The Washington Post

2012 BET Hip Hop Awards: What I loved and what I hated

Kendrick Lamar performs at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta. (Chris McKay/GETTY IMAGES FOR BET)

But it actually turned out pretty well. The classiness and the ratchetness went hand in hand. Here is a breakdown of what went right and what went so wonderfully wrong.

I loved . . .

Kanye West receiving the most nominations (17) and not attending the awards show because he was house hunting with girlfriend Kim Kardashian.

Mike Epps. He has hosted the BET Hip Hop Awards since 2009 and has been consistently funny year after year. The opening skit was the best, as he went from President Obama flexing on his haters (“These Republicans can’t hold me back!”) to the hip-hop Beethoven.

●2 Chainz! He gave the greatest acceptance speech ever for G.O.O.D. Music’s win in the “Reese’s Perfect Combo”category — “Tru!” Later, he would take the awards show to church with the most crunk gospel choir behind him as he performed “Birthday Song” and “I’m Different.” I would absolutely join a 2 Chainz-led congregation.

●The RZA and what promises to be an amazing movie: “The Man with the Iron Fists.” You know you’ve made it in life when you can go to someone else’s television show and cut to a commercial for your own movie.

●Kendrick Lamar. His on-stage performance was energetic and up-tempo, his freestyle was the best in the West Coast cypher, you could hear what he was saying (Meek, take notes), he won Lyricist of the Year and his debut album, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” comes out next week. Kendrick’s got the juice now.

●Mystikal’s freestyle during the second cypher. Actual lyric from the newest member of the YMCMB family: “Growl at ‘em. RAWRRRRR!!” Yes, that actually happened.

●Talib Kweli during the cypher: “I’m Frank Ocean at a Chik-Fil-A. I never get served.”

●Future, Machine Gun Kelly and French Montana being Diddy’s ratchet remix of the Lox.

●The Ruff Ryders’ reunion cypher. The only thing that could have made it more epic was having DMX and Mystikal engage in a who-sounds-more-drugged-up rap battle.

I hated. . .

●Juicy J not transitioning into a “Bands A Make Her Dance” solo during the opening performance. Atlanta’s Fox Theatre could have turned into Magic City last night. Missed opportunity by the BET network.

●Throughout the entire two-hour program, they presented only four awards last night. Four!

2 Chainz at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards. (Rick Diamond/GETTY IMAGES FOR BET)

●Knowing that despite RZA’s appearance, we’ll probably never get another Wu-Tang Clan album.

●Hip-hop elitists complaining about how Kendrick Lamar won the Lyricist of the Year award over nominated rap demigods Jay-Z and Nas. First of all, Jay-Z and Nas have established themselves as hip-hop elite and are brand names. Let Kendrick Lamar be great. Second, Jay-Z and Nas probably didn’t even know the BET Hip Hop Awards were on this year.

●BET not publicly cementing Eminem and Slaughterhouse into the cyphers every year from here on out.

●Knowing “Real Husbands of Hollywood” can’t be traded for “The Soul Man.”

●Realizing that Future, Machine Gun Kelly and French Montana — because they are, after all, Bad Boy Artists — will never be heard from again.

●Maybach O.

Let’s end on a good note: The Chris Lightly tribute was well-done, transitioning seamlessly between performances with the phrase “If it wasn’t for Chris, there would be no this!” A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Missy Elliot and 50 Cent did well to honor the life of a man who was so influenced them. The BET Hip Hop Awards did well last night. Let’s hope that BET is slowly morphing into a respectable network again. Once they cancel “The Soul Man.”

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