The coronavirus might have halted other award ceremonies, but the show still continued for the 2020 BET Awards. On Sunday evening, the annual awards ceremony honoring Black artists in hip hop, R&B and pop celebrated its 20th anniversary with special isolated performances from Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Public Enemy and more.
Hosted by Amanda Seales, the virtual ceremony opened with a moving performance from Keedron Bryant. The teen gospel sensation sang his viral song, “I Just Wanna Live,” which he wrote following George Floyd’s death in police custody last month. It then transitioned to a powerful montage of the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests featuring an all-star rendition of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” Nas, Black Thought, Questlove, Rapsody and YG joined Chuck D, Flavor Flav and Jahi to update the 1989 anthem with new bars on police brutality in America.
“The Information Age / Got ’em seein’ what’s really wrong with these racist days / I honor the strong and pity the weak / Your thoughts run your life, be careful what you think,” Nas spits on the opening.
The night also featured several other joint performances: Anderson .Paak and Jay Rock reunited for “Lockdown” while DaBaby performed the Black Lives Matter remix of “Rockstar” alongside featured guest Roddy Ricch. Meanwhile, D Smoke and SiR made their set a family affair. The brothers performed their May collab “Let Go” and invited their mother, gospel singer Jackie Gouche, to sing “Black Habits,” the title track of D Smoke’s debut album.
There were also plenty of memorable solo performances: Ricch returned to perform his breakout hit “The Box” and “High Fashion,” while Lil Wayne paid tribute to Kobe Bryant by rapping his 2009 track named after the late basketball star, with new lyrics added.
But the night’s biggest highlight was undoubtedly Megan Thee Stallion, who took home the award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist. The Houston rapper served up a choreograph-heavy, Mad Max-inspired performance of her brand-new song, “Girls in the Hood.” She also performed the remix of her number one hit single, “Savage.” Guest star Beyoncé, however, didn’t make an appearance during the performance.
Other rap stars who won big last night include Migos (for Best Group), DaBaby (Best Male Hip Hop Artist), and Drake and Chris Brown (Best Collaboration for “No Guidance”). Roddy Ricch took home the most gongs, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year for his 2019 debut, Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial.
Catch up on all the rap performances at the BET Awards 2020 below.
“Fight the Power” all-star remix by Public Enemy, Nas, Black Thought, Questlove, Rapsody, YG:
“Lockdown” by Anderson .Paak, Jay Rock:
“Rockstar” Black Lives Matter remix by DaBaby, Roddy Ricch:
“Let Go” and “Black Habits” by D Smoke, SiR, Jackie Gouche:
“High Fashion” and “The Box” by Roddy Ricch:
“Kobe Bryant” tribute by Lil Wayne:
“Girls in the Hood” and “Savage” remix by Megan Thee Stallion: