Drake and Beyoncé led the winners at yesterday’s BET Awards, each of them bagging three trophies. Last year was Kendrick Lamar’s year as he reaped the spoils of his highly anticipated sophomore major label release. This time Canada’s hottest hip hop export took center stage as he was crowned Best Male Hip Hop Artist. No surprise there considering ‘Views From The 6’ spent six weeks at the Billboard 200 summit and was streamed over 1 billion times. Drake’s work with Rihanna on ‘Work’ earned him and the Barbadian queen the Best Collaboration award and ‘What A Time To Be Alive’, his joint album with Future, saw them crowned Best Group.
Going into the ceremony Drake had led the nominations with a total of nine nods. Beyoncé only had five nominations but still equaled Drizzy’s trophy haul grabbing the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Video of the Year and the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award accolades. If her blazing performance of ‘Freedom’ during the event was to be rewarded with a trophy no doubt Bey would have edged Drake out. Bryson Tiller gave his burgeoning reputation yet another bump as he accepted two trophies on the night. The fast-rising R&B sensation had wins in the Best New Artist and Best Male R&B/Pop Artist categories, beating out stars of The Weeknd and Chris Brown’s ilk. Nicki Minaj may now officially be the undisputed queen of rap having won the Best Female Hip Hop Artist trophy for the seventh time.
Other winners on the night included Director X whose work on the ‘Work’ video among others won him the Video Director of the Year award. Gospel legend Kirk Franklin, who featured on Kanye West’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’, bagged the Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award. Taraji P. Henderson and Michael B. Jordan were named Best Actress and Best Actor respectively while Hollywood stalwart Samuel L. Jackson was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The N.W.A. biopic that became an unprecedented Box Office success beat ‘Concussion’, ‘Beasts of No Nation’, ‘Creed’ and ‘Dope’ to the Best Movie title.
Though he and his team lost out in the NBA Finals, Stephen Curry can console himself with BET’s Sportsman of the Year trophy. There was a note of personal triumph for me as a fan of South African house music maestro Black Coffee. He was the winner in the Best International Act Africa category.
Miami Based, Internationally Known