BET Awards ’11: This Time Mary can Sing!

I am SO happy Mary J took singing lessons, or whatever she did to be able to perform live.  The first time I saw her singing well on stage was about…. 4 yrs ago now?  Y’all remember how she used to be: pure studio artist.  Now she’s singing with Anita Baker – who has always been the real deal.  Her voice is still like butter.  I love Sweet Love. (“With all my heart I love you baby..”)  Anyway, Mary did a lovely opening, and she looks good.  An all-white, skin-tight catsuit with not a hint of anything out of place – 40 is SO the new 30.

Kevin Hart being the host seems apropos of nothing to me, since I’m not a fan and I have no idea if he’s even doing anything right now.  I must say though that his entrance to ‘6 Foot, 7 Foot’ with a group of child steppers is the most impressive things I’ve ever seen him do.  He kept up with those awesome kids.  (He was also about 6inches taller than them…)  He’s right about Ne-Yo though, he needs to leave the hat on.  Hart hit Busta, Jamie, and Puff in all the right places.

Taraji presents Best Male R&B Artist to Chris Brown.  That remake of MJ’s Human Nature straight up sucks.  I like some of his music, but he’s about to go in the R. Kelly stack of musicians that I cannot financially support do to poor life choices.

PS – note to ALL tv shows: I don’t care about what people are live-tweeting.  I don’t Twitter.  I don’t care about what people are saying on FB unless they’re my own friends. (sometimes, not even then)  But if I’m watching your show, I don’t need internet updates.  wtf?

Wait. WHAT?!? “Reed Between the Lines” with Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm Jamal Warner looks like it could actually be good.  Like a “Cosby Show” for the 21st c.  I only worry because it’s on BET.  This is the kind of show that should be on network tv. Continue reading

BET Awards ’09: we love you, Michael!

The show starts off with tape of Michael draping a sequined cape on James Brown at his performance at the ’03 BET Awards.  He did a few fancy foot moves a la JB, and bowed to the Godfather of Soul.  Then we hear the beginning of ABC and see 5 or 6 people [it’s hard to tell] silhouetted in front of a band and a screen showing the Jackson 5.  I can’t tell who iss singing lead on this, but he kinda reminds me of Ralph Tresvant and he’s having trouble reaching the high notes [being a grown man, I can see why].  The background vocals are ok, but we’re just left with a kinda weird feeling best summed up by the face on Weezy, mid-performance.  I can’t find a pic, but watch that stuff if you haven’t seen that.

Oh, snap! It really is New Edition.  With Bobby Brown.  And it’s a little bit scary.  They could’ve at least tried to pitch it a little lower.

So.  Um.  MC Lyte is just the official announcer for the BET Awards?  Like, that’s what she’s doing now?

jamie beat it bet 09Anyways, Jamie Foxx is doing really great doing the dance from Beat It, when you consider he had like, no time to practice this wknd.  He’s in the This is a celebration of MJ.  And for real, I’ve never seen grown white people faint for any other artist.  All over the freakin’ world.

I’m happy to see Jeremy Piven – just because I have a huge thing for Jeremy Piven.  Haven’t seen him in a while, since I don’t have HBO.

Tyra (wearing a really cute top) presents top athlete to LeBron.  And Best male Hip-Hop artist: Lil Wayne.  With an entourage.

Ginuwine remembers the Motown 25 performance as his pivotal MJ moment.

BET is seriously having some technical difficulties, cuz Jamie doesn’t know when he’s back on and he’s giving the censors a rough time with his intermittent cuss words…

But Keri Hilson’s performance was pretty good.  Ending on MJ woulda been good…but then she went too far and decided to get her version of the Holy Ghost.  Wasn’t good.

Neyo’s Lady in My Life is simple, and lovely.  And I’m getting tears.  I still can’t believe he’s gone.

Alright Keke Palmer can sing.  But now the spotlight’s on Jamie.  Blame It, y’all.  Tyra knows these words.  What’s up with Snoop on the stage?  He’s just dancing around?  And T-Pain brought his drink onstage?  Wearing a Big @ss Chain?  Ok…now it’s a lil bit weird with Travis Barker on drums and Jamie playing electric guitar.  But that was a great catch by the stage hand.  Jamie just threw that guitar at that guy.

BET needs to come a lil bit more correct to honor MJ.  Things are still running behind.

I’m just not into Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, but apparently even Taraji knows the words to Turn My Swag On.  Jamie’s for real, though – he isn’t writing any songs.  He’s just talking about his day.  Blah.

Best Collabo: Jamie Foxx and T-Pain.  Cuz, really, Blame It is crazy hot.  Like…8 months later?  Still hot.  I don’t think I’ve seen T-Pain’s face before.  He looks a lot better without the glasses.

Best Male R&B: Ne-Yo.  Cuz who else is there right now, anyway?  He said he wasn’t expecting this, but – I dunno who else was nominated, so…

Dr.’s Davis, Hunt, and Jenkins made a pact to stay in school and become doctors.  That’s cool.  Don’t hear much about that kind of thing.  And they don’t look bad either.

So, I have I am…Sasha Fierce and I’ve listened to Ave Maria, and it just comes across strange to me.  The robe thing that Beyonce had on for the beginning of the performance was weird..but then the change to a bride(?) outfit was a little weird.  And then, instead of Halo, which is what I thought we were going to hear, Bey sings Angel by Sarah McLachlan.  And then she goes into the actual Latin Ave Maria. With a very strong accent.    That skirt was just bizarre, though.  I was just…confused…by the whole experience.  I thought Halo would’ve been more fitting than either/any of that other stuff.

