HOLLYWOOD—Nights biggest night for the ‘culture’ transpired during the 2022 BET Awards held live in Los Angeles. The ceremony which celebrated 20 years this year kicked off with a performance by Lizzo bursting out her latest hit giving off a 70s vibe if I’m being honest. The ceremony was hosted by Oscar-nominee Taraji P. Henson and it was a night of Black excellence that was entertaining America. Diddy received the Lifetime Achievement Award and it was a moment seeing icons that have NOT been on the stage for years giving an iconic musician and entrepreneur his accolades people.
Henson kicked off the show discussing hot topics in America right now including gas prices, and celebrating all things Black people, a woman’s right to choose, and addressing the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. She noted that guns have more power than a woman who gives birth. She paid accolades to singer Rihanna and had a bit of an awkward moment with the teleprompter people. The first award of the night for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist went to Jazmin Sullivan, but not before Janelle Monae made it clear on her stance regarding the U.S. Supreme Court. Bold, but we all have opinions even if you don’t like it. Sullivan has an incredible voice and it’s nice to see her back in the foray people. Jack Harlow took to the stage to rap a few hits and I must say the guy has a flow people. It was a moment to see Brandy take the stage to perform with Harlow. It was absolutely unexpected and the audience was on their feet including Ray J who was in the audience cheering his big sister on. I was also fun seeing rapper Lil Wayne people.
Best New Artist went to Latto, who was quite emotional accepting the prize and was quite gracious on the stage. Kirk Franklin hit the stage, as well as Gogo Morrow. The BET Award for Best Collaboration went to Wizkid feat. Justin Bieber and Tems “Essence.” That song is a major hit people, major hit. The Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award went to Kirk Franklin (no surprise) people.
Alright now, that performance by Muni Long was unique and one of a kind people. Chicago native Chance the Rapper rocked the stage with an inspirational hit. The BET Her Award went to Mary J. Blige for “Good Morning Gorgeous.” Ella Mai hit the stage singing a new hit from her sophomore album with an assist from music icon Babyface. Best International Act was a victory to Tems. The prize for Best Male R&B/Hip-Hop Artist was a win for The Weeknd who was not in attendance to accept his prize people. Latto who won the BET Award for Best New Artist earlier in the ceremony took to the stage to energize the audience. Megan Thee Stallion won Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, while Kendrick Lamar won Best Male Hip-Hop Artist.
Talk about a moment to see diva Mariah Carey take the stage and prove why she is the sensation that she is alongside Latto. The audience was stunned with Mimi’s arrival. I did not expect that, yeah, the BET Awards are delivering in 2022 people. The ladies of “Sistas” delivered a laugh to the audience with Mignon calling out Michael B. Jordan before presenting the BET prize for Youngstars Award to Marsai Martin. Billy Porter hit the stage and delivered a performance celebrating Pride Month.
At last people, the Lifetime Achievement Award accolade for music mogul Diddy, that was introduced by rapper Jay-Z. However, that was just the beginning as Jodeci took to the stage to perform their hit “Come & Talk To Me.” Then we had Mary J. Blige belt out her iconic hit “I’m Goin’ Down” and she sounded just as great in 2022 as she did in 1994.
Jadakiss hit the stage, soon followed by Shyne people (who has been absent from the music seen for years). This is indeed a moment people and I love every moment of it and we got that hit “All About the Benjamins” that was a club banger back in the 90s people and when Lil Kim hit the stage the audience went crazy. One of my favorite hits of all time “I Need a Girl Part II,” had me riled up with a slight tease before Busta Rhymes hit the stage, as Diddy performed his newest hit that has not grown on me just yet people. Of course that iconic “I’ll Be Missing You” that was in tribute to Kim Porter and the iconic Notorious B.I.G. and he was later joined on stage by Faith Evans.
Some great musical hits that I will admit I wish we got to hear much longer people. Babyface returned to the stage to present Diddy with the prize. I’m trying to figure out who is this masked individual taking the stage, oh, it was Kanye West people! The crowd was boisterous with his appearance on the stage people. West was quite emotional recounting his admiration for Sean Combs who has gone by so many various names in his career I have forgotten so much. There were a few more performers for the night before the ceremony capped off with Bruno Mars and Silk Sonic winning the BET Award for “Album of the Year.”
I will admit the ceremony clocking in at almost 4 hours was a bit long for my liking, but when it slowed down about 2 hours into the show, the producers found a way to keep things moving. The 2022 BET Awards were one of the more entertaining ceremonies I have seen in recent years.