Today’s the day!
We’ve picked out our best bougie girl, not-for-the-BET-Awards-outfits and are going to the 2018 BET Awards, with all the cool kids. Yes, your Editor-in-Chief, Danielle C. Belton, and The Root’s Deputy Managing Editor Yesha Callahan, are in Los Angeles, ready for primetime (sort of), when the show starts at 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST at the Microsoft Theater. This year’s host is Jamie Foxx and he’s welcoming us to “Blakanda,” which I’m sure will be hilarious — one way or the other!
This year’s performances are hip-hop heavy, featuring Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, YG, Meek Mill, Migos and more. Representing on the R&B front is Danielle’s fave Janelle Monae, along with Miguel (who Danielle also adores) and H.E.R. for which neither of us can name one song because we are old. We do know she likes to hide her face tho.
Of the nominations to watch:
- Kendrick Lamar takes on ... Kendrick Lamar for “Album of the Year” as the Pulitzer Prize winning DAMN. goes up against his Black Panther soundtrack. (As much as we love the “Bleck Pentha,” DAMN. is the far superior joint. Again, that shit won a Pulitzer!) But competition is stiff for the double-dipping Lamar, who’s up against Jay Z’s “Lemonade for Dudes,” aka the brilliant 4:44, SZA’s CRTL, DJ Khaled’s Grateful and Migos’ Culture II.
- Also interesting — the best female hip-hop artist category where the heaviest of hitters is hip-hop’s “it girl,” Cardi B., riding high off the success of “Invasion of Privacy.” She’s up against the usual suspects who rule BET’s best female hip-hop artist category, formerly known as the Nicki Minaj Award for Nicki Minaj. Cardi’s competition includes ... obviously Nicki Minaj, Dej Loaf, last year’s performer at The Root 100, Rapsody, and last year’s winner of this award, Remy Ma. Our money is on Cardi who is literally EVERYWHERE. On the radio. On the stage. On your magazine covers. 2018 is clearly her year to take home Nicki Minaj’s award and possibly rename it for herself.
- Who will win in the “Best Male Hip-Hop Artist” category is a bit less obvious. Sure, you have Jay Z in there, but you also have Drake, DJ Khaled, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. So basically everyone on the radio right now that you actually listen to. Kendrick is probably the favorite considering he killed at not one, but two albums this year. But never count out Jay, who recently shocked the world when he dropped The Carters album with his iconic wife and still hottest chick in the game, Beyonce.
- For Best Female R&B/Pop Artist this award is clearly going to Beyonce. While SZA, H.E.R., Kehlani and bad gyal Rihanna are all boss, 2018 (like 2017 and 2016 and 2015 and ...) was Bey’s year. She ruled Coachella, turning it into Beychella. She dropped that surprise The Carters album with the husband. She took the top off her Maybach. And she dropped two twins all while her daughter Blue Ivy perfected the greatest side-eye in the history of 6-year-olds. We’re not even stans, but we’d be shocked if this award went to ANYBODY else, but the hardest working woman in show business.
- We’re not going to pretend to know who’s going to win Best Male R&B/Pop Artist. We like Bruno Mars. He’s in the category. Um. Chris Brown is there (as always ... this is the BET Awards. They know their audience and their audience loves Chris Brown). The Weeknd is representing for Canada. Then you have Khalid and Daniel Caesar. Again, not even going to take a guess here. No clue who’s winning.
- “Best Movie?” That’s going to Black Panther. Hands down. Sure Girls Trip is in there, that torture porn passing for a movie called Detroit is oddly in there, Dee Rees’ Mudbound makes sense for a nod and so does Ava DuVernay’s Wrinkle in Time, but who are we kidding? They straight up gave the BET Awards a “Blakanda” theme this year. A Black Panther win is in the tank.
See who wins and more at 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST tonight, and follow along with us here on this blog, live!