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SheNehNeh and Wanda?  That was hilarious.

Mary Mary are turning it out for Jesus, y’all.  I heard God In Me banging in a car on the road one day and I had no idea it was Mary Mary.  And Queen La is on it, too.  Why don’t I have this album, yet?

WTF?  Zoe Saldana just tells us all that Nichelle Nichols – the woman who “paved the way for…an entire generation” – is not on stage cuz she in the Ladies’ Room?!?!  That’s just a bit crazy.

Best Female Actress: Taraji P. Henson.  [Hot dress, T!]

Best New Artist: Keri Hilson.  ATL, y’all.  [not into the dress though.]

And now, Jamie and Ne-Yo – Miss Independent Remix.  I like this song, but the dancer is a little bit weird.  Fabolous comes out for the rap and I wonder…haven’t heard anything from him in a while…What’s up with Jamie calling out the recession?  Once was funny.  Twice was kinda..weird.

Ooooh wee.  Keith Sweat is just as ugly as he ever was.  Oooh, wee!  Continue reading

BElaTed awards

Totally slept on the BET awards when they first aired. So, since I knew they’d be re-aired from now til the end of the year, I just dvr-ed that sucker last night.

I read a snippet of commentary about Usher’s performance, but I am not otherwise prejudiced about the show.

This is basically the only time of year that I watch BET. Once it changed hands, I decided there was probably no reason left for me to tune in. I actually think i should probably turn it on at random intervals so I can catch some music videos, but otherwise…BET’s never been huge for me.

The show open was spectacular, contrary to what I’d read. Usher was lippin’ it, but his dancing didn’t look like the moves of an old man to me. He did good, and he kept it up throughout the song. I’ve had a crazy love/hate relationship with Usher ever since ‘You Will Know’ & ‘U Make Me Wanna’. His music was cool, and spoke to me in a way other music didn’t at the time, but whenever I read an interview with him, his personality ego came screaming off the page. From everything I’ve seen, he doesn’t need me as a fan, since he loves himself so much. So, for me to say that he did a good job with the show open ~ that’s saying something.

Lovely to hear MC Lyte’s voice – I was actually kinda hoping she’d be the host, but apparently it’s DL Hughley. He’s ok. But he completely ripped off the Daily Show for a joke about that whole Kanye/GWB thing. Wyatt Cenac said it first.

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Repurposing material kinda makes him seem like a hack, but maybe he just assumed that the audiences wouldn’t overlap. Which actually might be worse.

Actually DL is not funny….oh well.

The 1st presenters are Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard. They both have albums dropping in September and now it is clear why I had that lovely moment last month at Sony. [I totally forgot to mention this, didn’t I?] When I was in NYC, before we left for Rome, we hung out with a couple of friends who work at Sony, and we took the elevator down to the lobby as we were leaving. As I was stepping out of the elevator, some eager beavers were stepping in, and this tall, fine man bumps into me. Literally inches from his face, I look into the green eyes of Terrence Howard, and he apologizes and excuses himself and continues his conversation with whoever else it was that got on the elevator with him.

So, of course, all I’m thinking as I watch the exchange between Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard is – I have a beautiful voice….

But anyway. Chris Brown got best R&B male artist and there’s no argument from me.

Young Jeezy got everybody hyped with Put On. Lil Wayne and Diddy were bobbin’ their heads, but Chris Brown and Rihanna were actually gettin’ crunk. Kanye was ok…but Jeezy was doin’ his thing already, so folks were as hype as they were gon’ be.

Best male athlete: Kobe. [This category seems dumb to me. Why are athletes getting awards from BET??]

Keyshia Cole is not that great a performer. And I wanna like her, so much. I do like her. But the whole performance thing just didn’t cut it. It seemed like she didn’t know when to sing and when to dance. Or maybe she was just so excited she was dancing more than she shoulda been and then lost her breath to be able to sing. Lil Kim was cool in ‘Let it Go’, but I hated that Keyshia ended on a note that was off.

Fitting that MC Lyte introduced Cuba, Nia, and Morris [Boyz N the Hood]. All I could think as I was staring at their old behinds was that I must be old, too. AAaack. That, and Cuba must be high.

Best female hip-hop artist: Missy.

I haven’t seen the video for this Ne-Yo song, so I’m kinda taken aback at his dancing ability. He’s an incredibly talented songwriter, definitely better looking with a hat on, and getting serious brownie points for putting the mack down on Queen Latifah.

Um. Was. ..was that? the Jabberwockeez? woo.

You know what? LL must be getting close to 50. Oy. He and Ashanti are kinda mismatched to present, right?

Best new artist: The Dream.

Alicia Keys pulled out a good performance of ‘Teenage Love Affair’ though I’m not into her hair. And then she starts singing ‘Weak’ – and I’m like what? And then SWV’s on the stage and I’m in a full-on 90s flashback, singing along with ALL the words because I freakin’ KNOW this song. But it’s not over! A few bars and…I know she didn’t get all four of the members of En Vogue back together to sing ‘Hold On’ – what? There’s more? TLC and ‘Waterfalls’? Uh oh. Uh oh. I’ma do the rap – cuz I gotta (from memory):

I seen a rainbow yesterday
but too many storms have come and gone
leavin’ a trace of not one God-given ray
Is it because my life is ten shades of gray
I pray all ten fade away – seldom praise Him for the sunny days

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