BET Awards reflect protests against racial injustice

Best Female R & B / Pop ArtistNew York – The BET Awards served as an extension of black voices demonstrate in the streets on the inequalities black people face on a daily basis, as the artists used their performances to highlight the Black Lives Matter movement, civil rights and the lives lost to the actions of police officers, including that of George Floyd.

DaBaby, her face pressed to the ground as an officer’s knee paralyzed her neck – reproducing the last moments of Floyd’s life – rapped a line from the Black Lives Matter remix of his hit song “Rockstar”. His performance also featured footage of protests, a reflection of the world today in the wake of Floyd’s death and the deaths of others including breonna taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

Sunday’s show, a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic, presented a number of highly produced, well-designed and pre-recorded performances.

He started out with black artists rapping and singing hymns about the black experience and fighting for equal rights.

Twelve-year-old sensation Keedron Bryant, who turned heads on social media with his passionate performance of being a young black man in today’s world, started the show with an a cappella performance of his song poignant “I Just Wanna Live”, which won him a recording contract. This was followed by a featured performance of Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem “Fight the Power”, featuring Nas, Black Thought, Rapsody and YG adding new lyrics to the song, even dropping Taylor and D ‘others.

Michelle Obama highlighted Beyoncé’s commitment to the black community before presenting her with the Humanitarian Award, saying, “You can see it in everything she does, from her music that gives voice to joy and joy. black pain, to his activism that demands justice for black lives. “

Beyoncé used her speech to encourage viewers to vote “as if our lives depended on it” in the next election.

“I want to dedicate this award to all my brothers, to all of my sisters who inspire me, walk and fight for change. Your voices are heard and you prove to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain. Now we we still have one thing to do to walk in our true power, and that is to vote, ”she said. “There are people who rely on us to stay home during local elections and state primaries across the country. We need to vote like our lives depend on it, because it does.”

Sunday’s show celebrated BET’s 20th awards ceremony and BET’s 40th anniversary as a network. The three-hour event, which first aired on CBS, was hosted by comedian, actress and TV personality Amanda Seales, who has appeared in several skits, including one about women who identify as “Karen.” , a common stereotype and term for racist and privileged white women.

Other artists were political during their performances, including Roddy Ricch, who wore a Black Lives Matter shirt while rapping, Alicia Keys, Anderson Paak and Jay Rock, as well as brothers SiR and D Smoke, who performed with their mother Jackie Gouché.

Lil Wayne paid tribute to NBA icon Kobe Bryant, who died in January, with a performance of his 2009 song “Kobe Bryant”, weaving new lyrics. Wayne Brady, in a sparkly suit, rolled around on a piano as he sang a medley of Little Richard hits.

Nipsey Hussle, who was named Best Male Hip-Hop Artist and won the Humanitarian Award at last year’s BET Awards, won Video of the Year for “Higher,” a music video he shot with DJ Khaled and John Legend shortly before his death.

“It’s for Nipsey Hussle and hip-hop,” Khaled said in a recorded video. “Nipsey Hussle, thanks for working with me on this ‘Higher’ record. I appreciate you. Nipsey’s family, we love you.”

The BET Awards, one of the first awards to be broadcast virtually, featured crisp performances with artistic stage production, bringing extra life to the songs performed. It was a welcome break from the ‘living room’ and home performances that hundreds of artists have shared on social media since the pandemic struck in March.

Chloe x Halle, who performed successfully for various TV shows and events during the pandemic while promoting their new album, gave an epic performance of their songs “Do It” and “Forgive Me”. R&B star Summer Walker, who played guitar and sang, was also impressive during her performance, which starred Usher.

Megan Thee Stallion went into the wilderness with dancers in the background as she twerked and rapped her # 1 hit “Savage”. She won the award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, beating Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.

“Oh my God, I probably recorded this video about 10 times. It’s so crazy doing this from my home,” she said. “I used to watch the BET Awards all the time thinking, ‘Someday it’s going to be me who goes there to accept my award’ – and now I do.”

While the BET Awards are technically about the giving of trophies, the awards were an afterthought. During the live broadcast, Ricch won Album of the Year for his debut “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”; Lizzo was named Best Female R & B / Pop Artist; and Burna Boy won the award for best international act. Overall, Chris Brown, Beyoncé and Ricch were the big winners of the night, each taking two honors. Beyoncé won the BET HER award for “Brown Skin Girl,” shared with her daughter Blue Ivy Carter as well as Wizkid and Saint JHN. The song also won Beyoncé and Blue Ivy a Soul Train Music Award last year.

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