Roasting the BET Awards seems to be a time-honored Black tradition, and last night, Black Twitter just made it all the more live. The snarking and the praising, too, were in full effect for what turned out to be a solid show with multiple performances worth watching.
Much pre-show ado was made about veteran actor Samuel L. Jackson as the host, and while he had humorous moments, they weren’t very memorable. Bringing Spike Lee to the stage for a spoof of Kanye and Jay-Zs mega-hit “N****s in Paris” was supposed to be funny — and it was when Sam did the Gator Shake from Jungle Fever — but it came across more like the way my father makes fun of rap music. Even Jackson’s participation in the beloved “Real Husbands of Hollywood” skits, which debuted at last year’s awards show and will become an actual TV show featuring Kevin Hart this fall, fell flat.
There was also lots of pre-show buzz about the Carters’ attendance, and although Jay-Z and Beyoncé didn’t perform, their star power didn’t disappoint. As Kanye, who was nominated for seven awards, accepted his first of the night, he wished Jay-Z was there “to say something politically correct for me” and — poof! — Hov appeared from backstage to accept the award with him. Bey also took home two awards, Best Female R&B Artist and Best Video for “Party.”
Perhaps the evening’s most anticipated performance was that by D’Angelo, who performed on TV for the first time in 12 years. I hate that he made us wait so long, but his unparalleled combination of soul, funk, and R&B was well worth the wait, and revved up my anticipation to see his full show this Friday at the ESSENCE Music Festival.
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