Huey P. Langston’s BET Hip Hop Awards Running Diary
The BET Hip-Hop Awards 2007 is really a vanity project. As if BET needs to pay tribute to their bread and butter with a whole awards show. As if Hip-Hop needs to be celebrated or paid tribute to on such a grand level. I mean, this is the same network that has moved Rap City to a 1 a.m. time slot, and now we're supposed to care about a whole awards show about rap music? Eh, I don't know. Let's see.
8:00 â€“ Kanye West is opening the show with my personal anthem, "Can't Tell Me Nothingâ€. The live orchestra is definitely a plus, and it's good to see someone of Kanye's stature taking their appearance on a network that he probably considers second rate so seriously.
8:01 â€“ Nelly and Ashanti are the first guests we see in the audience. Nelly is sitting by her with this look like he's just tired of tapping that.
8:03 â€“ Now â€˜Ye breaks into "The Good Life.â€ What exactly is he wearing? Are those white gloves? Damn, I wish someone would smack him with a pair of those instead of letting him put them on his hands. BET's HNIC, Reginald Hudlin clearly loves this song, but that's cool because so does the rest of the audience. I'm wondering where T-Pain is, maybe he'll surprise us like those red pants Kanye is wearing.
8:04 â€“ Now Kanye ain't going to act like 50 ain't tell him a damn thing. You know what 50 told you, Kanye, finish the lyric. But that was a good opening.
8:06 â€“ The host of tonight's show is the same host as last year, Katt Williams. You gotta love these short people. He looks like mini-Prince.
8:08 â€“ Katt is doing his thingâ€¦You gotta wonder, is this the younger generation's Richard Pryor? I was too young to fully appreciate Pryor and Eddie, for me it was Rock and Chappelle, but I really do think to the high school kids, Katt is their dude. I can just see some kid out there quoting Katt with something like, "It's esteem of yo' muh'fuckin self".
8:10 â€“ All T.I jokes are just ironic, considering this man got caught up buying enough weapons to attack Iraq the night they taped these awards and is now being held without bail.
8:11 â€“ "Let's treat this like the Grammys and Emmysâ€ â€“ Katt Williams. Here, here, Katt. That's like asking me to bring linen napkins to a barbecue.
8:12 â€“ Lick Lips Cool J. That is now the official acronym for LL in LL Cool J. I've counted three licking of the lips in just his opening introduction to the CD of the Year, which is a category they should rename to MP3 of the year, but I digressâ€¦
8:13 â€“ The nominees are Common, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Nas, and T.I. And what do you know, it's a tie, and ironically, the tie goes to two people who are starring in the upcoming film, American Gangster. Ladies and gentlemen, that is what we in the business call publicity. Too bad T.I. missed his memo.
8:14 â€“ Common's first award he ever got on TV? GOT DAMN! This is so sad that T.I. isn't there because he was busy buying missiles. And did Common just say wherever T.I. is? He's in county, Common. But Common, man, this ninja just sounds like he pimps hoes gently. His acceptance speech sounds like something off Def Poetry Jam.
COMMERCIAL SIDE NOTE: This McDonald's commercial with the black employee talking politely to the two little boys with all those questions is a huge freakin' lie. I have never ever been to a black McDonald's where they serve you with a smile on their face.
8:21 â€“ Katt Williams' hair looks like a black mop. He introduces Lil Wayne, who's about to perform. The best rapper alive? You can say he is, you can say he isn't, but the question of who is the best rapper alive, for the past year and a half, has started with Lil Wayne, and that's saying something. Because, for what it's worth, there was a time we would've had that conversation, and nobody would've thought to put him in it. By the way, the song he's performing, "Gossipâ€, is supposedly a diss to 50 Cent.
8:25 â€“ Keyshia Cole and Jermaine DupriÂ are about to give the Move The Crowd Award. Keyshia Cole looks hot, but my lady would disagree. Common, Kanye West, Lil Wayne', Ludacris, and T.I. are the nominees.
8:26 â€“ And Kanye wins the Move the Crowd award, so I guess that means it's only bougie blacks who are voting, because had they gone to the streets, it would've been either Ludacris or T.I.
8:27 â€“ Kanye talks about emulating the Rolling Stones, I wish he would stop that shit. This is BET, nigga, act like you know who really influenced you: Michael Jackson, etc...
