Last night, BET held its annual Hip-Hop Awards show, broadcasting from Atlanta with Snoop Dogg hosting. As usual, the big news items weren’t the actual awards — nobody really cares who won what — but the performances. In the night’s most dramatic moment, Common, Vince Staples, and Jay Electronica performed a remix of Common’s track “Kingdom” with a full gospel choir. And as the song ended, they brought out the parents of Mike Brown, the unarmed teenager killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri this summer. For a minute, the arena fell silent and did the symbolic hands-up gesture. That one moment, a hushed arena full of raised hands, overshadowed everything else that happened last night. But there were some other notable performances, too. The Rich Gang team of Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, and Birdman led a hometown singalong of their surprise hit “Lifestyle.” Producer-of-the-moment DJ Mustard hosted a medley that included YG, Ty Dolla $ign, and TeeFLii. There were some other ones that you might want to watch — Migos, T.I. with Young Thug, an old-school female-rapper throwdown with MC Lyte and Yo-Yo and Queen Latifah. Watch “Kingdom” below (beware BET’s player is autoplay) and check out the rest here..
The thing people tend to remember about the BET Hip-Hop Awards is the cypher segments. (Last year, Kendrick Lamar went for Drake’s neck.) But this year, they got practically no notable rappers, and the most talked about moment is the battle-rap veteran Murda Mook also going for Drake’s neck, so we’ll skip posting those this year. But you can watch those at BET’s site, too.