Every year the BET Awards is highly anticipated. This year I felt that there had been better, nonetheless the show was full of laughter, music, celebrity appearances and controversy.
Chris Rock, the host on the night obviously doesn’t believe in diplomacy and for that I am grateful. He resourcefully entertained us with sketches and jokes. “Our next performer discovered Justin Bieber and is going to spend the rest of the night apologising for it,” Rock remarked, high-pitched. I will say though that racist rhetoric in the disguise of banter is lazy comedy. Jokes like “The BET Awards show is the only show you go to where your family tell you to be careful.” were distasteful. Yet, with Rock as host the pauses and delays didn’t seem as painful as usual, so I guess he did his job?
Pharrel opened the Awards, the Old School vibe seemed to be a crowd pleaser, singing Happy among other hits. The night continued to go in his favour, winning Best RnB/Pop artist and Best Video. Missy Elliot joined him on stage, but considering we haven’t seen Missy for a while her performance was nothing to shout about.
The night went on and August Alsinia won Best Newcomer. Lil’ Wayne achieved a forgettable performance. To be honest, I just don’t know for this man, is he disdained to dressing well? He looked like the scarecrow from The Wizard Of Oz. Sometimes come suited and booted; it’s not everyday look like a homeless drug addict.
Anyway, Tamela Mann won Best Gospel Act and Lupita won Best Actress.
At this point the tone of the night became slightly more mature with John Legend singing You & I from his most recent Album, Love In The Future. This man could have roadmen skipping down the street humming love songs. Jhene Aiko then joined him to sing The Worst. I love this song and her voice, the performance was enticing and I would go as far as to say it was in the top three of the evening.
Chris Brown’s performance was absolutely fantastic. He can’t of had that much time to practice, being in jail and all. I just don’t know how he does it, other then natural talent. He captured the audience singing Loyal with Lil’ Wayne and Tyga. His highly energetic performance had the entire audience captivated.
Now on to the best performance of the night. Usher had me waving in the air like a groupie, whilst he sang songs like Confessions, You Remind Me, You Don’t Have To Call and his new hit Good Kisser, which I’ve had on repeat all day. I’m going to ignore the dead squirrel on his head, he was that good that I shall allow him. The entertainer reminded us just how talented he is, managing to play the drums, sing and dance, all in one performance. He chose very good songs and his performance was the highlight of the evening.
Nicki Minaj had a good night performing Pills and Potions. It’s good to see Minaj back to her natural skin tone; she looked a whole lot better. She elevated out of a giant-mushroom on a fairy tale looking set, before doing a signature Nicki routine. Her backing singers sounded great, and I was looking for them to take center stage if I’m honest. Minaj won Best Female Hip Hop Artist and typically felt the need to give her life story whilst throwing shade at Iggy Azalea. “When you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it,” she boasted.
Following Minaj, Trey Songz, August Alsinia and Chris Brown took the stage for an RnB performance.
More awards followed with Best International Act, Africa being won by Davido and Best International Act UK by Krept and Konan.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to a well-deserved recipient, Lionel Richie. His groundbreaking songs and long list of hits were worthy of the accolade. John Legend and Ledisi ensured a good foot-tapping performance before Yolanda Adams rounded off with storming vocals and a standing ovation.
Debra Lee and Phylisia Rashãd delivered a progressive statement paying homage to those who fought during the Civil Rights Movement. This was much needed, as the channel sometimes presents artists who belittle African-American culture by glorifying drugs, gyrating females, the ‘n’ word and generally ignorant lyrics. Nevertheless, the speech was moving and Ms Rashad, who has aged wonderfully since playing Clair Huxtable on the Cosby Show, bought some much needed class to the evening.
After Robin Thicke’s performance, Paula Patton, his ex wife had better come running with open arms. Thicke started the performance saying “I’d like to dedicate this song to my wife. I miss you, and I’m sorry.’ Forgive me, I’m a romantic, that was so sweet, although I’m not going to lie, I did laugh, just a bit. The song finished and her name appeared in lights. I suppose Paula’s decision really should depend on what he did, but that’s a post for another day.
The largely anticipated grand finale of Beyonce and Jay Z arrived. The recital was a sure people pleaser, but if it pleased you, then please exit here. THE COUPLE WEREN’T EVEN IN THE BUILDING! Don’t get me wrong the pair are immensely talented, but it’s not a BET Award finale if you aren’t even there. The pre-recorded performance was shot over the weekend from their On The Run tour. Jay Z began spitting a couple of verses and Beyonce followed with a sultry routine lit by a single spotlight. I would say that considering children watch the show it was a little inappropriate. However, should they have come to the Awards it would have been a worthy act for the finale.
And so that’s it folks, the BET Awards 2014 contained both highlights and disappointments. The night certainly was entertaining and so I guess it fulfilled its purpose. That’s not to say that it shouldn’t cut out some of the ratchetness for next year.