8:28 â€“ David Banner looks like a club bouncer. This is another person, like Common, who always wants to talk like everything he's saying is deep.
8:29 â€“ How did this awards show turn into some sort of tribute to Michael Vick? I feel for the dude, and lord knows I've defended him, but got damn, let it go people. If you want to pay tribute to Mike Vick, put something on his books when he gets locked up, because that man's about to have to give all his money back.
8:33 â€“ Katt Williams brings out Nelly, who's probably one of the more underrated rappers in the game. He gets the burn of having sold millions to people who are anything but black, but the truth is, he has skills. And is that Ashanti up on stage?
8:34 â€“ Oh, no, it isn't. I'm wondering how she's feeling about seeing this woman on stage. I know how my lady is feeling by just watching me watching her.
8:35 â€“ These little girls with the stripper moves scare me. They scare the living hell out of me. I hope by the time I have a daughter virginity is back in style.
8:37 â€“ Ashanti is seen standing up for her man's performance, but ten dollars says she wasn't standing when lil' mama with the red dress was prancing on stage.
8:38 - Lauren London and Wyclef presenting the lyrics of the year award. I swear, Lauren London is the second finest woman I've ever seen. And I say second because I know my lady is reading this, and mama ain't raise no fool.
8:39 â€“ Nominees for lyrics of the year are Common, Jay-Z, Kanye, Lil Wayne, and T.I. And the award goes to Common, and I suppose if Lil Wayne is going to lose this award to anyone, let it be Common, just because he's been talked about as a lyricist since he had to borrow a dollar.
COMMERCIAL SIDE NOTE: Where does someone like Kanye West keep this award? Does it go with the rest of the awards, or is itÂ put on a desk right next to the jars of pencil and the computer? I imagine the BET Hip-Hop Award statue isn't that coveted. It's like, if you needed to keep a door propped open, that would be perfect for the Hip-Hop award.
8:46 â€“ MC Lyte is on official MILF status, and what's crazy is, when I was growing up, I didn't even look at her like that, but now? Got damn, that's a fine grown ass woman.
8:47 â€“ Hurricane Chris performs "Ay Bay Bayâ€. I swear, this is one of those songs that's bigger than the artist. You know what I'm talking about. When a song is more popular than the artist who sings it. Like, if you told a white person that you love yourself some Hurricane Chris, they'd probably say, "never heard of him.â€ But if you said, "You know, that â€˜Ay Bay Bay' guy,â€ they'd be like, "Oh yeah, I know exactly who you're talking about. I love that song.â€ Hurricane Chris should just change his name to the Ay Bay Bay guy.
8:49 â€“ Now we got Mr. Wipe Me Down (see how well that works?). And this is why we love the BET Hip-Hop Awards show because no other awards is going to let these guys perform. You won't see it on any other station folks, so just wipe yourself down now.
COMMERCIAL SIDE NOTE: How insignificant do you have to be to win a BET Hip-Hop Award off the air? If you win a Grammy and they don't air it, there's some at least some honor in winning, but not winning a BET Hip-Hop Award on air? That's like getting one of those trophies they give to you for just participating.
8:57 â€“ Wyclef is about to get ready to perform. This is hardly a deep rendition of the national anthem. Hendrix you are not, 'Clef.
8:58 â€“ And damn, the show must go on. Alfa Mega and Busta Rhymes performing T.I.'s song, "Hurtâ€, which is one of the best songs on his album. If the song wasn't so violent, you might actually feel bad for T.I., but if you pay attention to the words, you just know the prosecution is going to use this as evidence against Clifford.
9:00 â€“ Busta should get a "Move the Crowdâ€ award every year. This fool is constantly performing with all his might. If he were a basketball player, he'd only dunk. I'm convinced.
9:01 â€“ I now expect to see "Free T.I.â€ shirts by Saturday. Hill Harper and Ciara are presenting the MVP of the year award. I have no idea what this means, because you know in hip-hop terminology, an acronym never stands for what it traditionally stands for. And the nominees are Common, Kanye West, Jay-Z, T.I., and Lil Wayne. I think these have been the only nominees in every category thus far, which just proves we might not ever need to have a Hip-Hop Awards show again. Let's just be happy with a category at the Grammys peope.
9:02 â€“ Lil Wayne wins this award that means, what? Who knows?
9:08 â€“ As an intellectual, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson deserves much respect, but he should never ever rap again.
