By Ayo Onikoyi
The 2019 BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” brought together the hottest names in hip-hop to the biggest weekend in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, 5 October 2019 for its annual taping. Comedian and Rapper Lil Duval hosted this year’s awards from The Cobb Energy Centre.
The BET “Hip Hop Awards” were internationally simulcast live on BET Africa (DStv channel 129) and will broadcast tonight in primetime at 18:00 WAT.
This year, BET International launched a new category, “Best International Flow,” for the 2019 BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” 2019, to honour artists from around the world. Ghanaian superstar Sarkodie took home top honours as the recipient of the inaugural award. For this category, Sarkodie was nominated alongside Nigerian artist Falz, South Africa’s Nasty C, UK’s Ghetts and Little Simz, French artist Kalash and Canada’s Tory Lanez.
Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, BET International and Viacom International Media Networks Africa said; “On behalf of BET International, we couldn’t be more proud of Sarkodie for making history as the winner of our first-ever “Best International Flow” honour. Now more than ever, music from around the world is gaining popularity in mainstream culture, and by launching this category we’re honoured to give talented artists like Sarkodie a platform to achieve global success.”
Furthermore, J.Cole snagged three wins for ‘Lyricist of the Year,’ ‘Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse’ for his verse on 21 Savage’s “A Lot,” and ‘Impact Track’ for his single “Middle Child.” Cardi B took home two wins for ‘Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style)’ and the visuals for “Money” took home ‘Best Hip-Hop Video.’ Travis Scott took home his first win in the ‘Video Director of the Year’ and ‘Album of the Year’ categories. Newcomer Lil Nas X also takes two wins for ‘Single of the Year’ and ‘Best Collabo, Duo or Group’ for “Old Town Road.”
The “Houston Hottie” Megan Thee Stallion, kicked off the night live from the boat performing a medley of “Hot Girl Summer” featuring Juicy J, and “Cash **it” featuring the night’s “Best New Hip-Hop Artist” winner, DaBaby; before taking home two wins of her own for ‘Hot Ticket Performer’ and ‘Best Mixtape.’
Continuing to be the hottest night in hip-hop, performances included Saweetie performing “My Type,” and bringing out surprise guest Petey Pablo and Lil Jon who performed “Freek-A-Leek” and “Get Low.” Rick Ross hit the stage performing a medley that include a special appearance by T-Pain. DaBaby performed “Intro” from his debut album Kirk before bringing out Offset for “Babysitter;” later he joined Lil Baby for a performance of “Baby.” Chance The Rapper, did a powerful performance of “Sun Come Down.” Rapsody, put on for the queens with an inspiring performance of “Nina” and “Serena.” YBN Cordae got the crowd woke along with Anderson .Paak performing “RNP.”
The much anticipated cyphers were hosted by DJ Hed and featured a bevy of emcees dropping hot sixteen including Kash Doll, Iman. ( aka Iman Shumpert), IDK, Bandhunta Izzy, Jazz Anderson , King Los, Travis Thompson, Dae Jones, and 2019 BET Experience rap battle winner Young Devyn. Comedians Affion Crockett, Chico Bean, Jess Hilarious, Karlous Miller and host Lil Duval came together for the first ever comedy cypher.
Presenters for the evening included R&B superstar, Teyana Taylor, and Academy Award-nominated actor and star of “Queen & Slim,” Daniel Kaluuya, “Rap City” host Tigger, and Rick Ross.
For the first time ever, the BET “Hip Hop Awards” also included a live battle rap hosted by Ultimate Rap League founder Smack featuring noted battle rappers DNA, Geechi Gotti, T-Top, and Shotgun Suge. DNA reigned supreme and won a $25,000 cash prize.