing when B.O.N.E. materialized before our eyes at the conclusion of the program. All you had to do was look at the crowd once to notice that Thugs in Harmony united everyone, as they sang along with hits “First of the Month,” “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” and “Crossroads.” I miss my Uncle Charles, y’all! An honorable mention goes out to Juvenile for his “Back that A** Up” return, but he wasn’t onstage long enough to win the night.
At first, I eye rolled at the “Real Househusbands of Hollywood” dropping in with a cypher of their own. I mean, we rarely get to see real cyphers on BET, so I definitely didn’t want to see a slot squandered for satire. But from J B Smoove’s apparent comfort on the mic to the seemingly real rivalry between Nelly and Nick Cannon as the “real” rappers on deck, it was hilarious. And Chocolate Droppa, the battle-rhyming alter ego of Kevin Hart, kills me every time. I still tear up thinking about his…um…response to Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse.
“Circle of Truth” Award
80 percent of the cypher participants were on point, with the sad exception of Lil’ Kim who might have spared herself that “surprise” pop-in. But head and shoulders above the crowd, is the aforementioned Lamar who, if you think he hurt folks’ feelings with “Control,” threw sea salt on the wound with his piercing battle bars.
“Circle Jerk” Award
I know all y’all are feeling them A$APs, but their handiwork confused and befuddled me. First off: How is it a freestyle if you have a chorus? Second, did they just skip the braiding shop altogether on the way to the taping? And what in the name of Notorious B.I.G. were they even talking about? Answer any of these questions succinctly and I’ll take it back. ‘Till then, they will keep this award.
Your turn: What did you think of the BET Hip Hop Awards? Sound off in the comments below!