5 Questions Raised By The BET Hip Hop Awards


We haven’t dealt much with the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards outside of the cyphers this year, but I can’t act like it didn’t happen. This year’s show was, performance wise, one of the worst. However, from a production standpoint and things of that nature, it was one of the best shows they’ve had. It did however, leave some questions burning in my mind.

1. Is Joe Buddens THAT good?
I’ve heard some Buddens stuff, I’m not going to act like I am well versed on that dude. However, I don’t remember a time that I was like THIS DUDE IS A PROBLEM. After his flow on the first cypher, I was left scrambling to get re-acclimated. He perked my ears with the Slaughterhouse album, but it still didn’t send me searching for his music. But now, the combination of the album and the cypher, I need to go back to ground zero and research dude, because clearly, there is more to him than I thought.

2. Has Nicki Minaj FINALLY found her formula for success?
Minaj gets more than her fair share of hatred and doubt. Those two attacks are pretty standard uniform for female emcees in the game. I’ve always liked her on the mic and that was BEFORE I saw what she looked like. The net seems to be hell bent with proving she’s got fake body and Weezy writes her rhymes but lets be completely honest here. Number one, sex sells. It has sold since there was a way to put a price on it. If you are in the entertainment biz, and you are female, chance are, you are going to go under the knife at some point or at least add some tracks, nails, or something man-made to your structure. Lets not crucify her for what may or may not have happened to her, but routinely happens in the business. Secondly, ghostwriting or flat out writing for someone else is regular in music. I understand that Hip-Hop puts paramount importance on authenticity, but at the same time, its music is a form of entertainment. When we get around those two formalities, her new animated delivery and flow along with the void in the game, may have finally put her in prime position to make her mark. I’ve often found myself on an island when I speak highly of Minaj, but even those that didn’t care for her too much saw the light after her cypher and recent verse on the remix of “5 Star Chick”. Hopefully, folks will pay attention to her “Killin’ these bitches, Mike Vickin’ it up.”

3. When is BET going to really bring back RapCity or at LEAST do a show called The Booth?
Cypher 3 featured Mos Def, Black Thought, and Eminem spitting some of the most “oh shit” worthy flows ever done on BET. With everyone being able to write down lyrics and drop an album on iTunes, we rarely get to see this side of the game from experienced emcees anymore. You may get some hotlines from them when they show up to the radio station, but rarely do you get emcees of this caliber on at one time, doing what they love. BET, you can reach me at [email protected] if you want to work on this idea. I’m just saying…

4. What about graffiti?
There are four or five elements of Hip-Hop, depending on who you ask. However, no matter WHO you ask, they will both name graffiti as part of it. It clearly has transitioned to a legitimate art-form to the masses, but it has also seemingly been neglected and ignored by what we know as the Hip-Hop culture. I’ve seen more cars, jewelry, and basket ball hoops in music videos than I’ve seen actual tagging being done. Again, BET, you can reach me at [email protected] if you want to work on THIS idea. I’m just saying…

5.What happened to the Emceeing part of Hip Hop?
Disclaimer: Little Brother nor the Justus League do not pay nappyafro.com for our support or anything similar to that kind of agreement. Now that that’s out of the way, have any of you seen Little Brother in concert? If not, YouTube them, they are a recent example of stage presence and what being an emcee is about. They are clearly cut from the same cloth as Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, LL Cool J, Run DMC and other emcees that understand how rocking/moving the crowd is not just a hot lyric. The ability to put on a show doesn’t come with the signing bonus. The amount of underwear, crotch grabbing, pacing, etc. were at an all time high during this show while ability to perform was absent. I don’t know that I’ve been as unmoved or uninspired as I was with the collection of stage performances that happened at this show. I could go onto a number 6 being about having some excitable fans around the stage, but I think if the show is up to par, then the audience will show it, no matter how motionless they are.

So those are my questions, what are yours?