On Saturday night (October 5), the BET Hip Hop Awards returned to Atlanta after spending a short time in Miami over the past two years. The green part of the carpet at night set the tone – everything was like "business as usual," as expected, but the air looked different. With fiery beginners like Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby kind of coming out of the shadows and alone this year, Saturday night seemed like a changing of guards. Youth is fleeting, but the relevance in hip-hop seems to be equally inconstant, if not more.
In the short time that the Hip Hop Awards are not in Atlanta, the narrative has changed. Those who had been bubbling undeniably a year or two ago did not find their feet, at least not on this year's rug. Before the show, online personality Fatboy SSE credits the impact of social media: “You need to create this social media presence because you need this personality. You want people to know the real you. You have to tune in. Show people where you buy and buy groceries. He's right. Those who got the biggest reaction from the crowd all night are the same ones who are avid social network users.
Megan put in an entire hashtag this summer and the women, older or older, accepted and implemented it in their lives during the season. DaBaby dressed in a turtleneck and stepped with an inflatable baby in the movie while shooting sassy lyrics that would pass any rapper's test. And the two are winning – literally. Megan opened the show with “Hot Girl Summer”, riding on top of SS Hot Girl and moments later, DaBaby took the stage, joining her for “Cash Shit” – one in three times when he took the stage as a performer. for the night . She later won an award for Best Mixtape. DaBaby earned Best New Artist.
"I really just need to make some quotes, really," one journalist was heard saying on the carpet. "But I don't think Megan or Baby are publishing." They were right. Megan was not caught on the carpet, but Charlotte MC did a quick search, stopping once or twice to join her protected Stunna 4 Vegas in front of two cameras.
Regardless of the times, the level of respect for those who came before was still present on Saturday. Saweetie brought "My Type" to life on stage and invited Lil 'Jon and Petey Pablo to come and hold the bow with "Freek-A-Leek". Rapsody offered a thoughtful performance of "Nina" and "Serena" before a live band and vocalists. Lil Baby and DaBaby dove into their collaborative track “Baby” and the former sincerely showed love for some of his city's rap pioneers in flickering overloads – from Ludacris to Jermaine Dupri. But the image of the late Atlanta Bankroll Fresh impressed. It did not blink. It was posted on the biggest screen at the forefront of the stage, with images of A-Town staples running around it.
Rick Ross was tasked with presenting the coveted I Am Hip Hop Award to Lil Kim this year – they both have a song together on their new LP 9. "We really started talking two years ago," he told Billboard. “We started thinking about ideas and Kim is one of those people who has a lot of stacked music … So when people say, 'I hear you got a song with Kim', I'm always like ' ;Which one? & # 39; ”
Even Rozay's set on Saturday night served as a reminder that those who came before, setting real standards, should be respected. With panoramic views of Miami at night running through its backdrops, Ross led the audience to his nearly flawless catalog of falls. T-Pain came in from the left stage to assist in "The Boss" and the MMG capo flowed easily through "Hustlin & # 39;" and "BMF" for "Stay Schemin & # 39;" and his most recent, "Big Time". Ross had his crowd on his feet for most of his performance, as if his entire set list had been released last week.
After friends like Mary J. Blige and Missy Elliott offered kind words on the screen. Lil 'Kim accepted the I Am Hip Hop Award, the crown jewel of the night, dedicating it to her daughter Royal Reign, who was present. She then followed the story of a conversation she had with her godmother a few years earlier.
"I used to be a little tense," Kim began, "because BET never gives me a prize." Some audience members stirred the pot audibly. Tension has increased at the Atlanta Galleria. "Uh oh," a bystander murmured nearby. "My godmother said these awards weren't big enough for me and that BET would give me the right award at the right time."
"When people call you" mother "and" queen "…", she said, pointing to the crowd, clapping affirmatively now: "This prize here is not regular."
She turned into a bright hooded jumpsuit and Lil 'Kim, bigger than life, reappeared to make a mix of her best hits and featured verses. The crowd jumped to “Lighters Up”, “Quiet Storm” and Junior Mafia joined Queen Bee for “Crush On You” and “Benjamins”.
Times may have changed and no one is more aware of this than those who have more than a decade in the industry, but the promising ones know what to do and to whom they can thank for laying the groundwork. Accepting the award for Best Revealing Artist, DaBaby held his mother by his side and solemnly declared, “It's not a blessing to share this stage and this building with so many legends.” The future of hip hop is well in hand