Unless you were in Atlanta for The taping of the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards, you were waiting like the rest of the world for the show to air on Tuesday.
The show’s beginning and final performances showcased the future of hip hop — mainly to a younger generation of performers.
The Group Rae Sremounrd (Ear Drummers spelled backwards) opened the awards with their hit single “No Flex Zone.” The 20-year-old duo added skilled choreography to accompany their song.
Following that performance was the first BET Cypher, which featured rapper Wiz Khalifas label Taylor Gang. The stand-out surprise from this Cypher was a freestyle verse from hip hop legend and mogul Juicy J.
The next performance was Rich Gang, which is the trio of Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and Cash Money Records CEO Brian “Birdman” Williams. The group performed the hit single “Lifestyle,” which is one of the most popular songs of the summer.
The next cypher up was David Banner, King Los, Vic Mensa and another hip hop veteran from the group “Naughty By Nature” Treach.
David Banner did an acappella freestyle that touched on many current social issues such as slavery, the black teen Trevon Martin, drug use in hip-hop and the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO.
This was an excellent segue way into a performance by hip-hop legend Common. He was accompanied by Jay Electronica and Vince Staples.
After a positive high energy performance, they brought on stage Mike Brown’s parents followed by the hands up pose and a moment of silence that went all the way into a commercial break.
That was definitely one of the high points of the night.
Next it was time to present the annual I am Hip Hop Icon award. This year’s recipient was Dougie Fresh, who is a hip hop pioneer and is also known as the human beat box.
Fresh paid homage to God and his mother upon accepting his award.
He performed “Lodi Dodi” with Snoop Dog acappella. This segment displayed the rich history of hip-hop and shows the creativity of an MC and a beatboxer, two staples in hip hop culture.
After the Icon award presentation was a special performance by Brandy featuring legends MC Lyte, Yo-Yo and Queen Latifah performing “I Wanna Be Down” remix.
It was good to see the awards showcase four women, three of them pioneers in rap, which is mostly male-dominated field.
There were three more cyphers including one live cypher that features lesser known names in hip hop and one crown Jewel. That Jewel was Harlem New York’s battle rapper Murda Mook.
Mook is known widely as a veteran and considered one of the greatest battle rappers of all time by music mogul P. Diddy . He hands down stole the show with his delivery and raw lyrics; he even dissed Drake a few times.
The final two performances seemed to be a passing of the torch ceremony at least to me. The first of the two was the self- proclaimed King of the South T.I. performing his new single “About the Money” featuring Young Thug.
The performance was very high energy and had the entire audience on its feet singing along.
It seemed fitting to have the Atlanta born rapper/actor close out the awards but that was not the case. The final performance was by 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda.
Shmurda, who is arguably one of the most popular new artists on and off the radio, kept the crowd on their feet as he performed his single “Hot N***a.” This song peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 according to Revolt TV.
He also has a dance called the “Shmoney Dance” that is heavily displayed in his performance and can be seen emulated by the members in the audience. Catch his whole performance in the link below:
The torch has been passed and it’s now in the hands of a 20-year-old kid from Brooklyn named Bobby.