HELLO AMERICA!  I had high hopes this year when deciding to view the BET AWARDS SHOW, hoping it would inspire and indicate there was genuine movement forward as far as Afro American talent is concerned but I was seriously disappointed. JAMIE FOXX hosted the show; he tried at times too hard to be funny like many comedians but the audience accepted whatever he offered. 

The more I listened to the guest performers and those who were presented the BET award made me even more determined to be upfront about today’s music and the way the young musicians present themselves as a new-wave group. On the tube it was like watching a group  a circus act or carnival show.  The customs, hair styles, women over-dressed, unflattering makeup from top to bottom and worse yet, when presenting awards, it was as though it was a high school assembly gathering. Absolutely no class!

The young female stars were dressed like street whores, ready to be picked up by some pimp. They didn’t have any class in speech, attitude or any kind of professional respect for the audience. This includes Jamie Foxx. Sadly, he attempted too hard to entertain an audience he believed was necessary to pull out all the stops as far as humor.  There is no doubt that he has a lot of talent but like so many young men of color who have attained a certain level of success, he at times goes overboard to please an audience he genuinely believes he knows. 

The best moment of the BET shows was the tribute to ANITA BAKER performed by singers Ledisi, Marsha Ambrosius and Yolanda Adams who was in extraordinary form. The iconic ladies sang Anita’s well-known hits on stage. Baker is known for her smooth rendition of such hits as “Sweet Love” and “Giving You the Best that I got,” used her speech to encourage the artists in the room to keep music alive. “I would ask that the music be allowed to play, that singers are allowed to sing and rappers ae allowed to rap, and poets are allowed to rhyme,” she said.

Of course, Foxx made sure the success of “Black Panther” was recognized by pulling actor Michael B. Jordan on stage. Later, he managed to get thunderous applause for the film’s director Ryan Coogler.  AZA, most nominated woman at this year’s Grammys, won best new artist and said she’s “never won anything in front of other people.”

DJ Khaled, won the first award of the night as best collaboration for “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller.  He held his son on his hip on stage and used his speech to highlight young people.

All in all, it was a good try for BET but it was obvious that this generation of rappers and gangster posture was quite a challenge.

Michael St. John