The BET Hip-Hop Awards aired last night and although big winner Kanye West didn’t show up, his fellow emcees made the show a lively one. West was nominated for an impressive 17 awards but he wasn’t there to accept the six he did win. Despite his absence, the show went on without a hitch. There were several highlights including a big group performance from Future, Diddy, Machine Gun Kelly, French Montana and Uncle Luke.
Rick Ross appeared shirtless to perform a couple of tracks with Omarion who showed off some interesting dance moves. The cyphers also made a return and as usual, they did not disappoint. The West Coast Cypher was one of the more impressive ones and featured veterans like Snoop Lion/Dogg, E-40 and Dj Quik and newcomers like Kendrick Lamar. Other rappers that participated in cyphers included DMX, Eve, Mystikal, RZA and Childish Gambino.
The tribute to Chris Lighty was also exciting thanks to a medley of hits performed by some of Lighty’s clients. After a video of kind words from LL Cool J, Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dog opened the show with “Award Tour.” They were followed by Busta Rhymes who performed “Put Your Hands Where Your Eyes Can See” and Fat Joe who jogged a few memories with “Lean Back.” 50 Cents, who also appeared on stage, and Fat Joe had been rivals in the past but it looks like they have put their beef behind them. “While we were there, 50 whispered some things in my ear that was gentleman-like,” Joe said in a radio interview after the taping. “He just said the right things and a handshake was involved and that was that. It was two grown men that just said, ‘This is for Chris Lighty, this is for hip-hop, let’s move on with our lives.’”
The crowd also went wild when Missy Elliot made a surprise appearance to perform her 2001 banger “Get Your Freak On.”
Ironically, the fight between Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and various others allegedly happened during this performance. Thankfully, BET made sure the audience wasn’t privy to the drama happening right under their noses.