Brendan Whitt


Blought #17: The BET Hip-Hop Awards Suck!

So here’s the deal with BET. Viacom, the television  company that owns; Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and a bunch of other channels bought out BET for well over $2 billion in stocks around 2000. Reportedly the deal involved BET founder Robert L. Johnson becoming a major shareholder of Viacom. Blacks still call the shots but they answer to some white guy with quadruple their net worth to get advertising money which really pays television station bills and salaries.

This article isn’t here to get into all of that. It was just a backdrop to why I think the BET Hip-Hop awards blow. Granted, this year the awards did have to compete against the Las Vegas Democratic debate. But I mean let’s be honest here, the majority of Hip-Hop awards viewers aren’t into politics. I don’t need numbers to back that up, I live it.

This year the award’s ratings dropped quite a bit. The 2014 broadcast drew in almost three million viewers. This year during the 8-10 pm slot, the awards only drew in a combined 1.1 million viewers between BET and MTV. Just for reference the debate drew in over 15 million viewers. It could have been because of the proposed boycott related to the lack of Million Man March coverage. But if I know my people that is definitely NOT the reason. Most of the people complaining (myself included) don’t even watch BET.

So what could it be? I just think the awards show is terrible. As a definite Hip-Hop head or aficionado for my non head readers, I can definitely tell you the show sucks and here’s why. Most of the catergories only include heavy hitters. Big Sean, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Future, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye and just about every other major label artist out. The little guys or underground emcee’s get no love. Chance the Rapper did a lot for his community in Chicago but he couldn’t win the Made You Look award?

Various Hip-Hop artist boycotting the 1989 Grammys.
How was future ever going to lose when he took up three of the five slots for best  mixtape? This ain’t the Grammys, all of those tapes were not straight bangers. Best Hip Hop online site is a cool category but does World Star have to appear on there? I like watching hood fights as much as the next guy can we have a little more prestige? Which brings me to my next point. Let’s make the awards more prestigious. Have an actual red carpet and make the attendees dress up a little more. They can dress how they want any other time of the year. Let’s make it look a little more classy.

The only thing that hurts is that the Grammys don’t broadcasts best Hip-Hop album. Back in the 80’s artists like Public Enemy, The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff and Queen Latifah boycotted the Grammy because the genre didn’t receive recognition. In the 2000’s Jay Z led another boycott because our award wouldn’t get broadcast. Now you get you Grammy on the red carpet. Hopefully the awards can get it right before there is no major recognition for the Hip-Hop community.