October was a busy month for the music industry, with launch parties, album releases and award show happening every other day. BHH was invited attended the BET Hip-Hop Awards 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Atlanta Civic Centre held court to this years Hip Hop Awards – hosted by T-Pain who was a last minute replacement for the originally billed Kat Williams.
Guests included 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Lola Love, Dennis White (Notorious 2009), Derek Luke (Notorious 2009) and the UK rapper Sway but to name a few.
The hugely talented T-Pain managed to dazzle the audience with his humorous wit and energy making the show his own.
DJ Khaled had the crowd laughing with his energetic acceptance speech after scooping the award for Best Hip Hop Collaboration for the song "I'm So Hood (The Remix)", where he was joined on stage by Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Birdman and Rick Ross.
One thing that was very apparent was the highly political stance of show and indeed the mood in America at the moment, with images of Michelle and Barack Obama intermittently flashing up on screens around the auditorium. The artist too jumped on the political band wagon before during and after every performance with phrases such as "Make your vote count" or "Vote Obama".
Performers on the night included Ludacris, T.I., NAS, T- Pain, N.E.R.D, Bow Wow and a special collaboration with MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, Lady of Rage and Salt-n-Pepa.
As to be expected N.E.R.D gave a truly amazing performance, first with Common and then a bemused Pharrel and Chuck were taken by surprise when Lil Wayne decided that he liked their set so much that him and his styrofoam cup hijacked the stage swiftly followed by Swizz Beats, T- Pain and some others for some rock and role style head banging, air guitaring and moshing.
Man of the moment Lil Wayne clinched three awards, including Lyricist of 08, MVP of the Year, and the People's Champ.
Performance of the night had to be T-Pain and Luda with Chopped and Screwed, well the highlight was actually the massively talented dancer who was able to balance on stilts while rotating a hula hoop around her waist.
The I Am Hip-Hop icon award, was presented to Russell Simmons by the legendary LL Cool J. This prestigious award is presented annually to the person who has made notable contributions of outstanding merit and significance to the hip hop community.
UK rappers and nominees Giggs, Ghetto, Chipmunk and the extravagantly dressed Skepta where also present at the awards, where all lapping up the lime light of the red carpet. With Ghetto openly ranting that he had to come to another country to be offered an award after not being nominated for a MOBO and Giggs expressing his disdain for being censored by some British broadcasters and his general upset of BET's lack of organisation and hospitality.
What was interesting was the luke warm reception the Southern crowd gave to the East coast rapper NAS who is undoubtedly one of hip-hop's greats. It definitely shows that the dirty South love their own or should I say they love Lil Weezy.
This years show lacked the wow factor in comparison to BET's previous sets but hey that's show business! I guess you can't get it right all the time.
By: Jemma Capleton