REVIEW: 2016 BET Awards

The 2016 BET Awards took place last night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the show had some great performances, some crazy and awkward moments, and incredible tributes to the late, great Prince! It wasn't my absolute favorite BET Awards, but it was definitely cool to watch!

Check out the review below!

After a live pre-show checking out some great fashion and performances from our favorite celebs, we saw an amazing opening performance from the one and only Beyoncé as she performed her powerful track "Freedom" with Kendrick Lamar! With her incredible dancers (and eventually Kendrick), Bey sang and danced in a pool of water across stage, mirroring her performance of the track on her Formation World Tour! I was definitely thinking that it would be perfect for her to open the show, and she did it in an incredible way.

Tracee and Anthony then had their host intro, present an arrangement of 2016 hottest tracks in the style of Broadway musical Hamilton, costumes and all. We saw them perform Desiigner's "Panda," A$AP Ferg's "Cut It," The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face," Rihanna's "Sex With Me," and Yo Gotti's "Down in the DM." There was even a pop up surprise from Anthony Hamilton! It was definitely a little cheesy, but I love their chemistry as hosts regardless.

Taraji P. Henson presented the award for Best Group to Drake and Future for their collaborative album. I wouldn't consider them a group, but Terrence J present the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist to Bryson Tiller. Even though Bryson isn't traditional R&B, I really like his style! His trap soul stands out. Desiigner then hit the stage to perform his hit "Panda." I'm not a huge fan of the song, but I can admit he gives a lot of energy.. He was definitely hype...so much so BET had to cut that mic at the end! I don't know if he'll just end up being a one hit wonder, but we'll let him celebrate his moment. Deon Cole and Karrueche then presented the award for Best Actor to Michael B. Jordan, who was definitely deserving for his role in Creed!

Throughout the night, we saw incredible tributes in honor of Prince. This I HAD to see because the last show-long tribute BET did (for Michael Jackson) did NOT go well. Granted they only had three days, but it ended up being thrown together and a mess. With Prince, the network definitely redeemed itself.  Dave Chappelle popped up out of the woodworks again, as he started the show-long tribute for Prince (which was perfect for obvious reasons). The first tribute came from The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Bilal. Erykah soulfully performed "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker," and Bilal gave a rousing performance of "The Beautiful Ones," even crawling on the stage! Tori Kelly and Stevie Wonder hit the stage later, popping in their purple, singing to the late, great creative. However, it was Jennifer Hudson who stole the show! Rocking a similar hood to what Prince wore at the 2005 People's Choice Awards, Jennifer gave an emotional performance of "Purple Rain." Though she will forever be loud, she put a gospel feel on that song that left serious chills!

Another cool part of the night was the Shine The Light honorees, given to First Lieutenant Kenyatta H. Ruffin of the U.S. Air Force and Marcus Duke for their work in their communities. I personally think it would be really cool if BET did a full show like that, honoring ordinary people for their extraordinary efforts. Just a thought! We also heard from a variety of upcoming artists including Bibi Bourelly, Anderson .Paak, and sister duo Chloe and Halle (who are now signed to Beyoncé's Parkwood Entertainment!). It was always great to hear rising artists and see their growth!

Fat Joe, French Montana, and Remy Ma hit the stage, performing their song "All The Way Up," and killed it! Remy looked amazing, too! Then the cast of the upcoming New Edition story on BET (which looks like it's going to be incredible, by the way!) came out, but were interrupted by Bobby Brown himself to announce Best Actress...Taraji P. Henson! Blackish's Miles Brown then presented Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year went to Stephen Curry and Serena Williams.

With a slew of instruments around her, Alicia Keys performed her new track "In Common," which was cool until she flipped her damn keyboard over! I really like that song though, and she did a much better job performing live than she's done in the past. Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, and Birdman, who will be featured on the upcoming BET show, Music Moguls, presented the award for Best New Artist to Bryson Tiller. Again, definitely well deserved!

Regina Hall and Morris Chestnut, who star together in the upcoming movie, When the Bough Breaks, announced the winner of Video of the Year to Beyoncé for "Formation." Her mother, Miss Tina Knowles-Lawson accepted the award on her behalf, since Bey had hopped on a plane already to England to get ready for the European leg of her tour! Regina and Morris then gave us an exclusive clip of their movie. Not really an exclusive since we've already seen the trailer, but it reminded me that I must go see it! It's definitely Fatal Attraction and Obsessed-inspired with a surrogate twist, but it looks like it'll be good!

Bryson Tiller then performed his hits "Exchange" and "Don't," the cherry on top of a great night for him. The cast of Almost Christmas, Omar Epps, J.B. Smoove, Kimberly Elise, and Gabrielle Union, came out to present Best Male Hip Hop Artist to Drake. We also saw a clip of the movie, which looks like it will be funny. It's great to see so many movies coming out with black leads and casts, so I will definitely be supporting!

Jamie Foxx came to give reflections on Prince and Muhammad Ali, as we saw some of the other people we lost this year. I think that they should've played a short clip of everyone instead of just casually showing them on stage for a hot second, though. Laila Ali came out to give a beautiful tribute to her father, honoring his values and beliefs, as well as his overall growth as a person. She got a little emotional, which was to be expected, but it was really good to hear from her.

Maxwell delivered in his performance of his new song "Lake By the Ocean," as well as Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U." Then BET Chairman and CEO Debra Lee came and spoke out about the horrific tragedies due to gun violence that has happened in the past few years. It's truly unacceptable that assault weapons are available for basically whoever wants one.  She also announced that Jesse Williams would be receiving the Humanitarian Award for his incredible work in civil rights and other causes. He has used and continues to use his platform towards social change, and is so deserving! Jesse gave a POWERFUL speech towards equal rights for black people, which was, to me, the best moment of the night. For real, the show should've ended with this.

Future then came out to perform his latest song "Wicked." Honestly, I personally don't get the obsession with him, but the crowd seemed to love it. Then Janelle Monae came out to celebrate her mentor Prince with a funky performance of "Delirious," "Kiss," "Pop Life," and "I Would Die 4 U." Her soul, dance moves, and energy are absolutely incredible.  Aja Naomi King, Nate Parker, and Gabrielle Union, who star in the upcoming film, The Birth of a Nation, then presented the award for the Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel/Inspiration Award to Kirk Franklin!

Spike Lee introduced recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Samuel L. Jackson! It's moments like these that we remember the incredible impact that these various artists, actors, etc. really have had. Since the 70s, Sam's done SO MUCH, with his movies literally grossing BILLIONS of dollars. His legacy is truly solidified, and it's great to see him be honored with this award. Usher then came out to perform his track "No Limit," in a tee stating "Don't Trump America," no less, with Young Thug.

DJ Khaled and a BET contest winner announced the winner of the Viewers Choice Award went to Beyoncé for "Formation!" Sheila E then came out to close the show with an epic tribute to Prince, who she performed with and learned from the talented creator.

Overall, it was a good show. Bey's performance, the Prince tributes and Jesse's speech were hands down the best moments of the night...truly unforgettable. Though I LOVE them, I wasn't so impressed by Anthony and Tracee's antics and jokes as hosts, honestly. They make a good team, but the transitions were definitely a bit corny. I didn't like most of the speeches BET writers developed for the presenters either. A lot of times, it was cheesy and awkward to watch as the presenters read to present the nominees. I wouldn't say it was totally LIT as BET kept advertising, but it was a cool show.

What did you think of the 2016 BET Awards?

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