The 15th annual 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards gave fans an exciting evening. Megan Thee Stallion, this year’s hottest female rapper, won Hustler of the Year and Hip Hop Artist of the Year. She also shared Best Collaboration for the “Savage (Remix)” with Beyonce, which in turn earned Beyonce the Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse Award.
Roddy Ricch won Song of the Year and Album of the Year for Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial.
Pop Smoke, Drake Pick Up Awards
Best New Hop Hip Artist went to Pop Smoke, posthumously. Drake and Future picked up awards. Snoop Dogg presented Master P the I Am Hip Hop Award.
Reflecting our hybrid lives caused by COVID-19, only a few actual awards where given during the program. Most winners where announced online.
Political Activism Throughout Cypher Performances
On the performance side, the night’s highlight was Teyana Taylor, H.E.R., Erykah Badu performing with Brandy on her hit “I Wanna Be Down.” H.E.R. turned the performance political, addressing Breonna Taylor’s death. And the performance ended with Brandy rapping, “And if they say the sky is the limit, then buy a cloud. And if they can’t see us as an equal, they not allowed.” Strong.
A reggae artists Skip Marley and Bounty Killer along with up-and-comers like Koffee also confronted current issues like the pandemic and the protests, with political activism throughout their performance. “They really the threat, but that’s how they portray me…When you spit the truth, they try to view it as hate speech.”
Jack Harlow addressed protests in his hometown Louisville over Breonna Taylor’s killing. He rapped, “Last we heard, they reviewin’ the evidence / Same old song and we all know the rest of it / 2020 turned the whole country to pessimists / You ain’t said a word, what the hell do you represent?” Flawless Real Talk addressed police violence against Black people. Rapsody closed with “Martin had a dream, pop / Breonna couldn’t dream, pop,” miming gunshots on her head. “Jammin’ with an attitude, they never ever charge cops / When they aimin’ at our body, blop-blop-blop-blop-blop.”
Other performances included 2 Chainz featuring Lil Wayne, City Girls, Lil Baby, City Girls, Burna Boy and Chris Martin. And there was a tribute to Pop Smoke.
The evening kicker was Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris, who made a surprise appearance.