With Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Jack Harlow taking home multiple trophies, I’m not going to claim the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards was a big night for Black artists. However, a few standout winners and performers still managed to steal the spotlight during Sunday’s festivities.
During her acceptance speech, the “Juice” singer delivered a call to action saying, “I don’t know what music videos for good means, but I do know what your vote means, and that’s a fucking lot. Your vote means everything to me. It means everything to make a change in this country. So, remember when you’re voting for your favorite artists, vote to change some of these laws that are oppressing us.”
The Grammy-winner then switched gears to seemingly address the recent bullshit body shaming comments made about her by Aries Spears.
“Now, to the bitches that got something to say about me in the press…I’m not gonna say nothing,” Lizzo said while holding up her trophy as the audience went crazy. “They be like ‘Lizzo, why don’t you clap back?’ Because bitch, I’m winning, ho!”
And just in case she wasn’t clear, on Monday the “Good as Hell: singer tweeted, “Lemme make one thing VERY clear— I wasn’t addressing anybody in my speech last night.. I was addressing EVERYBODY.”
Showing off even more, the “Truth Hurts” artist also gave an amazing performance of “About Damn Time” and “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready).”
Lizzo wasn’t the only game-changing female artist to show out on the VMA stage, as Nicki Minaj delivered a 10-minute medley of her biggest hits and picked up the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
As the crowd sang along, Nicki’s set featured “Super Freaky Girl,” “Bees in the Trap,” “Chun-Li,” “Moment 4 Life,” “Super Bass,” “Monster” and “Anaconda.”
Per Deadline, Minaj thanked several people including Kanye West, Beyoncé and Mariah Carey for giving her “huge opportunities,” and shouted out her fans, the Barbz, as well as influential artists who have passed away.
“I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” she said. “I wish that people understood what they meant and what they were going through. I wish people took mental health seriously even for the people who you think have the perfect lives. I wish Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle were here.”
“To all the artists, producers and writers who have contributed to any of my projects, also to all the people who allow me to feature on their work … and I want you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you,” Minaj continued. “I don’t take that for granted. Thank you for giving me a chance to show my skills.”
I wish there was more to say, but it seems like MTV has returned to its old ways of letting Black artists be nominated, while wins are reserved for someone else.