20 Questions: 2019 BET Awards Recap

bet awards

What if they threw an awards show and no one cared?

Seriously, award show nights are like Twitter family reunions – my timeline is FILLED with familiar faces commentating about the night’s events. That wasn’t the case with tonight’s annual BET Awards. At least in my corner of the social media universe, interest was much, much lower than usual. I’m interested in seeing how the ratings shake out.

If you missed it – and if you’re reading this, I bet you did – this year’s big draw was a celebration of Mary J. Blige. Plus Cardi B and some dude dressing up like Woody from Toy Story.

Allow me to fill you in on what you missed, along with sharing 20 questions that went through my head:

1. The show opened with Twitter’s Favorite Rapper Cardi B giving a lapdance to her oft-estranged babydaddy Offset. It’s their version of Lemonade – the Great Value brand. Cardi’s actually a solid performer but Offset? Choreography ain’t your thing, my G. I swear you could see the wires hanging off his shoulders.

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2. Host Regina Hall opened up with a parody of Beyonce’s Homecoming and it was pretty awesome, leading into, no joke, one of the best performances of the night. Sardines! And Pork and Beans! EU doin’ da butt! Some of her later DC-themed joked fell super flat (did she really expect Fake Deep Twitter to understand 20-year-old jokes about Marion Barry?) but overall she did a fine job as host.

3. Lil Baby won the award for Best New Artist, slumping across stage like his momma yelled at him to get in the kitchen and get them dishes washed. And then to add to the confusion, DaBaby – not to be confused with Lil – performed some awful song wearing inflatable muscles while another dude in a baby costume jumped around stage.

Did hip-hop kick the bucket and I missed the repast?

4. Marsai Martin picked up the Young Stars Award. She might be a good actress, but can you do me a favor and work on your “shocked” award show face? Cuz this ain’t fooling anybody.

5. So one of the big announcements of the night was the reveal of BET Plus, BET’s new streaming service. Are y’all willing to pay a monthly fee for Negro Netflix? I swear the “movies” queue will be 400 different version of Baby Boy.

6. Fantasia graced us with her presence to perform her new single, “Enough.” And guess what? She didn’t yell her way through the song! Meek Mill more than made up for the lack of bellowing later on in the show, though.

7. Sigh, can we talk about these Album of the Year nominations?

Ella Mai

The Carters, Everything is Love

Travis Scott, Astroworld

Meek Mill, Championships

Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy

That’s like trying to determine the best Halloween candy between black licorice, your grandma’s old purse peppermints, candy corn, peanut brittle, and whatever those nasty things are in the black and orange wrapper.

Cardi B wins because of course, even though she’s probably the fourth best out of these five albums.

But I know, I’m broke and a hater and whatever. Enjoy your candy corn.

8. Now, let’s talk TALENT. I know Lizzo is an acquired taste but she did not come for games during her wedding cake topping performance of “Truth Hurts,” complete with twerking while playing the flute! Still haven’t checked out her album? Do so right now.

Well, wait till you finish reading this. Then go read that.

9. Rev. Al Sharpton awarded the absent Snoop Dogg with the Gospel Inspirational Award (yes, you read that right) for “Blessing Me Again.” I’m sure the Petty and Anointed among us will be up in arms about it tomorrow morning. I’m just wondering – when did Rev. Al start looking like Mr. Glass?

10. Ugh, I figured we’d get here eventually.

Little.

Nas.

Exxxx.

When are y’all gonna wake me up from this “Old Town Road” nightmare and tell me it was all just a lost In Living Color skit?

Seriously, I have no problem with the song in theory. It’s a goofball, meme-worthy song, no different than “Whoomp (There It Is)” or “My Baby Daddy.” What annoys me is this weird insistence from Think Piece Twitter that Baby Nasir DMX has single-handedly revolutionized music by merging rap and country for the first time EVER. I mean, if you started listening to rap in 2015 I guess you would think that’s true. But those of us with good sense know better.

Anyway, Billy Ray Cyrus at the BET Awards was a sight but Lil Nastradamus didn’t do much besides walk in circles on stage. Crowd was going nuts so I’m glad they had fun.

But I know, I’m broke and a hater and whatever. Enjoy your authentic country songs.

