The 2018 BET Awards made it a point to represent for the culture! As Africa and the fictional Black Panther settings, Wakanda, as the inspiration for the show, this year’s BET Awards was nothing short of amazing and was a true representation of the current state of Black America and African culture.
As Jamie Foxx as the host, Foxx made numerous references to Black Panther, including his own parody that featured his memorable In Living Color character, Wanda, parodied a news report while presenting an award, and threw in a few jokes and praises about the performers. Foxx also reminded viewers of his vocal skills in the biggest highlight of the night, when he opened up for the Anita Baker tribute, singing snippets of some of her classics "Angel" and "Giving You The Best That I Got". Marsha Ambrosia, Ledisi, and Yolanda Adams brought down the house singing more of Bakers classics, and when Anita took to the stage to accept her Lifetime Achievement Award, she used this moment to encourage the younger generation of musicians to seek a mentor, and encouraged veterans of the industry to help guide the younger generation of musicians.
Another major highlight of the night was when former BET Chairman and CEO, Debra Lee, for her major contributions to media, celebrities, and her work with BET. Presented by Tyler Perry, who has also been impacted by Lee’s work, celebrities including Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, and Smokey Robinson acknowledged Lee’s legacy and handwork to maintain the legacy of BET.
The show wouldn’t be anything without the awards and the show-stopping performances. J. Cole and Meek Mills incorporated police brutality and prison reform into their performances. Childish Gambino did an impromptu performance showing off his vocal skills with Jamie Foxx. Hip-Hop trio Migos performed “Walk It Talk It” and “Stir Fry”, while TDE crooner SiR and Miguel sang a ballad for the ladies in the audience. Nicki Minaj gave back to back performances with her performance of “Chun Li” and “Rich Sex”, the performed with 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and YG for the song “Big Bank”. H.E.R stunned the crowd with her vocals (with a special appearance from Daniel Ceasar), and Janelle Monae gave us all the #BlackGirlMagic with her performance of “Django Jane” and “I Like That”. Ella Mai had everyone grooving to her summer smash, “Boo’d Up”, and Snoop Dogg beautifully showed his transition from gangsta rap to gospel with Tye Tribbett in the finale of the show.
You can check out all the winners and highlights of the ceremony at bet.com.