I can imagine Prince may be doing something like this:
- Beyonce opened the show, stomping in water, wearing her bathing suit – I mean, leotard. Kendrick Lamar joined her. They performed “Freedom.” All I could picture is some young girl in the audience being pissed because a few drops splashed in her direction, onto her $500 weave. That’s not my idea of an opening to hype up the crowd, but what do I know?
- Tracee Ellis Ross & Anthony Anderson hosted the show again. I love them together. In their intro, they performed today’s hits, Hamilton style. I was all the way present for it.
- Desiigner hopped all around the damn arena like a wild panda (Do they hop sometimes?) while he performed “Panda.” He’s super happy to have broads in Atlanta apparently.
- Dave Chappelle came out to pay tribute to Prince. He introduced Erykah Badu & Bilal, who performed Ballad of Dorothy Parker & The Beautiful Ones. Bilal gave us Prince, baby, from the falsetto to the heels to the sleeveless blouse to writhing on the stage. The only other thing he needed to do was take those braids out and get a silk press.
- Spike Lee was in the audience looking like Willy Wonka or somebody str
aight outta Alice in Wonderland.
- Big disappointment: French Montana, Fat Joe, & Remy Ma performed “All the Way Up” and they didn’t bring Jay-Z out for his verse.
- The cast of the New Edition movie came out to present an award. Bobby Brown came out, too… in a white and black getup that was er.. uh… interesting ’round ’bout the pelvis area. In addition to the serpent (in his pants), he brought two of his sons, out, too, because there’s so much room at the mic.
- Birdman had a Lil’ Wayne body double with him.
- Bryson Tiller was steady winning awards, saying a sentence, and speed-walking offstage. He sounded good when he performed, but his music is still just okay overall to me. Maybe I just want real R&B back.
- Stevie tried to redeem himself after the Billboard Awards Prince tribute with Madonna. This time, he sang with Tori Kelly. Nope again.
- Y’all may try to snatch my Black card, but I wasn’t thrilled when they said Stevie was performing. He doesn’t have to be a part of every tribute. His voice isn’t right for every artist’s songs. And then Jennifer Hudson sang “Purple Rain.” I love J-Hud’s powerful voice. God knows I do. But I’ll be damned if I let her scream “Purple Rain” at me. Every song isn’t meant to be sung like that. It was churchy for no reason. Save it for Celebration of Gospel. I shouldn’t feel like it’s time for altar call after grooving to “Purple Rain.” Many loved it. Not I. That hooded getup she was wearing was fire, though!
- Alicia Keys performed new music. She had this whole setup like she was about to kill it, but… I liked the song, but she had this weird “Yeah, I’m back, bishes” moment where she paused and smirked at the crowd. I felt like there was awkward silence. Then there was applause. All I wanted to know is if the show was a celebration of Prince, why didn’t she sing “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?”
- MAXWELL!!!! DAMNIT! That man sang “Nothing Compares 2 U.” He SANG that thang. Hear? At that moment, I was in my feelings. Like, I folded into myself and rocked in the fetal position, humming along on occasion. Thank you, Maxwell.
- Fantasia was up on that stage reading the teleprompter like a champ!!! There is no shade in that statement whatsoever. I found myself smiling with pride as I remembered it wasn’t long ago that she could not read. Won’t He do it? I bet she’s daring y’all to talk slick about her being illiterate like:
- Laylah Ali spoke about her father.
- Jesse Williams! I was not prepared. I’ve read his tweets. I’ve seen clips of his activism. But I have not had the pleasure of hearing his eloquent, electrifying, and inspiring words. He spoke nothing but the truth. I can’t recap it. If you don’t watch this show for any other reason, you must hear what this man had to say about Black lives, about our value, our worth. Jesse Williams for president. I’m moved to silence.
- Janelle Monae had the honors of doing the major Prince tribute. I think she did pretty well! While performing her medley, she humped the mic stand & revealed the booty-out pants. I was all, “YESSSS!!! Somebody finally did it! Somebody wore the booty-out pants!”
- But then Anthony Anderson showed us his version, too, and I cried laughing.
- Usher performed his newest single, and I’m convinced he’s going through a midlife crisis.
- Sheila E closed the show with a lil’ Prince action. Jerome from The Time even joined her! She was on fire. I got nervous when she got a running start and slid across the stage, though. I hope somebody was backstage with some Biofreeze or somethin’ for her hip. Oh, and guess who was standing behind her at the end of her performance. Mayte, Prince’s ex-wife. It was precious.
Overall, BET brought it. There were some misses, but there were also some hits. I appreciated that I knew most of the artists who performed unlike some other years. I’ll be ready for next year, and I’ll speak life and say I’ll actually be in the building next year!