For the previous decade, the BET Hip Hop Awards has remained one of the most notable hip hop showcases on television. From cyphers that are highly anticipated to iconic honorees, the ceremony always puts on a memorable show for the viewers.
As expected, this year’s event at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre was filled with many highlights, but here are the evening’s best moments.
While fans are still waiting for O.T. Genasis’ major label debut album to materialize, the rapper continued to furnish hard-knocking 808s and tongue-in-cheek raps about the use and selling of cocaine “CoCo” that consistently turn into the hottest street anthems and club bangers. For his performance, the Long Beach, California Native took the stage solo, delivering the popular singles “Push It” and “Cut It.”
Lil Uzi Vert Hip Hop’s Next Gen
Rap’s youthful front-runners continued to put in work at the BET Hip Hop Awards. Backed by 21 Savage, The Wesley Theory, Lil Uzi Vert, Isaiah Rashad and Kendrick Lamar’s group repped for Gen Y, taking turns center stage performing. While Uzi Vert’s “Money Longer” fused rap and rock, 21’s straightforward “Ex B—h” featuring Future resonated with the Atlanta-based crowd. Rashad’s spacey, introspective rhymes on the recently released “Tity and Dolla” were also pure ear candy.
Remy Ma and Fat Joe Win “Track of the Year”
After serving a six-year sentence for assault, Bronx rapper Remy Ma has reintroduced her no-holds-barred flow to the rap game and showing that she can’t be stopped. 2016 alone has been a dynamic year as she reunited with Terror Squad teammate Fat Joe, releasing the summer smash “All The Way Up,” the second single from their forthcoming combined album Platas o Plomo which marked Remy’s first Top 40 track. “I had people tell me it was over.”
T.I. Tackles The Current Situation In Black America
With reference to firearms, race and police violence, tensions in America have steadily increased in the last year. While the annual award show is known for celebrating the music genre of rap and those that lead to its history, a few artists determined to take their moment on stage to talk about racial inequality.
Adding to its anti-injustice message, the rapper described real-life situation on the stage as protesters held signs that read “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace,”.
Youthful M.A., Brez and Ms. Jade Slay the Opposition
Brooklyn-bred Young M.A., Philadelphia MC Bre-Z from the Fox hit show Empire and Ms. Jade brought their fierce flows to the show’s conventional cyphers. While M.A. performed her popular street hit “Ooouuu,” the trio held up an united front for the girls of rap.
With the generational divide in hip-hop growing bigger, South Carolina rapper Nick Grant is bridging the difference with his homesick flow, which tips its hat to the golden era of rap with a Southern twist. The just-minted Epic Records signee rhymed in one of the show’s featured cyphers.
Lil Wayne and Chocolate Droppa Go for the Crown
Apart from the punchlines of host DJ Khaled, the comedic relief came in a surprise rap battle between Kevin Hart’s rap alter ego Chocolate Droppa and Lil Wayne. While Droppa’s bars could use a little work, Wayne bulldozes through with animated lyrics that functioned as a reminder of why he is hailed the “Best Rapper Alive.”
Gucci Mane’s Comeback
From becoming a free man after a three-year stint in jail to delivering his ninth studio album, Everybody Looking (which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200), Gucci Mane has had the greatest year ever. The show was started by the Atlanta native . Wop!!!
Snoop Dogg Receives the “I Am Hip Hop” Award
After 20-plus years in the game, rap expert Snoop Dogg was bestowed with the “I Am Hip Hop” award. Presented by reigning rap king Kendrick Lamar, who spoke at lengths about how Snoop’s career influenced his own, artists like Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Charlie Wilson and YG also shared how his unique storytelling style transferred the perception of the West Coast from “Murder Was The Case” to “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
While accepting his award with much praise, the Doggfather clarified the second was very sentimental as his goal was always to make people feel good. He also touched on the newer generation and the slack they have received from old hip-hop purists, saying, “Y’all are misunderstood. Keep pushing, stay original. Hip-hop is taking you many places. You have to live with who you are. I’m loving how y’all are unifying people.”