This year’s BET Awards, which airs on the network (check your local listings) this Sunday, July 1 at 8PM ET should be a great time. With Samuel L. Jackson hosting, D’Angelo returning to the scene, and Nicki Minaj, Frankie Beverly and Maze performing among others, this should be one of the best ever.
I had the privilege of attending the BET Awards in 2009, just days after the death of Michael Jackson. It was one of the most fun nights I have ever had and met so many of my childhood idols like Grandmaster Flash, Too Short and several others. The atmosphere, style and entertainment are second to none. Good luck this year to everyone at BET who is working hard on this year’s production.
Check out our predictions in bold below:
soulhead: You can’t beat Beyonce at award shows. She like Michael Jackson in that regard. However, I have noticed a significant correlation between winners and those attending, performing or presenting. That said, Mary J. might also take this one.
2) Best male R&B artist: Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Trey Songz, Usher
soulhead: ok, truth be told, I am not a huge fan of half of these nominees, but given Chris Brown is performing, he likely will win this. I am pulling for Miguel though.
soulhead: first off, who is Bad Meets Evil and who in the heck named them? I digress. Also, I wasn’t aware that Jay-Z & Kanye were called “The Throne.” Anyway, I do believe they will win and deserve this award on the strength of their classic release last year. Plus, Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music Group is set to perform, which likely means Kanye will be in the house.
Kudos to Maybach Music Group for making some serious moves. Ricky Rose’ has a serious team and will be competing for hip hop supremacy for years to come. I think this will be a close one.
4) Best collaboration: Beyoncé featuring J. Cole: “Party”; Big Sean featuring Kanye West and Roscoe Dash: “Marvin & Chardonnay”; DJ Khaled featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne: “I’m on One”; Drake featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga: “The Motto”; The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) featuring Otis Redding: “Otis”; Wale featuring Miguel: “Lotus Flower Bomb”
We were pretty vocal about our displeasure over the ostentatious designer label fueled hit, but make no mistake that that song and its now ubiquitous Otis Redding “Try A Little Tenderness” sample, was one of the top bangers of the past year. I wouldn’t be mad if DJ Khaled and crew walked away with it and I know my DC-based mom would love to see Wale and Miguel get the nod.
5) Best male hip-hop artist: Big Sean, Drake, J. Cole, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy
I am a fan of Drake for sure but feel he was a bit overexposed this past year. J. Cole certainly impressed me and my appreciation for Young Jeezy certainly grew despite a rather lackluster last album. However, it was Rick Ross who shined the brightest in my book. Weezy was on fire as usual but didn’t make a better case in this category.
6) Best female hip-hop artist: Diamond, Nicki Minaj, Brianna Perry, Trina
soulhead: While Nicki’s Pink Friday – Roman Reloaded release earlier this year received some mixed reviews, she has be on fire for the past few years. Her reign is in full swing but she should look in her rear view mirror because Azealia Banks and Raye 6 are revving their engines. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
7) Video of the year: Beyoncé: “Countdown”; Beyoncé: “Love on Top”; The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West): “N***as in Paris”; The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) featuring Otis Redding: “Otis”; Usher: “Climax”
soulhead: Again, we did not support the content of Otis and were a bit put off by the blown out Bentley BUT the video was…well…hot, despite being a virtual slap in the face to a nation in deep recession mode. However, I’d say my favorite was actually the same as Gwyneth Paltrow’s. Of course, he could lose this one to Mrs. Carter, who’s “Love on Top” delivered.
8) Video director of the year: Beyoncé and Alan Ferguson; Benny Boom; Chris Brown and Godfrey Tabarez; Kanye West; Hype Williams
soulhead: there is serious competition here, but given his serious contributions to the visuals we have seen for years, I’d give the nod to Hype Williams, with Benny Boom a very close second.
9) Best new artist: A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Diggy Future, Meek Mill
soulhead: Another tight category, but I will be officially outed as Big Sean fans and give him our endorsement in this category. His party flow and solid lyrics just win. Meek Mill really made a serious run for this one. Who doesn’t love a good “House Party!”
10) Best gospel: Yolanda Adams, Kim Burrell, James Fortune and FIYA, Fred Hammond, Trin-I-Tee 5:7
soulhead: Prior to reading a recent Danyel Smith interview about Fred Hammond, I would have probably chosen Yolanda Adams or James Fortune, but now I have to say Mr. Hammond deserves this.
11) Best actress: Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Regina King, Zoe Saldana
soulhead: I love all of the actresses in this category and believe Taraji really nailed it in “Think Like a Man.” And I certainly can’t vote against a nominee from our hometown. Regina King would be a fallback choice since she has been so consistent and really pulls viewers in on Southland, the TV series in which she stars.
12) Best actor: Don Cheadle, Common, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Denzel Washington
soulhead: You just can’t vote against Denzel but Kevin Hart did his thing in “Think Like a Man.”
13) Young Stars Award: Astro, Diggy, Jacob Latimore, Keke Palmer, Willow Smith
soulhead: This is another tough call since Astro really lit up the world with his ode to his mom. And Keke Palmer is always a good choice but how long is she going to be in the “young” category? Isn’t she old enough to vote? In any case, Willow will likely take this one despite (or maybe because of) the recent tongue ring.
14) Best movie: Good Deeds, Jumping the Broom, Laugh at My Pain, Red Tails, The Help
soulhead: I am actually pretty surprised that “Think Like a Man” did not make this list but “Laugh at My Pain” did. Although we were not bowled over by Red Tails in our review earlier this year, I feel it will likely beat out the competition on this one.
15) Sportswoman of the year: Skylar Diggins, Brittney Griner, Candace Parker, Serena Williams, Venus Williams
soulhead: Candace is an incredible athlete and will certainly clean up well and be ready for the camera.
16) Sportsman of the year: Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Victor Cruz, Kevin Durant, LeBron James
soulhead: Given the Heat’s recent championship win, LeBron should be a lock in this category. What is amazing is how the category is dominated by basketball players only. I would have liked a bit more variety in this one.
17) Viewer’s Choice Award: Beyoncé: “Love on Top”; Chris Brown: “Turn Up the Music”; Drake featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga: “The Motto”; Mindless Behavior: “Hello”; The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) featuring Otis Redding: “Otis;” Wale featuring Miguel: “Lotus Flower Bomb”
soulhead: You don’t bet against B, especially when fans are involved.
18) Centric Award: Common, Estelle, Robert Glasper, Robin Thicke, Tyrese
soulhead: Robert Glasper created a serious buzz this year and deserves the elevation.
19) Best International Act Africa: Camp Mulla (Kenya), Ice Prince (Nigeria), Lira (South Africa), Wizkid, Mokobe (Mali), Sarkodie (Ghana), Wizkid (Nigeria)
soulhead: I like all of these artists for certain, but felt that Lira and Camp Mulla stood out of this really talented group. The Motherland is certainly doing big things. It’s really amazing to see the influence that U.S. urban culture has been adopted overseas.
20) Best International Act UK: Estelle, Labrinth, Emeli Sande, Sway, Wretch 32
soulhead: Super impressed by Emeli Sande and enjoyed Labrinth and Wretch 32, but Estelle should take this one easily. She’s got name recognition, tons of talent and a current hit in the U.S. with “Thank You.”