The 2014 BET Awards aired this past Sunday (6.29) and I’ve been waiting to give my take on the show for this edition of This Week In Music. Now I did NOT watch the entire show and I kept up with what was going on via Instagram but we will get into the winners that I chose in a previous post and my take on the performances. My initial post pre-BET awards were My Picks. To make it easier and to save from typing, I compared my pick to the actual winner. I didn’t do too shabby:
Most of the winners were obvious. I’m not surprised Best New Artist went to August Alsina. ‘Blurred Lines’ is a bit of a old collab by now as it was hot last summer and we all know the BeyHive wins everything so, I’m not surprised ‘Dunk In Love’ won. As for Best Male Hip Hop, I would’ve like for Kendrick to win, but Drake is Drake. Again it all comes down to a popularity contest. Nicki Minaj won Best Female Hip Hop for the 5th year in a row. Again, there is NO competition. She got up there and threw shade, supposedly not at Iggy. I talked all about that in a previous post. For the rest of the winners, click here.
Now to jump around for performances that I ACTUALLLY liked (in no particular order):
VIRGINIA STAND UP! Man if this was not a perfect opener. Missy has not hit the stage on BET in what seems like FOREVER. Pharrell started the set with ‘Come Get It Bae’ before turning up with ‘Pass That Dutch.’ Insert #TheEmpress #VirginiasOwn. Man I wish she would’ve just done a medley. VA has taken over, yet again. It then segues back into ‘Come Get It Bae’ which as nice being that the styles are similar. Two UP, Two DOWN!
Weezy took the stage to perform ‘Krazy’ and ‘Believe Me’. NOT a fan of ‘Krazy’ at all, but I can get with ‘Believe Me’. I’m not sure why oversized plaid is such a trend. I will say that the ‘Krazy’ beat sounded way better live. Wayne has become such a rap star. His entire set was made by the live music. And aw, shout out to his daughter Reginae the end!
Lil Wayne began Chris Brown’s set with his verse on ‘Loyal’. Then came Chris Brown in his plaid attire singing yet looking winded at the same time. Insert Tyga dripped in red and gold with of course a plaid shirt tied around his waist. The ending was the best part of the whole set with his impromptu choreo and TRAVIS BARKER coming out and SLAYING the drums as always. Decent performance, that ending was ON POINT!
John Legend started out with his new single ‘You and I’ and then brought out Jhene Aiko to perform a duet of her smash ‘The Worst’. Her voice sounds great live and her attire is always so simple. I love how John Legend didn’t overpower her vocals and just served as backup. His strength and her angelic voice was just an amazing pair.
Nick MInaj performed her track ‘Pills n Potions’ which I’m still not a fan of. I talked about her speech in a recent post, but in essence it really wasn’t that bad even though some shots were fired. I wish she would’ve done more of ‘Chiraq’ cause that beat goes HARD! That guy singing before she came out and the ballet dancer were a nice touch. I understand the message of the song, but the artistry I’m a little lost with. That bunny still gets me. It wasn’t my favorite of the night.
They call me U-S-H-E-R-R-A-Y-M-O-N-D! Usher came out with this thing on his head, which he could’ve done without, and performed a medley including: snippets of ‘Nice and Slow’, ‘Love In This Club’, ‘Yeah’, ‘Confessions (Intro)’, ‘Confessions’, ‘Do It To Me’ [snippet]. He then hung his hat up, thankfully, and went back into his medley: ‘You Remind Me’, ‘U Don’t Have To Call’, ‘Caught Up’, and lastly ‘Good Kisser’. Out comes Usher playing the drums and removing the jacket. AWESOME performance and it just reminded me why I’m a fan of his music in the first place. I know he likes to experiment musically, but there’s nothing like a REAL Usher track.
Man oh man, my R&B dreams have come true. So glad the beef between August and Trey is over or this performance would not have happened. Each man did perform separately. August came out first performing, ‘Kissin On My Tattoos’. He has a great voice, but his outfit choice, no sir. He then went into ‘I Luv This’. The emphasis on that guitar gave the song so much more. You know an artist can sing when you can rock to the live version and hear their voices. Trey Songz comes down this elevator thingy fully clothed only to get naked. Inset Breezy coming down the isle doing his verse. Another outfit choice I’m not a fan of nor am I a fan of that hair on his head. Vocally the three of them KILLED IT! They’re great eye candy as well. Insert the Trigga promo. Trey goes into performing ‘Na Na’ with the ladies in the back getting their semi-workout on. Surprisingly the shirt did NOT come off! Great eight and a half minutes of R&B.
Jennifer Hudson performed ‘Walk It Out’ and debuted her R. Kelly collab, ‘It’s Your World’. She walked through the isles to perform ‘Walk It Out’ (pun intended) and by the time she got to the stage she broke into her new song. I would’ve like to hear ‘Walk It Out’ a bit longer and the transition wasn’t all that great as it was rushed. ‘It’s Your World’ is more of a disco theme, very Donna Summer(esque). There’s no denying J. Hud’s vocal ability and her rifts. The guy up there near the end was, eh. Hudson did look great though with the short cut and leather ensemble with a red lip. Again, THOSE vocals! If only R. Kelly would’ve come out. Those skaters at the end, not really needed.
The R&B Throwback with Troop & Silk was a nice filler and YES to the voices still being there. The Lionel Richie, Lifetime Achievement Award tribute was nice, but it did NOT compare to that of Charlie Wilson’s from last year. The vibe was way more mellow with this one. John Legend performed ‘Hello’ and ‘Still’ then Ledisi came and performed ‘Brick House’; her outfit was super cute. Yolanda Adams then ended the tribute set with her amazing rendition of ‘Jesus Is Love’. Lionel Richie then performed. Nice set overall.
Lastly for the T.I. / Iggy Azalea performance; it was a bit mediocre as it didn’t seem organic. T.I. came out with women dancing around him before Iggy came out on a less than stellar chair. She could’ve had a better entrance than that. I understand why the performance could’ve gotten a lot of flack, but her audio backing was louder than her actual voice on stage. I know she’s on her tour, , but people coming out are used to her music yet why would they pay for the tickets. She just seemed a bit uncomfortable and not sure of herself. I mean it’s hard when you have a bunch of Hip Hop heads sitting in the audience watching her every move. Nicki was doing the MOST in the audience and I’m unsure of what Lil Wayne, Tyga, and his right hand man Trell were laughing at. Let’s be real, probably laughing at her. The performance wasn’t horrible, it just wasn’t Iggy’s element. Also her foot injury would add to her energy not being all the way there.
R&B may not be really big on the radio waves, but R&B STOLE this years BET Awards which is always amazing.
PAUSE! How could I end a review without talking about that
bullshit Beyoncé/Jay Z performance BET was trying to shop like it was live. It’s clear they’re not performing at the BET Awards and unlike when she performed ‘End of Time’ this was NOT a live stream. I think it was deceiving and something that could’ve been caught on YouTube. I didn’t expect them to be there nor did I expect a performance, but BET is NOT slick for trying to pull that one off. Cute set from the tour, just wasn’t cool to play it off like it was a live stream.
My favorite performances —
- Pharrell / Missy Elliot
- August Alsina | Trey Songz | Chris Brown
- Jhene Aiko set
Until next year…