[RECAP] 2017 BET Awards : New Edition & Xscape Blows Us Away With Their Stellar Reunion Performances + Highlights
The 2017 BET Awards was another one for the books. From an electrifying opening set by Bruno Mars to New Edition and the full cast of The New Edition Story and Xscape captivating the audience with a trip down memory lane, the night was filled with moments worthwhile. Check out our 2017 BET Awards recap…
Hosted by comedienne Leslie Jones, Bruno Mars funked things up a bit, leading the four-hour show with a powerhouse performance of his hit song, “PERM”. The well over three-minute song comes from his 24K Magic album, which was released October of last year. With Mars and the rest of his dance crew, lighting up the stage with a stellar dance routine, wearing ‘Hooligan’ jerseys, the energetic atmosphere had the crowd going wild.
It didn’t help that the first award given out was to one of the most popular trios of today’s generation, Migos. The Georgia-based music group took home their very first BET award for ‘Best Group’, presented by Logan Browning and All Eyez On Me actor, Demetrius Shipp Jr. They also won ‘Best Collaboration’ for “Bad and Boujee”, featuring Lil Uzi Vert.
As the ceremony progressed, host Leslie Jones kept us highly entertained with her erratic sense of humor, while we awaited the forthcoming star-studded acts of the night. Subsequently, French Montana graced the stage to perform “Unforgettable”, featuring Hip-Hop duo Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee. The African-themed performance was definitely a festive one to remember, offering an on-site experience of the African culture with tribal dancers of all ages.
The #BlackBoyJoy and #BlackGirlMagic shined brightly throughout the whole event. Laz Alonso, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, and Algee Smith–from the upcoming DETROIT film, proved just that when they hopped on the mic to announce the Centric Award presented by Burlington nominees. The guys took a moment to honor our fellow Black people who have lost their lives due to police brutality and injustice, such as Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, and Trayvon Martin. Solange was granted with the award, shortly thereafter, and gave a heartwarming acceptance speech.
“I wanna thank the universe for allowing this moment right here and my wonderful family and friends who have uplifted me.” She expressed. The 31-year-old then went on to thank her current husband, Alan Ferguson, and her 12-year-old son, Daniel Julez Smith Jr., whom she shares with her ex-husband, Daniel Smith.
Unfortunately, Solange did not perform. However, we were grateful to see a lot of other talents who are rising or have risen to the caliber of those who hold a similar musical influence on the music industry to date. Migos and Post Malone broke out with ski outfits and wintery backgrounds, performing “Congratulations” and “T-Shirt”. To follow, Trey Songz and Chris Brown got the ladies going, each bringing their own sex appeal and smooth moves. Trigga with “Nobody Else But You” and “Animal”, and Breezy taking things up a notch with a dope choreo to “Privacy”, later starting a “Party” as he brought out Gucci Mane for the win.
Though Chris Brown was enjoyable, we would agree that this wasn’t Trey Songz’s strongest performance. He didn’t seem as connected with the audience, and the direction of the music seemed all over the place. But, he still managed to pull through, which is something that we were glad about.
We were also glad when we saw Chance The Rapper walking up onstage to receive one of his well-deserved awards, an award for ‘Best New Artist’. There is no doubt that it had to be an honor for him to be presented the award by music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, himself.
This, too, happened to be Chance’s first BET Award–along with Bruno Mars who won ‘Best Male R&B/Pop Artist’ Award. Chance was completely in awe, not that he shouldn’t have been. However, his remarkable speech didn’t come until later in the show, when he was honored with the ‘Humanitarian Award’. The win made Chance the youngest recipient, ever, to receive the award. He was also granted with a special video message from Michelle Obama, telling him just how proud of him she really is. Fighting back the tears, Chance rushed to the stage. I think that was a happy moment for, not only him, but his fans, too, and everyone who has been supporting him. It’s beautiful to see how, at such a young age–twenty-four, to be exact, he is already doing big things.
“To be receiving something like this, at my age, it feels good as hell. It feels a little early to get something like this, but my God doesn’t make mistakes,” he said with much joy. “I like to think he’s putting enormous pressure on me to see how I react.”
He then called out the government, taking an aim at the justice system and the legalization of weed.
“I had plans, originally, to try and tell the world, and everybody watching, how they can make it a better place. To tell everybody in this government that y’all need to let everybody out of jail for selling weed before y’all start making it legal for people to sell and make capital off it,” he admitted. “I was going to tell the Chicago Public School system not to take out a loan from Chase Bank when they know that our schools are planning on failing in our district. I was going to tell those judges that we just need a conviction when you know these niggas is wrong for doing this.”
Congratulations to Chance The Rapper on another well-deserved one.
