TJ’s DJ’s @ The BET Hip-Hop Awards

First, let me start by saying that I was particularly excited about being able to attend the 2nd Annual BET Hip-Hop Awards on October 13.テつ The ticket could not be purchased at the box office and the only way to score a seat was to know somebody who knew somebody who was selling their ticket (I heard reports from $150-3000 depending on the section).テつ Fortunately, I work at the greatest music source known to recent man and I know TJ so I had two.テつ Good lookin’ out, homie!

Seeing that it was our Director of Operations, Dior George’s birthday (one time for all of the Libras!) I gave her the extra ticket.テつ The only issue with that was she was stuck in traffic surrounding the civic center.テつ And BET’s security had the whole block on lock where you couldn’t even turn onto Piedmont, the street of the venue.テつ So, I left my friend at the red carpet on Piedmont and had to walk down a block to meet her at the bottle necked intersection of McGill and Courtland.テつ (Keep in mind that she was still in her car surrounded by other cars stuck in traffic).テつ So, I’m thinking ok, cool now I just turn back around and walk back to the venue.テつ Wrong!テつ Apparently, the ticket that I’ve been using as a pass to get through security no longer was relevant to the cops blocking the pathways.テつ I was crudely directed to walkテつdown two more blocks to Pine St then walk back up one to get back to Piedmont.テつ By the time I get to this check point I’m heated having to do all of this walking for no reason while my people are waiting for me at the red carpet on Piedmont.テつ I show the gate people my ticket and walk through make a quick right to walk down Piedmont to get back to my people and I hear security shouting at someone.テつ

I knew he wasn’t talking to me because I just showed my ticket, so I know I’m good.テつ I keep walking trying to catch my friend by phone to let them know I’m on my way.テつ I get halfway down the walk and I hear a boisterous voice directed just behind my shoulder, “hey, I know you hear me talking to you!” I turn around to see this broad shouldered security guard in a black suit chasing me down.テつ Apparently, I was not allowed to go down this street either.テつ

He gruffly explains that I was to go back the way I came and enter the gates of the venue.テつ But, I try to tell him, I have people waiting for me this way.テつ He states, “I don’t care you need to go this way.” So I reluctantly follow, but I stop to make a call to my people to try and establish a new rally point.テつ As I’m stopping to make the call, he says “keep going, you’re a security risk.”テつ Feeling my blood pressure begin to boil,テつI loudly reply “how in the hell am I a security risk when I helped makeテつmost of these stars?!!”テつ He apparently wasn’t thrilled at my hard work because when I posted up on the street light, he said “that’s it, now you’re exit is this way” and pointed at the barricades with the general public who weren’t going in.テつ And then I noticed the police heading my direction who weren’t interested in hearing a fair side of the exchange.テつ

By this point, Dior is at the public barricade with her ticket asking me what is the situation.テつ I give her a brief recap and tell dude, “I’m not trying to disrespect you but dawg, y’all got me going all over the city for no reason and all I wanted to do was get back to where I started.”テつ He came back with, “I don’t really care cuz at the end of the day, I’m going home.”テつ I replied, “cool, well I’m going to the BET awards and promptly walked to the venue entrance.

And that’s how I almost got kicked out of the awards before I even got in.テつ Btw, Grey Goose is a helluva drug.

Now to the award show, please allow for an absence for the first hour of the show due to the activities above.

- First, let me give respect where it’s due.テつ The BET Hip-Hop awards were a very precisely run production.テつ The show segments were fluid and you weren’t allowed to enter the auditorium unless it was during a commercial break.テつ Plus, the set with the bass bins was on point.テつ As a vet of two major award shows, I respect the gangsta.

- Lil Wayne’s performance with the fire pyrotechnics was a true indication that this man is the fireman.テつ Don’t sleep, Lil Wayne is in a great zone right nowテつand if you are a lover of hip-hop, you gotta be a fan of Wayne.テつ The best part was after his performance, when he returned to his seat Baby was giving him a hyped speech similar to when you would make a big play on the field and your teammates come to congratulate you.テつ It was a great scene!

