On Saturday afternoon (Sept 28), the BET Hip-Hop Awards commenced at Atlanta’s Civic Center for another year of cyphers, performances and fashion faux pas. The energy could be felt from the red carpet as stars like Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, this year's host Snoop Dogg and more made their entry into the venue.
Once inside, things kicked off fairly quickly; The lights dimmed and the screens flashed as video came up of James Lipton, host of "Inside the Actors Studio," earnestly asking Snoop Dogg, "With so much drama in the LBC, how hard is it being Snoop D. O. Double G.?" An unexpected sight, complete with profanity and those hilarious facial expressions Lipton is known for, the awards started off on a good note.
Then came Snoop's monologue. The Long Beach native is witty in his own weed smoke-induced way and those familiar with his interviews and the like, know this. Why have Snoop Dogg onstage stiffly telling written jokes? He made a joke about sending some gummi bears to Gucci Mane in the jailhouse -- that one landed with a thud that echoed throughout the entire venue. As a host, there were a few flubs, but in his way, the Doggfather never seemed to acknowledge them.
The skits that they incorporated into the show portrayed Snoop at his best: Snoop at a card table with Daz, Snoop as a DJ, Snoop as a commentator with Kevin Hart’s hilarious alter-ego Chocolate Drop, who as always, had the crowd in tears. This year, Chocolate Drop and the rest of the "Real House Husbands" cast had their own cypher where Nick Cannon and Nelly reminded viewers that -- primarily -- they really do rap.
The tradition of introducing new emcees through cyphers to the mainstream audience continued this year. Action Bronson, Rapsody, Astro and Asia Sparks are only a few newbies that had a chance to touch the Sprite sponsored mic. Flint’s Jon Connor cleverly made reference to his newly-inked record deal with Aftermath Entertainment. As a crew, Slaughterhouse did what they're expected to which is collectively kill freestyle sessions.
Kendrick Lamar had the best verse of all the cyphers. Hip-hop heads saw "Control" Kendrick reappear -- his energy built on itself with every bar, his flow switched up, he made reference to his competition's response to the verse that started the controversy. Kendrick even breaks one of the bars to give ScHoolboy Q a high-five as the crowd hollered and cheered. King Kendrick, indeed.
Aside from the cyphers, ScHoolboy Q delivered with his recent cut, "Collard Greens," after being introduced as one of "three artists bringing soul to hip-hop" by Uncle Snoop. His performance was followed up by Kendrick Lamar and J Rock with "Money Trees." French Montana touched the stage a little later to perform the remix to "Ain't Worried 'Bout Nothin'" with Rick Ross and Diddy -- who, in true Diddy fashion, had a minion bring his gold crown out on a red cushion.