Was it just me, or was last night’s BET Awards more respectable than they’ve been in years!? In the past, I tuned in mostly to make jokes about how far from grace the network had fallen. I haven’t been a regular BET view in a while, but I can say my experience with it last night left me more like “Ok. I see you, BET” as opposed to “Really, BET? Really?!” They attempted to mix ratchet with a tish more respectability. I’m wasn’t mad at it.
Here are a few observations that stood out. In no particular order:
- I can’t believe Samuel L. Jackson hosted that joint. How’d BET pull that off?
- The rendition of ‘Niggas in Paris’ performed by SLJ and Spike Lee was pure torture/comedy. It reminded me of when my uncles first heard rap music and exaggerated everything about it. It was absurd but hilarious. But whatevs, it was Spike Lee and SLJ – two cats I kinda love – cuttin up on tv. There are way worse ways to spend 5 minutes of your life.
- Speaking of SLJ, Django Unchained looks good! Could this be my people’s ‘Inglorious Basterds‘? I. Can’t. Wait.
- It was dope to see Jay-Z and Beyonce, Kanye and Kim K in attendance. Seems like they usually call it in on the BET Awards, like they too cool for that. So it was a nice surprise.
- Oh, and Jay’s “scuse me, Kanye, I’ma let you continue but…” jab was pretty great. Whatever your feelings about whether Taylor Swift or Beyonce should’ve won that award that year, Kanye was a dick about it. The moment last night was a collective get back. Gotcha, ‘Ye.
- Looks like D’Angelo might be back, y’all. Dude sounded and played pretty good. My fingers are crossed that this is an actual come back, not a Lauryn Hill style tease.
- So Lauren London’s the new character on The Game,eh? Yeah, that’s incentive to at least watch the season premier. But I’m out after that if the show otherwise still blows.
- I get what y’all see in Kevin Hart. He’s funny. I like him. The divorce stuff from his acceptance speech was awkward though. Funny/sad isn’t the same as funny…
- I’m so glad the great work of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly was honored last night. Those cats are so smooth. Maze’s music has been part of the soundtrack to some of the best moments of my life. My college band, the Marching Crimson Pipers, used to play ‘Before I Let Go’ in the stands between plays at football games. And no proper cookout is complete without ‘Happy Feelings’ and ‘Golden Time of Day’ to wind it down. Here, get to know Maze ft. Frankie Beverly. You can thank me later.
- I was nervous about the Whitney tribute after BET had completely dropped the ball on Michael’s in 2009. But it turned out nicely. Short, sweet, and sincere. Well done.
- Now I, too, thought it was wack to end the show on Tyga’s Rack City, and not Whitney’s swan song. But I remembered that it was Mindless Behavior, a group whose music I don’t think I’ve ever heard, that won the viewer’s choice award. Their song, ‘Hello‘, beat out Jay-Z and Kanye ‘Otis,’ Beyonce’s ‘Love on Top,’ Wale and Miguel’s ‘Lotus Flower Bomb,’ and Drake, Lil Wayne, and Tyga’s ‘The Motto.” In other words, R.I.P. Whitney, but life goes on. And the show must go on.
C’est la vie, I guess. Last night’s awards show was definitely Black entertainment television, and with a lot less cringe. I enjoyed it, and I could still face myself in the mirror this morning. I’d say that’s progress. I see you, BET.
One last thing: SLJ did shade the shit out of BET though. “I did my job. Now I gotta go back to being professional.” smh…