BET Awards Celebrate Donald Glover, Anita Baker And 'Black Panther'
Jamie Foxx's Monologue
Singer, actor and comedic behemoth Jamie Foxx kicked off the 2018 BET awards by exclaiming: "I'm not here to host, I'm here to celebrate — Black Excellence Televised." The actor spent a majority of his monologue highlighting the record-breaking blockbuster, and later brought to the stage the film's anti-hero, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) to repeat a profound line of his from the movie: "Bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage."
Donald Glover (Briefly) Revisits "This Is America"
Jamie Foxx went off script to shout out the presumptive music video of the year, rapper Childish Gambino's "This Is America."
"This young man," Foxx observed, "Childish Gambino, Donald Glover — singer, songwriter, philanthropist, movie star, overall badass. ... A true artist. ... I wanna acknowledge you." Right after, Foxx mimicked some of the video's instantly recognizable dance moves.
Foxx invited the Atlanta co-creator, director, producer and star to the stage, who said a few words of thanks. "I'm really happy to be in this room with everybody," said Glover, before shouting out Master of Noneco-writer and actress Lena Waithe along with actress, writer and director Issa Rae. "I really was not expecting to get up here."
Meek Mill Unveils "Stay Woke"
Meek Mill, the Philadelphia rapper whose imprisonment for probation violations in late 2017 became a flashpoint for discussions and demonstrations in support of criminal justice reform, delivered a poignant performance of his new song, "Stay Woke," featuring Miguel. The song, which addresses both police brutality and the criminal justice system for its disproportionate imprisonment of African Americans, is the first that Mill has put out since being released from prison in April.
Mill's stage design depicted a Philadelphia street corner, occupied with children playing and people casually going about their day to day. But the normalcy was quickly disrupted by a rush of police officers rushing to arrest its black residents, culminating in a young girl being fatally shot and consoled by her mother, before an American flag is laid over her body. As Mill raps in the track: "How can I stand allegiance for the flag when they killing all our sons, all our dads?" During the performance, Mill also paid tribute to slain rappers XXXTentacion and Jimmy Wopo, wearing a hoodie featuring their images.
Anita Baker Receives the Lifetime Achievement Award
Anita Baker was presented the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award with a stunning tribute performance from Jamie Foxx and other assorted music royalty — Marsha Ambrosius, Ledisi and Yolanda Adams, as well as speeched from fellow R&B nobility Patti Labelle, Mary J. Blige and Lalah Hathaway.
Baker, an eight-time Grammy winner, gave a powerful speech calling for young artists to connect with industry veterans. "When you see the young ones, tap them on the shoulder. They need you. Young ones, now that you're here tonight, look around the room and find a veteran and tap them on the shoulder and introduce yourself," Baker said. "Let's take care of each other. We need each other. We can't do it alone."
Snoop Doggy Dog, Uncle Snoop, Snoop Lion and now — Deacon Snoop. The rapper performed a set encapsulating the versatility of his now-legendary career — and, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of his storied 1993 debut record Doggystyle, performed the classic "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" while wearing a Grambling State University jumpsuit, in representation of historically black universities and colleges. The Deacon then performed two songs from his new 32-track, gospel-themed album Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love.
Blackanda and Netflix
This year, BET organized its show around the theme of "Blackanda," a reference to the fictional country of Wakanda from the movie Black Panther. Except — Wakanda is already inherently black. Some added salt to that rebranding came during a commercial break, when Netflix debuted a brand-new spot featuring the black actors and creatives working for it — and not BET, the subtext seemed to be — in an homage to the iconic 1958 photo, " A Great Day in Harlem."
2018 BET Award Recipients
DJ Khaled Feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller — "Wild Thoughts" — winner
Bruno Mars Feat. Cardi B — "Finesse (Remix)"
DJ Khaled Feat. Future, Beyoncé & Jay-Z - "Top Off"
Cardi B Feat. 21 Savage - "Bartier Cardi"
Kendrick Lamar Feat. Rihanna - "Loyalty."
French Montana Feat. Swae Lee - "Unforgettable"
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Cardi B — winner
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Kendrick Lamar — winner
Migos — winner
Chloe X Halle
A Tribe Called Quest
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Beyoncé — winner
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
Bruno Mars — winner
Best New Artist
SZA — winner
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Best International Act
Davido (Nigeria) — winner
Fally Ipupa (Democratic Republic Of The Congo)
Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)
Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
Distruction Boyz (South Africa)
Stefflon Don (U.K.)
J Hus (U.K.)
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