INSIDE THE SHOW: BET’s Hip Hop Awards 2011
Young Money’s heavy hitters (Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake) were conspicuously absent, as was Chris Brown (whom many thought was performing) and Waka Flocka Flame. The pre-taped cypher sessions, so popular in the past, were underwhelming for the most part but entertaining freestyles did come from Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Meek Mill, Blind Fury, Chris Brown (yes, Breezy did his thing) and the Shady Records crew especially (Eminem, Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse). Mike Epps did a better job than last year’s ceremony, looking much more relaxed as hosts and getting in some funny jabs at a number of the artists. Da Brat was one of many hip-hop veterans in the house and did a great job as MC for the night, while the night’s crowning old school act was LL Cool J, who received his I Am Hip Hop Icon Award from Nelly and accepted it with a poignant verse he’d written for the moment.
Performance highlights included DMX‘s surprise return to the stage (with longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz as hypeman) rocking out to his classics “Get At Me Dog,” “Ruff Ryders Anthem” and “Party Up,” a spirited performance of “I’m A Boss” by Meek Mill with his MMG cohorts Rick Ross and Wale, Heavy D gettin’ it in with (an almost random-like) medley of his hits and the show’s opener, Young Jeezy featuring a refreshed T.I., who was finally released from a halfway house (hopefully for the last time) the day before.
BET Hip Hop Awards air October 11 t 8/7c. Peep a preview of a couple cyphers below:
CYPHER 2: Rico Staxx, Wais P, Termanology, Sean Cross and French Montana
CYPHER 3: Gilbere Forte, Chris Sutton, XV and Jay Rock
Tracee Ellis Ross, Evan Ross and girlfriend
Da Brat and friend
Mike Epps and wife Michelle
El DeBarge with his daughter
Memphitz with his new artist Key Swag