- David Banner’s state of hip-hop speech should be rewound several times just to fully grasp the points he made.テつ And the exclamation of holding Mike Vick’s jersey high in the sky elicited a rousing applause from the audience.テつ

- In the astonishing moment of the evening, Wyclef jokingly interjected Haitian Fresh’s name as winner of the lyricist of the year.テつ I know Wyclef just signed Fresh and all, but he’sテつgot some growing to do before he’s in the same class as Wayne, Jay-Z, and Common.テつFresh should have won the award for most undercover appearances.テつ Dude was on the stage everytime Lil Wayne or Cash Money won (which was often) plus his mascot roamed the hallways (which by the way, is an excellent promotional tool-good thinking Fresh!).

- Nelly’s female drummline was cool and his set was hot, but I was left wondering where’s that Nelly swag I’ve come to appreciate from his records.

- Oooh, Bob Johnson walked up our aisle and was only a fewテつfeet away!テつ It was the first time I was this close to a billionaire.テつ I wonder if he cleans his glasses with hundred dollar bills.

- The “Wipe Me Down” car that rolled onto the set was clean.テつ Especially with the checkered girls making sure by literally, “wiping it down.”テつ Boosie gave his usuall crowd pleasingテつverse, but what happend to Webbie’s verse?

- The saddest part of the show came when “Big Things Poppin” came on with Wyclef doing a solo performance because of TI’s troubles that happened only hours before.テつ Wyclef’s stirring rendition of the national anthem by guitar was met with a lighter moment of “TI” making an appearance looking strangely like Katt Williams who did push-ups a la the “Poppin” video

- You know it’s not a hip-hop awards show without someone playing the ball under the cup version of 3 card monty in the bathroom.

- Pimp C was noticebly absent.テつ I hope he had a good reason and I hope that it had nothing with the shame of discrediting the A who has been so good to him.

- KRS-1 had a quotable in his I Am Hip-Hop Award “because of hip-hop, you can go from nothing to something using your mind.”

- Michael Eric Dyson spit a verse.テつ Which prompted a discussion with theテつpreacher from Philly who now resides in Boston who sat in the row in front of me.テつ He told me about how he was present when MED got bitched up by Suge about using Tupac’s legacy to spring board his career.テつ A point of which I was happy to hear the story of.テつ For the record, I have no problem with intellectuals speaking on the world of hip-hop, I just don’t like the leacherous types who do it for the sake of making a buck.

- Cornell West, a true hip-hop intellectual spoke well about the spirit of hip-hop.

- Playaz Circle murked the stage with Lil Wayne live on “Duffle Bag Boy” plus an added bonus of Ludacris spitting his remixed verse took it to another level.

- 2 members of the Jena 6 came through and spoke to the people.テつ Their speech is the exact reason why we should dedicate more money to our schools.

- Another shocking moment was when Kanye’s “Stronger” video won over UGK’s “International Playa.”テつ I believe everyone in the building thought UGK should have won including Kanye who tried to give the award to UGK & Outkast.テつ This noble act was well received by Big Boi who gave the award back.

- Overall, the award show was fun to watch but noticebly missing Jeezy, T-Pain, and Plies.テつ But, no matter how well you do, there’s room for improvement.テつ Kudos to the BET staff who put together a great show!

- No time for the hip-hop police who got a great kick out of arresting T.I. hours before the show to make a statement.テつテつUnderstand, I’m not advocating the breaking of laws, butテつyou don’t have to take so much joy in bringing down one of our successful bretheren.テつ In fact, I caught one cop making jokes about it.テつ No worries,テつthough whatテつyouテつwill never understand is that hip-hop was bourne from the struggle so the moreテつyou struggle against it, the stronger we become.

Keith “1st Prophet” Kennedy

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