I’ve come to the conclusion that I have aged out of the BET Hip Hop Awards. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it definitely doesn’t mean that I’m elderly. What it means is that this show—which taped over the weekend to air tonight at 8 p.m.—is catering to an audience that is not me and my peers. There’s honestly no reason to complain because this music is speaking to someone, and just because I am Stevie Wonder to a majority of it doesn’t mean someone isn’t Diddy-bopping in their seats.
When the show started, I thought about exactly how drunk I’d be if I were playing a drinking game where I took a shot if I knew the names or faces of people on the show. The answer: not very. During the majority of the performances, I wondered about the type of person that would be intrigued by this level of show. In my mind, that person currently still resides in their parent’s home and is sneaking to watch this show because it’s a school night.
Thanks to Lil’ Kim opening the floodgates for the “Lil” moniker, every rapper under the sun has donned the adjective in front of their respective names. Now everyone is some variation of “Lil,” both figuratively and literally. No really: a vast majority of these men stand at a strong 5-feet, 8-inches or shorter. It should be mentioned that your fave rapper might need your assistance with reaching something off the top shelf. One of the artists I’m familiar with is DaBaby, who stepped on the red carpet resembling a magically delicious leprechaun from the hood.
If there was one person I knew, it was Megan Thee Stallion. I once saw a tweet that said: “If you were a five star chick, then you’re too old to be a hot girl.” I felt attacked, but I still recited all of Thee Stallion’s lyrics word for word. She and her knees of favor galloped across that stage, with her homegrown body for all to see and admire. It was truly mesmerizing and if it had gone on longer, I probably would have foregone my affinity for men.
Performance after performance, I sat basking in my confusion and accepted that I would not know many of these artists if not for the gift of Google; God bless that free service. The show came to an end and now was the time where I shone; Lil Kim’s performance! The evangelist legally named Kimberly Denise Jones, who blessed us with such biblical lyrics as “why spend mine, when I can spend yours?” accepted the “I Am Hip Hop” Award. During her speech, she made note that BET has never given her an award, which I feel she’s been holding on to her chest for some time now.
After she thanked her entire family, neighbors, hairdressers and, of course, God, it was time for Kim to give me the show I’ve been waiting for. During her performance, there were some moments it seemed as if Kim was doing karaoke of her hit tracks, but I let it slide because I was letting the room know that I would throw shade if I couldn’t get paid. Overall, it was Kim’s discography that reminded the room why she was worthy of the award and praise within the industry.
There are certain things in life you attend and realize it’s not your ministry. The effort of putting on pants is a parade-worthy act, so if that’s done, then there better be moments worth the act. If anything, this award show served as a reminder that we still need spaces for artists to shine. It won’t do any good to complain about the level of talent/production because we have to come to terms with the realization that this show caters to people of a certain age. A lot of us have aged out, and that’s alright.
The BET Hip Hop Awards air Tuesday at 8 p.m ET.