Who doesn’t enjoy a good star-studded, celebrity-rich awards show with its music, fashion and accolades for those who excel in a given field? So, of course, you’re tuning in to the BET Hip Hop Awards, airing Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, but maybe it’s time for you to tune out. If this list applies to you, you may have aged out of the BET Hip-Hop Awards crowd.
The red carpet, performances and even random shots of the audience used to be full of artists whose music you owned, whose lyrics you’d memorized and whom you could easily identify. Now you might as well be watching the Country Music Awards because no one looks familiar, and the honored songs are as foreign to you as the Mississippi state song. As a matter of fact, your face brightens when BET CEO Debra Lee graces the stage to address viewers. Finally, someone you recognize.
You still have Busta Rhymes’ When Disaster Strikes and A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes and Life CDs in your car, but don’t expect to see your favorite artists (from your undergrad days) on this show. What seems like yesterday to you was actually 20 years ago, and anyone over 35 on this particular show is pretty much a relic who may pop up as a presenter or for the obligatory “old-school” set … if you’re lucky.
When the Hip Hop Awards premiered in 2006, those hotties and handsomes on the red carpet caused some commotion for you. Staring at the formfitting and revealing fashions was arguably more fun than the actual show. However, these days you’re wondering why these young women (closer to your daughter’s age) are half dressed and why these young brothers (where is the facial hair?) are using words you don’t understand. Was it always this way?
When you settle in on the sofa with your bowl of buttery popcorn to watch the Oscars or the Emmys, your kids are nowhere to be found. However, when it comes to the Hip Hop Awards, they’ve beaten you to the TV, fully prepared with their digital devices to add to the social media chatter. Move over, Mom and Dad. This one’s for generation next.
It’s reasonable that you’re not too familiar with the artists and songs honored at the Hip Hop Awards because you’re normally listening to NPR in your car, and while you used to stay up-to-date on your music videos with the help of Free and AJ, you’re not even sure those exist anymore.
Isn’t there supposed to be a category for best athlete and best actor? Where are Chris Brown, Janelle Monáe or Jazmine Sullivan? It’s not hard to confuse one award show with the next, but for clarity, remember that the BET Awards airs live from Los Angeles every summer. The Hip Hop Awards is previously recorded in Atlanta and airs in the fall. Those two aren’t to be confused with BET Honors.
You remember sitting at the knees of the family elders listening to them question why LL Cool J wore that silly Kango (no one wondered why he was often shirtless) and why Slick Rick rocked an eye patch. Fast-forward to today and you’re equally confused over Lil Yachty’s colorful hair and Soulja Boy’s facial tattoos. “These kids these days … ”
Just as your kids look bewildered when you joke about a designer Gordon Gartrell shirts, Rerun’s rainbow suspenders or the Soul Train scramble board, you’re just as clueless when folks keep mentioning all that goes down in the DMs. Is someone rapping about direct marketing?
Instead of actually paying attention to the show, you’re busy reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” of hip-hop. While Dae Dae performs, you’ve muted the TV to watch old videos of Chi Ali and Kwame on YouTube.
The show started at 8, and now it’s 9:30, and you’re struggling to hang on. Twelve hours ago you were at the office leading a presentation, and the effects of that morning gallon of caffeine are wearing off. If you don’t hit the hay soon, you won’t get that solid eight hours you need to conquer the corporate world. Maybe it’s time to act your age and go to sleep. Alternatively, there’s always DVR.