The 2023 BET Awards are celebrating 50 years of hip-hop with tributes to the genre’s earliest voices, late legends, and new talent during a performance-packed show that consistently felt like a party.
Busta Rhymes took home the Lifetime Achievement Award with a star-studded tribute performance.
A masked Lil Uzi Vert opened the show at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater before it jumped into a quick history lesson. Capri walked the audience through a medley of the earliest days of New York City ’80s rap culture featuring The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” MC LYTE’s “Cha Cha Cha,” and Big Daddy Kane’s “Raw.”
The coveted best new artist award went to Coco Jones, in a category which featured only female performers while Nigerian Musician, Damini Ogulu, a.k.a Burnaboy won the award for Best International Act. The ‘African Giant’ crooner beat the likes of Ayra Starr, Central Cee and Stormzy, among others to clinch the most coveted category of BET awards.
Though Burna Boy was absent at the show, his plaque was received by Michael Blackson. His (Burna Boy's) announcement as winner had been greeted with a resounding applause.
The night’s biggest surprise was a rare public performance by Quavo and Offset, the surviving members of Migos, who did a rendition of “Bad and Boujee” in front of an image of Takeoff, who died in a shooting last December.
DJ Kid Capri walked the audience through rap classics honoring not just East and West rap but also the styles of Miami, Atlanta and Jamaica, live from Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.