Mary J. Blige and Big Sean came on after Chance accepted his ‘Best New Artist’ win. If you listen closely, you’ll hear, at the beginning of “Set Me Free”, Blige throwing shots at her soon-to-be ex-husband, Kendu Isaacs, for spending their money on his new girlfriend. Sean, on the other hand, stunned the onlookers with his infamous songs “Sacrifices”, “Moves”, and “Bounce Back”, from his album, I Decided.
To follow suit of the celebration of our younger generation, Yara Shahidi retrieved a trophy for the ‘YoungStars Award’. Shahidi is only seventeen years old and is already becoming a famed actress and spokesperson. It warms my heart to see her getting the recognition that she deserves. She received a standing ovation. That was definitely one of the highlights of the night and a great way to set the table for what was about to
come…A LIVE XSCAPE REUNION!
Since it was announced that Xscape had officially gotten back together, we all anticipated seeing the ladies harmonize as one again. The ladies delivered a medley of three of their classic hits, kicking it off with “Understanding”, then leading into “Who Can I Run To”, and “Just Kickin’ It”. Here’s what Twitter had to say about it:
Xscape gon sell out everywhere for the rest of this year
— lil duval (@lilduval) June 26, 2017
— AngeliqueBoz Designs (@Im2Fab4Cancer) June 26, 2017
Xscape caught everyone off guard because we not use to people knowing how to sing
— King licorice (@Licoriceeking) June 26, 2017
Xscape sounds fucking amazing up there.
— Caine In Menace (@TrillestAC) June 26, 2017
XSCAPE BETTA YALL FUCKIN BETTA #BETAwards
— ㅤㅤ (@naytrendz) June 26, 2017
As you can see, Xscape uniting was another highlight of the show that is still being talked about all over social media. I think we can all agree that we’re waiting on those tour dates, right? Right.
Future, Kendrick Lamar, Tamar Braxton, and Maxwell were amongst the next performers before the six fellas of New Edition were given their prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. Each member–Ralph, Ricky, Ronny, Bobby, Mike, and Johnny, received a trophy, including their longtime friend, manager, and choreographer Brooke Payne.
The older and younger cast of The New Edition Story paid a show-stopping tribute to New Edition, putting on an outstanding performance. Doing group and solo renditions of “Candy Girl”, “Sensitivity”, My My My”, “Prerogative”, and “Poison”, Algee Smith, Luke James, Bryshere Gray, Elijah Kelley, Woody McClain, Keith Powers, Dante Hoagland, Caleb McLaughlin, Myles Truitt, Tyler Marcel Williams, and Jahi Di’Allo Winston amazed everyone with how paralleled their performances were to the original group. Once again, they played no games–moves, voices, looks–everything was on point.
And, as if we weren’t already speechless, New Edition set the bar when they appeared, all holding mics, casting a full-blown NE-style concert upon us. They did three of their most acclaimed songs, “Mr. Telephone Man”–where Bobby led before exiting, “Can You Stand The Rain”, and “If It Isn’t Love”. We’d say that the most favorable part of the segment was when the cast members joined the originals on stage, bringing the performance to a close.
In the efforts of wrapping a wonderful and fun-filled evening up, Lil Kim and Havoc (Mobb Deep) also paid a tribute to Mobb Deep member Prodigy’s passing prior to giving Kendrick Lamar the ‘Best Male Hip-Hop Artist’ award. SZA and DJ Khaled with Quavo (Migos), Lil Wayne, and Chance The Rapper were the last two acts of the event.
Amidst those festivities, Beyoncé won the ‘Coca-Cola Viewers Choice Award’ for “Sorry”. Though she couldn’t be present, she made her spirit known, sending a heartfelt note by her protéges, Chloe x Halle.
However, Remy Ma seemed to have stolen the ending of the show when she accepted her award for ‘Best Female Hip-Hop Artist’, ending Nicki Minaj’s seven-year winning streak of the award. The “Shether” rapper has been through a lot, taking several downfalls throughout her career and personal life, but, somehow, she has found her way to rise again. For that, you can’t do anything but give a round of applause.
“I wanna thank God first and foremost,” said Ma, who also named two correctional facilities in her speech and thanked her mentor, Fat Joe, and husband, Papoose. “You can make mistakes and come back.”
Closing out her speech, she threw a couple more shots, and it’s quite obvious about who they’re thrown at. Ma is back to claim the throne, and she’s made it clear that she’s taking the crown home, too.
“Y’all b*tches got fat while we starved. Shots in your ass, pads in your bras. Y’all some liars; it ain’t no facts in your songs. And, yeah, that crown is coming back to the Bronx.” She rapped during the speech. The lyrics stem from her song with Fat Joe, called “Spaghetti”, which is featured on their Plata O Plomo album.
Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2017 BET Awards! See the winners here.
From 1-10, what would you rate this year’s BET Awards? Let us know in the comments!
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