This past weekend, the 2018 BET Awards was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. Jamie Foxx was the host, which always means going off script and making the show his own in the best way possible.
The show started off with Foxx carrying a fake stuffed black panther wearing a gold chain as he made his way through the crowd, handing it off to Michael B. Jordan before joining Jay Rock on stage, who was performing his new single "Win," kicking off the show with high energy.
Jamie Foxx began his opening monologue by shouting out various artists and Black Excellence, giving a special shout out to the director of the incredibly impactful Marvel movie, "Black Panther," and the inspiration the film gives to everyone, finally pulling Michael B Jordan to the stage to recite a specific line from the movie. Check out Jamie Foxx's intro for the awards show below:
Jamie Foxx's introduction for J.Cole was one of high praise as he says," What I love about this next performer, he's a throwback with all the great hip hop lyrics, He makes a statement anytime he performs. Give it up for the boldest voice of our generation, J. Cole!" In validation of his introduction, J. Cole performed "Friends" a single off his latest album "KOD," with Michael Caesar and Wale accompanying him, putting on a moving and passionate performance.
Migos performed their hit single "Walk It Like I Talk It" followed by their new single "Stir Fry" lighting up the stage in blinged out jackets, covered in jewelry and getting the crowd hyped up with their up beat, and literally fiery performance.
Of course, before introducing Miguel, Jamie Foxx had to bring Childish Gambino to the stage for a short impromptu performance of his hit new single "This Is America," which he clearly wasn't expecting to do, but rolled with this improv perfectly!
Miguel kept the energy going as he moved around the stage performing "Come Through and Chill" and "Skywalker." Followed by a moving performance from Inglewood's own, SiR who beautifully sang his love ballad, "War", however when it was cut to commercial before the song was finished, I knew there would be a lot of disgruntled fans, and I was not wrong. Taking to social media, many fans of SiR had a lot to say about the cutoff, showing this artist a lot of love and support saying it was unfair to show popularity over talent.
Everyone knows the BET awards wouldn't be complete without an over the top performance by Nicki Minaj, who went all out on stage performing her new single "Chun Li" followed immediately by YG, 2 Chainz and Big Sean performing "Big Bank" with Nicki Minaj ending the whole performance straddling a fake glittery pink horse wearing a pink one piece body suit. Check out the incredible performance below:
Anita Baker was given the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award and Jamie Foxx, Ladisi and Marsha Ambrosius all paid tribute by covering some of her classics, which she clearly appreciated as she looked on from her seat in the front row.
The dedication to Anita Baker was heartfelt and touching to watch, and this is one of the things that the BET Awards does that sets them apart from other Award shows, paying tribute to men and women who deserve it.
The Queen of Jazz and R&B gave a beautiful speech following the tributes, giving timeless advice to everyone watching. A beautiful soul well deserving of this award ten times over!
John Legend perfectly followed Anita Baker's tribute to praise and honor James Shaw Jr., Anthony Borges, Naomi Wadler, Shaun King, Mamoudou Gasama and Justin Blackman for their heroic acts and the changes they are making in their communities and the lives of everyone around them. Check it out in the video below:
Kevin Hart was so proud to provide the intro for Meek Mills performance with his Philadelphia brothers, Questlove, Black Thought, Lil Uzi Vert, and Markelle Fultz, showing ultimate love and respect for the artist who has had to go through many struggles as of late.
This performance was without a doubt the most impactful, moving and chilling performance of the whole show as Meek Mills' debuted his newest song, "Stay Woke," featuring Miguel. which gave a perfect representation of what the Black community is going through in present day America in regards to police brutality and mass incarceration. There was so many significant symbolism in this performance, starting with the shirt Meek decided to wear, paying his respects to XXXTenacion and Jimmy Wopo, and ending with multiple black men behind bars in orange jumpsuits. This performance is one you don't want to miss, so check out the video, pay attention to the lyrics and the scene he sets behind him.
Debra Lee was given the Ultimate Icon Award after a 32 year career with the BET Network. She is stepping down as Chairman and CEO of the network and is quoted to say in a previous interview, "I could not be prouder of the enormous amount of talent and creativity at BET Networks today and I will always be BET’s number one fan."
Check out her speech below:
The show included a few more performances from Ella Mai, Janelle Monet, and ended with Snoop Dogg celebrating 25 years of his debut album "DoggyStyle." beginning his performance with “Who Am I (What’s My Name?)” and Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode," and ended the whole awards ceremony behind a pulpit, wearing black robes and revealing his versatility with songs from his gospel album, Bible Of Love.
AWARD CATEGORIES AND WINNERS:
Video of the year: Drake
Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars
Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce
Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar
Best female hip hop artist: Cardi B
Best new artist: SZA
Album of the year: “DAMN.” Kendrick Lamar
Best group: Migos
Best gospel/inspirational award: Lecrae featuring Tori Kelly
Best collaboration: DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts”
YoungStars award: Yara Shahidi
Viewers’ choice award: Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
Video director of the year: Ava DuVernay
Best actor: Chadwick Boseman
Best actress: Tiffany Haddish
Best movie: “Black Panther”
Sportswoman of the year: Serena Williams
Sportsman of the year: LeBron James
Humanitarian award: Naomi Wadler, Mamoudou Gassama, Justin Blackman, Shaun King, Anthony Borges and James Shaw Jr.
Lifetime achievement award: Anita Baker
Ultimate Icon Award: Debra Lee
BET HER award: Mary J. Blige
Best international act: Davido (Nigeria)