Soraya Nadia McDonald, THE WASHINGTON POST
LOS ANGELES (The Washington Post) — You could argue that the BET Awards are political by their very existence, as they serve to honor artists whose work may otherwise go under-appreciated or unrecognized by mainstream organizations.
Naming Kendrick Lamar, the man who lost the Grammy for best rap album to Macklemore, this year’s best male hip-hop artist was not just reaffirming of a sentiment that even Macklemore claimed to have held — that Lamar should have beaten him — but an exercise in self-love that the BET Awards have come to stand for.
For black talent that gets overlooked at the American Music Awards or the Grammys or the Billboard Awards, the BET Awards, flawed though they may be (BET chief executive Debra Lee seems to have made keeping Chris Brown’s career afloat her own personal pet cause), offer recognition and validation.
But this year, the tenor of awards were even more political than usual, thanks to the recent events in Charleston, S.C. and marches across the country protesting the killing of unarmed black citizens.