Each year the BET Awards roll around and the usual suspects round out the typical responses. The instant rebranding of the ceremony as the EBT awards. The whining about how the show lost its luster several years ago. Or the wild accusation that the telecast represents the downfall of black America.
Much of this criticism to me is the verbal equivalent of perpetual jock itch. Seriously, folks, if the show is that cheap, so unbearable, and damning to your race do yourself a favor and don’t bother watching. Yes, that is a trite solution but no less trite that what the comments it’s in response to.
Just so we’re clear, though you can find my name around those online parts it doesn’t sway my opinion one way or the other. Trust me. That said, I didn’t find the show to be bad. Initially I held off on doing a review as I wondered whether or not it more enjoyable to me because I was at the venue.
Then I thought about it. and realized some people just like to complain. Sometimes fair, other times because everyone else is doing it. Most know damn well the VMAs haven’t been consistently good since Lauryn Hill cared what you thought and all the other ones aren’t usually worth mentioning at length. Which leaves us here. So everybody, let’s gather ’round and discuss this, shall we?
1. The BET Awards will not force you to sit in the back of the bus or ride in a specially designed colored lane on the freeway.
I came across some article entitled “BET Has Become The New KKK.” With respect to Dr. Boyce Watkins, that was the stupidest shit I have read in a long time. In fact, Delores Tucker’s spirit called and it wants it’s superficial bullshit argument back. I loathe inflammatory titles (especially when editors do that to my pieces) and I despise ones that don’t even argue their point well even more.
I considered dedicating a post to the piece, but if I want a headache that desperately I could just go plank on hot cement. These holier than thou hip-hop articles are a complete waste of time. BET, rap music, and all pop cultural art forms are nothing more than a mirror.
It’s an inconvenient truth that some ought to fucking accept already. Watkins is upset BET featured Lil’ Wayne and Rick Ross an awful lot. Alright, so Wayne’s line about killing babies is sounds like some shit Satan says after freebasing. Point taken. However, let’s get real for a second.
You wanna know why Biggie was more articulate than Soulja Boy when he was that young? Public education has gone to shit. It started with President Clinton’s cuts in education and then worsened even more when President Bush’s education policy emphasized test taking over critical thinking. It’s something President Obama currently further perpetuates.
As for Lil’ Wayne, would you like to figure out why he is so desensitized? He’s from the former and soon to be again reigning champion of U.S. murders. The same city that for decades was left to struggle because it was overly populated with blacks. Po’ blacks at that. Yes, the city they let drown so they could come in and take it back through gentrification. I could go on, but it doesn’t matter. People like to look for surface level excuses to evade tackling real issues at hand.
Using an awards show to make some silly played out point about music is intellectually dishonest and deflects from much more engaging conversations about the show like my next note.
2. Trey Songz should never wear shirts.
Kevin Hart did well last night, but one thing I disliked about his opening was him telling Trey Songz that he’s too scrawny to let that sweet and sour chicken recipe on his chest get a close up. Maybe some of you men and women take issue with the sexier members of Team Slim flaunting their bodies, but y’all can shut your thinphobic asses up and let the people who do dig it enjoy the view while fantasizing about digging in.
I will join folks in wishing Trey would pretend his last album never happened and proceed to stop performing selections from it, though. Compromise.
3. Rick Ross is Fat Man Chic personified.
2Pac may not be truly back, but the Notorious B.I.G.’s summer wardrobe surely is. Was Officer Ross rocking the fashions from the “Hypnotize” video? I’m not sure, but it’s a nice look on him. He still doesn’t make my body feel anything but fear whenever I skip out on the gym on a given day . Still, one has to acknowledge that Ross’ man boobs looked better than usual in that jumpsuit.
Insert your Rick Ross grunt here. I’ve been doing it non stop for the last five days.
4. Alicia Keys needs help.
Let’s be honest: The main reason Alicia Keys is even doing this ten year tribute to an album that wasn’t that great to begin with is that she needs to remind us of why we ever gave her the time of day. Her last albums weren’t good and Mashonda had a legion of women wanting to hand her some Vaseline so she could handle that alleged homewrecker.This is all damage control.
While she gets an A for effort, Sunday night’s performance earned Alicia Please a D for, “Damn, why can’t you sing?” Bruno Mars out sang Alicia on her own song. Also, please note that Beyoncé has been singing a lot longer than Alicia has and she wasn’t doing old material during her set. Yeah, I said it.
5. Chris Brown must make Sisqo cry at night.
Not only did acrobatic Brown shimmy, shimmy, coco puff all over the damn stage last night, but he had the nerve to do it in Sisqo’s old track suit. Yeah, I know you did it in black, Chris, but I know a Dru Hill piece when I see one.
6. It ain’t her fault. Did she do that?
Speaking of tears, God bless this poor child that got booed at the awards show last night and cyber jumped by angry teenage girls after she read somebody else’s mistake on live TV. I hope BET bought her some Rihanna concert tickets or something.
7. All you bitches is they grandsons.
Anita Baker may still walk on stage as if she just threw on a dress she found out of a box marked “1988” and fussed at her comb for 15 minutes for refusing to work with her, but she sure can sing better than most after all this time. I’d like to also congratulate Cherelle for achieving her goal of trying to look like Beyoncé’s great aunt.
As for Ms. LaBelle, all I have to say is:
8. Loosen up.
Cee-Lo’s tribute to Patti LaBelle was fun. Perhaps his outfit looked more like an homage to Liberace, but he got the wig right. The same for his key. That’s more than I can say about a certain singer who looks like her first words were, “Not the mama! Not the mama!” I mean, Marsha’s portion was cool but a few notes seemed off. Sometimes when she sings she sounds as if she’s rushing underwater to save King Triton from certain death.
I’m pretty sure KeKe Wyatt pulled out a butter knife in anger. I don’t blame her considering her rendition of “If Only You Knew” is fantastic. If KeKe couldn’t travel across state lines to take part (or they just forgot she was alive), Ledisi could’ve done double duty. Her Teena Marie tribute was excellent.
9. Gon’, lover.
I had two prayers for Kelly Rowland: Please do a pre-recorded live vocal, please pop it like you’re worried you might not make rent on the 1st. Mission accomplished. Now, I will say that Kelly needs to learn to do her ab libs live or at least lip on cue. But, I don’t want to pick apart what is genuinely Kelly’s best solo televised solo performance. I am sure Miss Jackson is proud and Mister is wishing he didn’t tell Harpo that Celie can’t perform at the juke joint. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, watch her performance again and get into that hat. Round of applaude for Rowland.
10. You know what it is.
It says a lot that the most anticipated performance was from someone not in the building. While I actually enjoyed Beyoncé’s performance, I’m not sure it should have closed the show considering she wasn’t there. Then again, I liked Mary J. Blige’s opening so I don’t know where else they could’ve placed her. Oh well, the children of Destiny gave the best performances of the night.
In conclusion, let us pray Beyoncé is in the building next year; Alicia stops taking singing lessons from Newports; Trey Songz forever stays shirtless (and passes on pants next); Patti LaBelle never leaves; Mary J. Blige keeps that bop going; Oh and those who don’t want to see any of this next year, may they find a book to read or a new show to watch during the telecast.