11. Speaking of lame performances, the above was followed by the City Girls (actually, just ONE City Girl) and Lil Baby (yes, ANOTHER Baby) who ran out of breath the second he stepped on stage. I wish I got paid to walk on the stage for 20 seconds and recite an off-beat hook. Is artist development not a thing anymore? Cuz these young’ns need help.

12. Things picked up with the arrival of the Central Park Five Exonerated Five, resulting in a thunderous ovation. Can you imagine what was going through those brothers’ heads? Justice is too often delayed in this country, but at least it wasn’t denied this time.

13. In the spirit of the moment, HER (dressed like Doug Funnie’s sister) debuted her new track with YBN Cordae, an incredibly stirring track that has the makings of a new protest song. Still doubt the talent of younger artists? There might be 400 terrible guys named Baby running around here, but there’s only one HER.

14. The Migos performed … playa, I don’t even know, it sounds like every other thing they’ve ever done. They have been remaking the same song for six years and y’all let them get away with it?

15. FINALLY, we get to the real main event of this show, Mary J. Blige’s Lifetime Achievement Award performance.

And I’ll be honest – vocally, the performance was … just OK. She sounded especially winded early on into her set (likely from running around backstage changing clothes after her speech). But this wasn’t about pitch-perfect vocals, this was about reminiscing!

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See what I did there?

She ran through several of her biggest hits before kicking things into another level with an Uptown Records set. Then the cameos! Lil Kim! Method Man! I’m jumping around on my couch, tearing it up like a disrespectful Rick James!

WillingPerfumedHawaiianmonkseal-size_restricted

Mary’s ankles are gonna sound like Cap’n Crunch in the morning but who cares – this was nostalgia made flesh.

And listen, I don’t want to hear NARE NUTHA conversation #onhere about “classic” this and “legend” that until your fave can go on stage, perform nearly 10 hits (with at least a dozen more in her back pocket) and tear it up even with their voice going on hiatus.

Mary. Earned. Her. Crown.

16. Meek Mill and DJ Khaled are the epitome of irony: All that autotune yelling and I can’t hear a word they’re saying. Playa please. And apparently Meek Mill has a new documentary coming out. Y’all still trying to make him the millennial Nelson Mandela?

17. Tyler Perry received the ICON Award on the same night he announces his new partnership with BET’s new streaming service. A coincidence?

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Yeah, yeah, I’m broke and a hater and whatever. Enjoy your endless Madea movies on the BET streaming app.

Now I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve accolades. And to his credit, Perry gave a very moving speech, encouraging entertainers of color to build their own tables instead of waiting for invitations and to also “work like you’re broke,” which is great news for me. I’m working BECAUSE I’m broke! I’m on the right path!

18. Kirk Franklin and friends came out to perform his new song “Love Theory” while Kirk ran around in what looked like his church clothes from 1987.

Fact: Before Khaled was yelling all over your records, Kirk Franklin was yelling all over your records.

Also, y’all gotta stop saying I look like this guy. Where is the resemblance?

edd kirk

Shout out to Nicolette Carney for the pic slander. I guess.

19. TI came out to honor Nipsey Hussle, which included remarks from his family.

Nipsey’s mom’s speech was … um, uncomfortable to say the least. I’m still not sure WHAT she was talking about, but who are we to judge the words of a grieving mother?

20. The show wrapped up with one of R&B’s best voices ever, Johnny Gill, covering Frankie Beverly & Maze’s “Before I Let Go.”

Beyonce could never.

tenor

Thank the lord this show is ov…

WAIT JUST A MINUTE…

Are we not getting an Aretha Franklin tribute!?

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The Bottom Line: Like the Grammys earlier this year, this wasn’t THAT bad of a show, it was just way too long – there is no need for this thing to hover around four hours. Avengers: Endgame this was NOT.

Throw everyone using autotune or named Baby in the trash and you could easily shave 90 minutes off this monstrosity and come away with a much more streamlined presentation. Catch MJB, Lizzo and HER’s performances and Regina’s intro for sure. You didn’t miss much else.

But I know, I know, I’m broke and a hater and whatever. And if you’re reading this, I’m sure you got more sleep than I will tonight, so I guess you’re the real winner.

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2 Comments

  1. Definitely sound like a broke hater to me 🤷🏾‍♀️ That’s one thing you definitely got right in this article.

  2. This whole thread of questions…I’m howling!

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