14 Observations From the 2018 BET Awards Before Rain Took Out My DirecTV for the Evening

Illustration for article titled 14 Observations From the 2018 BET Awards Before Rain Took Out My DirecTV for the Evening
Photo: Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images for BET)

In no particular order:

1. I don’t love J. Cole as an artist; nor do I care for most of his albums. But his performance at the BET Awards on Sunday night was awesome. I’ve long contended that I enjoy Cole the person more than the artist, and his performance highlighted that for me. Luckily, my opinion of Cole doesn’t matter because his fans will keep that man’s name alive for the rest of eternity.


2. Jamie Foxx is both a really good artist and really bad at hosting. Thing is, I can’t tell if if it’s because folks treat BET like their auntie’s house to the point of being too comfortable. Folks dress for the BET Awards like it’s the club; meanwhile, those same folks put on tuxedos for the Grammys. Point is, I wonder if Foxx was bad because it’s BET and there really used to be a virtual video host named Cita, clearly from Southeast Washington, D.C., and “news” on BET isn’t a thing.

3. I saw a lot of people rocking their UNC-blue Off-White x Jordan 1 shoes onstage last night, including H.E.R. I guess that explains why the price has gone back up to over $900 on StockX. They were stalling on sales (the price was around $650 last week), but folks got their BET Awards outfits together, and boom, demand went back up, effectively poo-pooing any chance that I’ll ever buy them. Dammit.

4. I don’t even know what to say about the Anita Baker tribute. Did Jamie Foxx even know the words? Great singer and entertainer that he is, I wondered how much he was drinking backstage between commercial breaks. Like, I appreciate the attempt, but to me, short of Yolanda Adams, it kind of wasn’t awesome.

5. Migos. Here to stay. We should all accept this.

6. BET should do away with the actual awards portion of the show. The awards make no sense and really have no basis in shit. I honestly think—and I’m preeetttty sure I’m not wrong about this—the awards are the justification for doing a big-ass show every year to honor some lifetime-achievement recipient. It’s basically a big-ass concert, and that’s OK because never again does it make sense to have Migos and A Tribe Called Quest in the same category for best group without any actual explanation about what that means for the winner. And this isn’t me shitting on Migos—in 2018, they absolutely should win over Tribe. I just had confusions.

7. I don’t understand what was happening with Nicki Minaj’s performance. She performs like she’s always got something to prove, and sometimes, she’s pulled that off. Last night was not one of those times. I think Cardi B has gotten to her and she’s trying to figure shit out.

8. Can somebody explain to me why YG is committed to the hardbottoms with every outfit style? Is that a Compton, Calif., thing now? Inquiring minds would like to know.


9. I am amazed at how popular Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” is. I hear it everywhere.

10. One day, we’re going to have to figure out Janelle Monáe’s place in this here music game. She’s good and actually better than everybody else at almost everything she does. Even if I rarely love her songs (and I’ll just owe that to my own tastes), her performances of them always impress me. Last night was no different.


11. I don’t know how else to say this except: I’ve been trying my damnedest to figure out why Daniel Caesar isn’t one of the biggest artists in the game. His Freudian album is amazeballs, and “We Found Love” should have been the No. 1 song in the country for weeks, at least. Last night, I figured out why. That’s all I’m saying.

12. I can’t decide if the tape-delay curse muters quit trying at some point or if you can say “shit” as much as you want to all night long. It started getting ridiculous at one point. Again, BET is your auntie’s house.


13. Speaking of Auntie’s house, we are not going to let Black Panther go anytime soon, are we? And every time I hear Ryan Coogler talk, it’s like the first time all over again. He’s so Cali.

14. I didn’t see the gospel-performance segment with Snoop Dogg leading the way because my cable was out, but I will never not be surprised at how many musical lives Snoop Dogg has managed to live and how we let him live in all of them to the point where he manages to thrive in every endeavor. Snoop has had the best rap career of all time.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



On 10. Janelle Monet is literally Prince. Immensely talented and more people like her than her music, but will fight you to the death if you say that.