9:09 â€“ Melysa Ford and Cee-Lo are presenting Best Collaboration. No matter what Melyssa Ford does, she's always going to look more appropriate in the background of a video. The nominees are Lil Wayne with Birdman, DJ Khaled with Rick Ross, Akon, Lil Wayne, and Fat Joe, UGK with OutKast, Diddy with Keyshia Cole, and Fabolous with Ne-Yo.
9:10 â€“ And rightfully, OutKast and UGK win the award for "International Players Anthemâ€, which is probably the song of the year, in my own personal opinion. And see, this is where I get funny about the BET Hip-Hop Awards, because while I do struggle to see it's relevancy, I'm reminded that only on this show will a song like "International Players Anthemâ€ be appreciated and given it's just due.
9:12 â€“ Katt Williams is looking like Ice-T's son, as he introduces Common, who's performing "Drivin' Me Wild.â€
9:13 â€“ If there's one person whose style I admire, it's Common. Forget Andre 3000, Jay-Z, or even Kanye, no one is more clean than Common Sense. And like â€˜Ye, he's performing with a live band, which makes any live performance at least three times better.
9:20 â€“ Dr. Cornel West is like that old uncle in your family who listens to the same radio station that you do. He's introducing KRS-One who is being honored with the hip-hop legend award, and he so rightfully deservers it. But I love the hand motions Cornel West uses to emphasize his points. I think the next time I'm at a fancy restaurant, I'm going to imitate Dr. West's hand gestures when it's time for me to order, like, "I WOULD LIKE THE FILET MIGNON, BECAUSE AS A BROTHER ON TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN, IT IS MY DIVINE, IMPUNITIVE, ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO ORDER A PIECE OF MEAT THAT COMES FROM THE EARTH THAT COMES FROM THE LORD, WHO IS THE SAME LORD THAT GAVE ME LIFE, WHICH I MUST PRESERVE WITH THIS PIECE OF MEAT!"
9:23 â€“ I saw KRS-One speak on a panel for a conference held by The New Yorker a couple of years back. The audience was majority white, liberal, and yuppie, and it was in midtown Manhattan at the New York Public library. And when he talked about how "his peopleâ€ celebrated the bombing of the towers, he took the air out of that room. That took guts to say, and seeing that in person made me respect him on a level that goes far beyond just what he says on records.
9:31 â€“ Now Katt Williams looks like Bootsy Collins' son. Got damn!
9:32 â€“ Playaz Circle performing the song of the month, "Duffle Bag Boy.â€ Thanks to them, it is now once again acceptable to wear a man purse, because it's not a man purse, it's a duffle bag, boy.
9:35 â€“ Terrance and Rocsi are presenting the "biggest awardâ€ of the night, the "Alltell Wirelessâ€ People's Choice Award. The nominees are, Lil Wayne with Birdman, Mims, Lil Boosie with Webbie, DJ Khaled with a bunch of artists.
9:37 â€“ There is something very strange about the fact that Birdman and Lil Wayne's entourage is made primarily of little boys and girls. I mean, shit, shouldn't they be in bed? Do the lil ones roll to the club with Birdman and Wayne too? I hope Social Services ain't watching this.
9:45 â€“ Two of the Jena 6 introduce Video of the Year nominees and that feels awkward to me.
9:46 â€“ The nominees are Ludacris, Common, Kanye West, and UGK with OutKast. The award goes to Kanye West, and now I'm pissed.
9:47 â€“ Straight up and down, UGK and OutKast were robbed. You can't be serious. He could win an award anywhere, but damn it, UGK should've won.
9:48 â€“ Now West isÂ giving the award to UGK and OutKast, and in a fair world, that's how it should be. The year Kevin Spacey won the Oscar for Best Actor for American Beauty, he should've given it to Denzel Washington for his role in Hurricane. Hopefully this trend continues to other award shows.
9:54 â€“ Soulja Boy is the closing performance of the night. And I will say this one more timeâ€¦if the BET Hip-Hop Awards wants to stay relevant and necessary, they'll do more things like this. It makes no sense for BET to do things other awards shows already can do and do better. Soulja Boy and acts like him are what keep BET relevant. The line between hip-hop and the mainstream is officially blurry as hell, but the BET Hip-Hop awards can clear that line up concerned by taking more chances and just Superman-ing these hoes. 'Twas a good show, niggas. Thanks!