By Alexis J
I have to admit, the 2019 BET Awards was one of the better efforts from the network in the last few years. The show was entertaining from beginning to end (even though the ending came what felt like days later), and there wasn’t a performance that let me down. While it may have been packed with too much show and not enough actual awards given out – they didn’t air best female or male hip-hop artist, best collaboration or video of the year – there weren’t the usual production hiccups we’ve come to expect in recent years, with the exception of the pre-show, and the ceremony had a nice flow.
I’m already curious who produced this award show. Like is there new blood in the BET organization, cause I’m super into this so far— brandon / jinx / big jinx (@Jersey_Jinx) June 24, 2019
Honestly, this #BETAwards feels different already and I’m loving it. I’m happy people showed up and showed out for BLACK entertainment.— Wanna (@WannasWorld) June 24, 2019
watching the BET awards & they blacked this year. shoutout to them— chefbae (@arielamali) June 25, 2019
Here are LexxxTalkAboutIt‘s top 5 moments from this year’s BET Awards:
Regina Hall’s hosting
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Regina Hall was a breath of fresh air as she controlled the night with confidence, organization, humor and some popping lewks.
Coming off of last year when Jamie Foxx rambled and ad-libbed his way through the show that ran out of time and cut to commercial during a performance, Regina was actually the funnier of the two with polished scripted jokes that never reached too far.
She opened the show with a hilarious parody of Beyonce’s Homecoming Netflix special, but tied it all in to a bigger message about gentrification in her hometown, Washington D.C.
I honestly can’t remember who hosted the show the year before last or before that, but Regina’s performance was unforgettable.
H.E.R.’s performance ft. YBN Cordae
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By now it is pretty much cemented in stone that H.E.R. can do no wrong.
Her talent level is off the charts and she has the Grammy awards to prove it, which makes me happy that she’s still grounded enough to not only perform at the BET Awards, but she took the time to make it creative and well thought out.
After her flawless duet with Daniel Caesar last year and not so much new music from her as of late, I was curious as to what she was going to bring to the table.
She started out with a spoken word piece about mental health, politics, gun control and oppression. Honestly… that might have been the most I ever heard her speak. But she killed it! All this right before going into “Lord is Coming” featuring a dope introspective verse from one of my favorite new rappers YBN Cordae. It was a great look for him to get that type of exposure.
And did I mention H.E.R. played the bass?
Mary J Blige came for her flowers
If there were ever an artist that deserved the Lifetime Achievement Award, it’s Auntie Mary.
Mary J. Blige was honored with just that and I don’t think anyone could argue it after she went up there and performed her OWN tribute.
This might be the millennial in me that slept on Mary, but I truly forgot how strong and iconic her discography is. I was happy to see her get the respect she deserves.
I mean Rihanna actually showed up just to present her with the honor.
Mary also brought out Lil Kim and Method Man to help her honor herself and by the end of it, I could think of at least a dozen more songs she could have performed. She made me want to go create a Mary J. Blige playlist and hop in my bag for the rest of the week.
I hit the Mary bop dance all the way to work the next day.
Tyler Perry gathered us and read us like a script
HELP somebody cross. Then listen to this Tyler Perry speech. Then HELP more people cross! pic.twitter.com/hVWXQdDLu9— Lindokuhle Mnisi🇿🇦 (@Lindo_Mnisi) June 25, 2019
I had the pleasure of hearing Tyler Perry speak in person last year at the National Association of Black Journalist conference in Detroit at a session called “Tyler Perry’s Master Class,” so I already knew how he was about to give it up when he took home the Icon award.
When he speaks, he speaks with PURPOSE.
Perry took home the award, presented by Taraji P. Henson, for his trailblazing career and philanthropic efforts over the past decade. And he came to remind y’all that he did it all on his own and that if he can do it, there’s no excuses for you.
He shaded the #OscarSoWhite movement while preaching about ownership and giving back. Just watching the package about how he built his own movie studio in Atlanta was the biggest flex of the night, and left everyone inspired – even the young crowd including YBN Cordae who the camera caught standing and applauding, wrapping up the speech in the most perfect way with one word: “Facts.”
Honoring the late, great Nipsey Hussle
The night came to a close by honoring the late Nipsey Hussle with the Humanitarian award.
T.I. presented the tribute video followed by the acceptance speech from Nipsey’s family, including Lauren London, their son Kross, Nipsey’s daughter Emani, his sister, grandmother and both parents.
Although his mother stirred up some discussion on social media with her portion of the speech, which was very similar to how she spoke at Nipsey’s memorial service, for me she was telling us that she is at peace and we all need to be at peace with the tragedy as well.
Then Nipsey’s west-coast brethren and friend YG took the stage to perform Nipsey’s hit “Last Time That I Checked,” off of his grammy-nominated and final album “Victory Lap.”
The final performance came from DJ Khaled and John Legend as they performed “Higher” off of Khaled’s latest album, and played Nipsey’s verse from the music video that was displayed on the big screen, the last video he would shoot before his life was taken away in Los Angeles.
Just writing about this still chokes me up, but it was good to see his family showing up strong and continuing the Marathon.
Overall, I was proud of BET for putting together a decent ceremony, because as we all know the reputation of the awards have been slipping over the last few years. But the above-mentioned list proves that the BET Awards are still so needed to curate special moments like these for our culture that you won’t find anywhere else.
Here are some honorable mention moments from the night:
Marsai Martin gives us a new meme
Offset gives us choreo
The ‘Exonerated 5’ get a standing ovation
Lizzo slays and Rihanna approves
Billy Ray Cyrus officially comes to the cookout