The 2016 BET Awards were held Sunday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. While an epic Prince tribute was expected, there were plenty of unexpected moments that Twitter quickly captured in meme form.
Beyoncé surprised everyone when she opened the show performing “Freedom,” a track from her “Lemonade” visual album. Complete with fire, water and a slew of female dancers in tribal print, the performance dazzled the crowd. When Kendrick Lamar showed up to perform his verse, the surprise was heightened.
The duo’s performance launched plenty of reaction online.
Fans watching at home were stunned by Beyoncé’s attendance in the first place.
Is that #Beyoncè, in person, at the #BETAwards? ? pic.twitter.com/I3vj6iILxb
— Brandon Gates (@TheBGates) June 27, 2016
JJ likened the grand performance to church.
Watching @Beyonce and @kendricklamar take the #BETAwards to church like… pic.twitter.com/47tTb9qY2u
— JJ (@JaleesaMJones) June 27, 2016
One of the earliest memes of the night came from singer Maxwell. His reaction to actress Taraji P. Henson’s monologue made for an instant classic for Black Twitter.
This will be the meme of the night. #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/EinAKyuGiN
— F¡thola (@fithola) June 27, 2016
The look of confusion was tweeted throughout the broadcast to show viewers’ confusion.
How the hell Drake and Future, a duo that's not even a real duo, win Best Group? #BETAwards pic.twitter.com/am8MhsiOyL
— Jay Lew (@ohshooter) June 27, 2016
BET has shamelessly promoted their tribute to Prince since the widely panned performance by Madonna and Stevie Wonder at Billboard’s Music Awards in May. The network featured several performances dedicated to the Purple One. First was Erykah Badu, The Roots and Bilal singing a melody of hits. Once Bilal broke into “The Beautiful Ones,” singer Fantasia stood up in praise.
When your crush tweets #ShootYourShot. #BETAwards16 @BET https://t.co/pccbybz5y9 pic.twitter.com/t6xLdaGpZ9
— GIPHY (@giphy) June 27, 2016
Users latched on to the Broadway actress-singer’s passionate response to Bilal’s falsetto.
Bilal made fantasia stand up and give a praise. I can't pic.twitter.com/hheJMe8cwe
— Resa (@misslamabean) June 27, 2016
The biggest meme of the night went to rapper Desiigner’s performance of his hit song “Panda” and Fabolous’ reaction to the over-the-top performer’s facial expressions, dancing and dabbing.
Twitter users quickly took a screenshot of the look on Fabo’s face and used it to describe their own reactions to life situations.
Fabolous is me at every party. pic.twitter.com/sciv4eRfYq
— Chicken (@gunnarkaufman) June 27, 2016
Like most memes, the image took on a life of its own. Desiigner’s face was edited onto Jazzy Jeff’s face as he gets thrown out of Uncle Phil’s Bel-Air mansion on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
SOMEONE REALLY PHOTOSHOPPED DESIIGNER GETTING THROWN OUT BY UNCLE PHILDSJKDSKJAHKHAKSGK pic.twitter.com/Cub3bJltQf
— Civilian At Earth (@MF_Brown) June 27, 2016
@tracklauryn likened the look to the way she views her friends when they turn up in the car.
This is exactly how I look at my friend when they start going ham in the car??? pic.twitter.com/k19W7Godup
— . (@tracklauryn) June 27, 2016
Fab later explained his reaction was only a look of surprise.
Nah Desiigner just caught me off guard ?
He was on stage, I looked down at my phone for minute then I looked up & he was by me ??
— Fabolous (@myfabolouslife) June 27, 2016