Is Justin Bieber’s Nomination For A BET Award Good Or Bad?
When the nominees for the 2010 BET Awards were announced, the first thing that jumped out to people (aside from the fact that Lil Kim was nominated for “Female Hip Hop Artist Of The Year” but hasn’t had an album or hardly rapped a lyric since 2006) was the fact that pop sensation Justin Bieber was nominated in the category of “Best New Artist.” Some eyebrows were raised while others were furrowed but it captured everyone’s attention. So the question is…
“Is Justin Bieber’s BET nomination good or bad for BET?”
Let’s take a closer look at both sides of debate.
Justin Bieber is a pop star of epic proportions. However, he hasn’t been on BET’s radar until about a few weeks ago. He also hasn’t been an artist the network has supported. While some may argue he doesn’t belong because of his lack of melanin, that doesn’t play a role considering that Robin Thicke has long been a staple of BET programming. Justin Timberlake, Eminem and others have had their time on the network, as well. What’s interesting is the move seems to be far more calculated—it is a transparent reach for the award show to be recognized by mainstream press and audience. Bieber is not an artist the network has been instrumental in helping launch his career. He did release an album in late 2009 and BET was nowhere to be found. It is fair to say the other nominees (Melanie Fiona, Young Money, Wale and Nicki Minaj) have had their careers bolstered by their BET presence. Bieber seems more like a bandwagon move than anything else. More than likely, the upper brass have been paying attention to Twitter and have noticed his name constantly on the trending topics list. When it came to making up for the Michael Jackson tribute debacle at last year’s ceremony, they decided now would be the perfect time to latch on and attempt to make up for the monumental failure of a show. There are other artists that BET could have nominated in Bieber’s place such as B.o.B., Waka Flocka Flame, Janelle Monae, etc. It speaks in volumes regarding BET’s so-called “Black Star Power” vs. wanting to be accepted by everyone. This is obviously a move for the latter.
Justin Bieber is huge across the board right now. This isn’t the first time that BET missed the bus on an artist and decided to make up for their miscalculations. Drake had been around for quite some time before the network even paid attention. The same can be said for Eminem. Considering this and the fact that Bieber does have a song with a BET staple (the Ludacris feature on his hit single “Baby”) and you understand why BET had to give Bieber the nod. To ignore him could be downright blasphemous. Bieber was signed by Usher and has captured the hearts of young ladies of all racial backgrounds. Why continue to ignore what is right in your face? Sure, you can argue that Christina Aguilera should have received a nod for 2006′s “Back To Basics” which featured a soulful sound largely produced by the legendary DJ Premier, but everyone makes mistakes, right? Quite frankly, this is a brilliant move by the network to bring more eyeballs to their award show. Whether the move lacked integrity doesn’t matter when those television ratings come in. It’s about big business and BET made the big business move that will help catapult their award show.