From watching the broadcast, Busta Rhymes appeared to be the night's top honoree. Busta received the Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse award for his contributions to Brown's "Look At Me Now," but Busta's other stage visits were to accept a couple awards on Brown's behalf, People's Champ Award and Reese's Perfect Combo Award.
Hosted by comedian Mike Epps, who was joined by announcer Da Brat, the show included a number of performers. Young Jeezy and T.I. opened the night in a surprise tag team set. Big Sean and Roscoe Dash; Lupe Fiasco with Erykah Badu; Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mills and El DeBarge; and Wiz Khalifa also performed.
The BET Hip Hop Awards have a tradition of featuring surprise old school sets. This year, both Heavy D and DMX hit the stage to deliver hits from their catalogs.
It would have been good to have a music component to LLCool J's I Am Hip Hop tribute. But the greatest of all time MC did rap his inspirational acceptance speech. LL encouraged the audience to pursue their goals, rhyming, "Without a dream fulfilled you're life's incomplete." He also slipped in political commentary: "Millionaires crying about raising taxes on the elite."
The most compelling aspect of the night, though, was the seven-segment freestyle rhyme cypher that played before commercial breaks. Though the sessions hosted by DJ Premiere did not live up to the hype, there were some highlights from the raps from the diverse mix of more than three dozen rappers that spanned veterans Busta Rhymes, the Lady Of Rage, and Eminem; underground kings Skillz, Joe Budden, and Royce Da 5'9"; R&B singers Chris Brown and Estelle; and numerous newcomers.
Reek Da Villain scored the best cypher lyric with, "I was a snail until haters threw salt on me and I dissolved into greatness."
BETHIP HOP AWARDS WINNERS
Best Hip Hop Video
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes - "Look At Me No"
Reese's Perfect Combo Award (Best Collab)
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes - "Look At Me Now"
Best Live Performer
Lyricist Of The Year
Video Director of the Year
Producer of the Year
MVP Of The Year
Track Of The Year
"Black And Yellow" - Produced by Stargate (Wiz Khalifa)
CD Of The Year
Kanye West - "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"
DJ Of The Year
Rookie Of The Year
Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip Hop Style)
Best Hip Hop Online Site
World Star Hip Hop.com
Best Club Banger
Waka Flocka Flame - "No Hands" (Produced by Lex Luger)
J. Cole - Friday Night Lights
Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse
Busta Rhymes - "Look At Me Now" (Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes)
Hustler of the Year
Verizon People's Champ Award
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne
Photo credit: Prince Williams, Film Magic
Busta Rhymes - "Look At Me Now"
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