The show was pretty good overall, though BET continues to struggle with time-keeping and censoring performances. Thankfully, Chris Rock was on deck to keep everyone distracted while the show producers got it together. Rock held no punches when it came to throwing shade, with Rick Ross, Paris Hilton, and Solange and Jay Z‘s elevator fiasco all part of his comedic fodder.
There were plenty of notable moments throughout the night. From a surprise appearance by Missy Elliott to a much-deserved tribute to Lionel Richie, here are a few of the BET Awards top highlights:
Missy Elliott has been very low-key the past few years, so it was great to see her take the stage with Pharrell during his performance on “Come Get It Bae.” Missy looked very excited to be back on stage. Could the performance be a segue to Missy’s return? We hope so.
If this dude Jeremy Meeks is lucky enough to get out from under his legal woes, he better damn well take advantage of all this burn he’s getting. Folks are out here doing their best to make sure this man can get his hands on a legal check.
BET gave us a blast from the past with a throwback set. Nineties R&B music groups Troop, Color Me Badd and Silk gave basement party, grind music greatness with performances of their biggest hits, “All I Do Is Think of You,” I Wanna Sex You Up,” and “Freak Me,” respectively. The nostalgia was palpable. The boys may have been a bit winded after a few notes, but whoever had the good sense to add this segment to the show’s lineup deserves a pat on the back.
Chris Rock took a page from Ellen DeGeneres‘ Oscar Awards book and decided to feed the audience at the BET Awards. And to make sure the BET Awards were extra black, Rock opted for platters from Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles over pizza. I opted not to read my Twitter timeline during this part of the show for fear that too many people would have their panties in a bunch over the obvious satire of it all.
The last few live Usher performances had me wondering if it might be time for Usher to find a cozy recliner and sit for a bit with his babies. But young Ush showed up last night and gave what was, IMHO, one of the best performances of the night. Usher did a taste of all his greatest hits, including a slowed down, sexy version of “You Remind Me” that I’m going to need a download link for ASAP. He also showed the kids that he still has the dance moves to keep them on their toes and in a coonskin cap no less. Go Usher!
“I’m so surprised Nicki Minaj won the award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist,” said absolutely no one. Nicki took home her fifth consecutive BET Award for the “Best Female Rapper” category along with Iggy Azalea‘s wig, which was promptly snatched off during Nicki’s acceptance speech. Sure, Iggy wasn’t mentioned by name, but considering she was Nicki’s only real competition this year, it was pretty clear that those shots were being fired at the Aussie rapper. I would normally say leave her be and let her cook, Nick. But a part of me feels like Iggy needs to be challenged. Something about her is way too timid and if she’s going to hold her own in hip hop she’s gonna have to grow a pair.
Yolanda Adams almost had a collection plate going around the Nokia Theater with her rendition of “Jesus is Love”—a tribute to music legend and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Lionel Richie. I have yet to see a suspect performance from this woman. Look at God!
Am I the only one who almost cried just from watching Phylicia Rashad glide onto the BET Awards’ stage looking like royalty? The Cosby Show mom paid tribute to late greats Ruby Dee and Maya Angelou. I couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate to help us remember the legacies of these two women, who have brought so much to entertainment and civil rights.
Somewhere in America, Busta Rhymes is regretting the hell out of his outfit choice for the BET Awards. The Twitterverse dragged Busta over the coals for his very colorful ensemble comparing him to everything from a Cheesecake Factory to-go bag to a hot air balloon. Y’all. Ain’t. Right.
In all fairness, it was kind of obvi that Jay Z and Beyoncé would not be performing live at this year’s BET Awards, as the couple is currently in the midst of their “On the Run” tour. Still, BET was a bit tricky with the hype and had many believing music’s royal couple would be taking the stage. Perhaps someone over at BET knew full disclosure would have had a lot of people checking out before that last hour was up. *side eye*