Busta Rhymes accepts the lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on June 25, 2023.
Busta Rhymes accepts the lifetime achievement award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on June 25, 2023.

The electrifying atmosphere of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles served as the backdrop for a momentous occasion as the 2023 BET Awards took center stage.  

This year’s highly anticipated event celebrated 50 years of hip-hop with an unforgettable night of special musical medleys handpicked by Kid Capri. 

The star-studded affair kicked off with an explosive performance by Lil Uzi Vert, setting the tone for an evening that would pay homage to the genre’s trailblazers.  

Hip-hop pioneers such as The Sugar Hill Gang, MC Lyte (who also served as the night’s announcer), D-Nice, and Big Daddy Kane graced the stage, taking the audience on a nostalgic journey.  

A heartfelt sing-along to the late Biz Markie’s iconic track “Just a Friend” brought emotion and nostalgia throughout the theater. 

The night was ablaze with captivating performances from an array of artists, including Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Jeezy, Kid ‘N Play, Master P, Redman, Remy Ma, Soulja Boy, Styles P, Warren G, Trina, and Trick Daddy.  

Each artist brought a unique style and energy, igniting the stage with their music. 

Drake led the list of nominees with an impressive seven nominations.  

His recognition spanned categories such as Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Album of the Year for his collaboration with 21 Savage on “Her Loss,” and the prestigious Viewer’s Choice Award.  

Following closely behind were 21 Savage and Lizzo, each receiving five nominations.  

Beyoncé, Burna Boy, Chris Brown, Ice Spice and SZA each received four nominations. 

Patti LaBelle took the stage to pay tribute to the late Queen of Rock & Roll, Tina Turner. While she sang of being unable to see the lyrics, LaBelle’s soulful rendition of Turner’s timeless hit, “The Best,” captivated the audience, honoring an icon who left an indelible mark on the music industry.  

Another pinnacle moment came when Busta Rhymes received the Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Swizz Beatz presented the honor, celebrating Rhymes’ remarkable contributions as a rapper, producer, and pioneering figure in hip-hop. 

The show fervently embraced the essence of hip-hop, bridging the gap between past and present, paying homage to the genre’s enduring legacy.  

Artists and emcee Kid Capri exalted the memory of late hip-hop luminaries, offering snippets of their iconic hits, from 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. to Biz Markie and Pop Smoke.  

Music took precedence, and the event appeared to capture the spirit and evolution of hip-hop. 

In a surprise moment that stirred the crowd, Quavo and Offset, the surviving members of Migos, delivered a powerful performance of “Bad and Boujee.”  

The emotional tribute included a poignant image of Takeoff, their late bandmate who tragically died in a shooting incident last December.  

Their heartfelt cry, “BET, do it for Take,” resonated deeply with the emotional crowd. 

From start to finish, the 2023 BET Awards paid homage to the roots of hip-hop while embracing its vibrant future.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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