Chill time was on the agenda a few weekends back, with the Waffle House and the BET Hip Hop Awards as the primary objectives. At the last minute, things had to get changed and rearranged, so I had to experience the 2013 Awards from a distance at the crib. The more I watch award shows, the more I notice that the hardware from the accolades are a very distant second place.
Of the awards that were broadcast, the most deserving and satisfying was hip-hop pioneer MC Lyte receiving the I Am Hip Hop Award, presented by Sprite. Since her entrance in the hip-hop arena as the first solo female emcee to drop a full length album—1998’s “Lyte as a Rock,” in case you forgot—Lyte’s work has been anything but light work. Her prowess on the mic and skill as a writer (recall “10% Dis,” “Cha, Cha, Cha,” “Poor Georgie,” “Keep on Keepin on” and a scene-stealing verse on the all-star posse Stop the Violence Movement’s track “Self-Destruction” for reference) solidified her in the pantheon of great emcees.
In 2014, the work continues as she plans a single release at the top of the year as well as participating in a new reality series on BET called “Hip Hop Sisters,” which brings along Yo-Yo, the Lady of Rage, Monie Love and Lil Mama. A video package accompanied the segment, which featured peers and friends Will and Jada Smith, Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot, who lauded her as a person and talent, while Eve was there in the flesh to hand over the trophy. Per the website eurweb.com, here’s what Eve had to say: “She set the precedent for female freestylers. I’m truly, truly honored. She has meant so much to me in my career. ”
As for rest, here’s the 2013 complete list of BET Hip Hop Awards winners
- Best Hip-Hop Video: Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
- Reese’s Perfect Combo Award (Best Collabo, Duo or Group): A$AP Rocky ft. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, “Problems”
- Best Live Performer: Jay Z
- Lyricist of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
- Video Director of the Year: Benny Boom
- DJ of the Year: DJ Drama
- Producer of the Year: Mike WiLL Made It
- MVP of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
- Track of the Year: “Started from the Bottom,” produced by Mike Zombie and Noah “40” Shebib (Drake)
- Album of the Year: Kendrick Lamar, “good kid, m.A.A.d city”
- Who New?: Rookie of the Year Award powered by Monster DNA: A$AP Ferg
- Hustler of the Year: Jay Z
- Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style): A$AP Rocky/Nicki Minaj
- Best Hip-Hop Online Site: WorldStarHipHop.com
- Best Club Banger: French Montana ft. Rick Ross, Drake and Lil Wayne, “Pop That” (Produced by Lee on the Beats)
- Best Mixtape: Big Sean, “Detroit”
- Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse: Kendrick Lamar, “Problems” (A$AP Rocky ft. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar)
- Impact Track: J. Cole ft. TLC, “Crooked Smile”
- People’s Champ Award: Drake, “Started from the Bottom”
The lasting impressions of the broadcast, however, were the performances and the rhyme cypher segments, the latter being one of the most coveted annual appearances in hip-hop. A reunion—well at least four of the original five members—of the great Bone Thugs-N-Harmony got the most buzz, and it looks like Slaughter House (Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’ 9) and Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul) had the strongest crew showings. Looks like a lyrical battle the likes of which we haven’t seen since Jay Z and Nas is shaping up between Lamar and Drake. Lamar threw the gauntlet down again!
Catch an encore presentation of the BET Hip Hop Awards on Friday, Oct. 25 8-10 p.m. It’s understandable if you miss the rebroadcast though, because B.B. Kings (237 W. 42nd St.) is playing host to George Clinton and the P Funk All Stars with guest Benny Worrell and Rakim that same night. On Sunday, Oct. 27 at the same place, same time, find Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Black history live and in living color. Holla in seven days. Till then, enjoy the nightlife.