Review: Mo Betta’s 2012 BET Awards Round-Up

July 2, 2012 1 comment

Eleven years in and the BET Awards have left an indelible mark. Whether it was Rick James uttering his now infamous catchphrase or Lil Wayne rapping about humping every girl while his daughter danced alongside him, BET has always managed to give viewers something to boycott watch. Last night’s show was no different.

The “biggest night in black entertainment” was hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, and performers for the event included G.O.O.D. Music, Nicki Minaj, Usher, and MMG. Although there were noticeable hiccups during the show (shoutout to whoever worked the censors), BET delivered where necessary. Viewers were treated to a soulful performance by D’Angelo, a dance break courtesy of Frankie Beverly and Maze, and a tribute to Whitney Houston that left even Soulja Boy in tears. The event was definitely one for the books.

Take a look at my hits and misses for the night.

2012 BET Award Hits

Nicki Minaj

I must say I was quite surprised by everyone’s favorite Barbie. She left her Katy Perry dreams at home, hit us with some choreo albeit a bit stiff, and brought out Tity to add to the fun. If that isn’t enough, she even had Bey singing along to the lyrics. A definite win for Nicki.

Melanie Fiona

Viewers were certainly given a gift when they were treated to some old school R&B by Melanie Fiona. This was by far the best vocal showing of the night, and quite the breakout performance by the Canadian songstress. She was believable in her emoting, and didn’t rely on flashing lights or intricate footwork. She truly sang the hell out of ‘Wrong Side Of A Love Song.’ So let’s hope she gained some new fans in the process.


BET President previously mentioned that fans of R&B would be in for a special night, and for once he didn’t lie. With all the hype surrounding D’Angelo’s announced comeback, many were wondering just what and how the R&B pioneer would perform. Would he perform old material? Would he stick to rock covers like he did at Bonnaroo? Would he actually show up? All speculation was ended, however, when the first chord of ‘How Does It Feel’ dropped and D’Angelo effortlessly launched into his velvety tenor. As evidenced by the number of wet panties left on my Twitter TL, it’s clear America is ready for another album.

Frankie Beverly & Maze Musical Tribute

Frankie Beverly & Maze are responsible for some of music’s most timeless hits, so it’s only right they received BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Similar to year’s past, BET did a great job of choosing contemporary singers to pay homage, including Faith Evans who looks like she’s finally laid off the drugs and burgers plotting her own return to the music scene. My favorite part of this performance, though, was hearing the group perform their signature song, ‘Before I Let Go.’ I may or may not have busted out a famous line dance to black America’s unofficial national anthem.

Whitney Houston Tribute

This was the most anticipated performance of the night, and BET certainly delivered. Unlike the MJ Tribute in ’09 (which I still haven’t forgiven them for), the network showed what can happen when you plan accordingly. The tribute started off with a speech from another one of music’s biggest voices, Mariah Carey, and progressively got better. Monica performed a stirring rendition of Whitney’s favorite song, ‘I Love The Lord.’ We heard some comforting words from her costars in ‘Waiting To Exhale.’ We witnessed an emotional delivery of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ from Whitney’s mother Cissy. But the standout moment for me was Brandy’s delivery of ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ and ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody.’ There was an energy to Brandy that I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed from the singer. She was beaming as she channeled the showmanship of her late idol. This moment will go down in the history books.

2012 BET Award Misses

Samuel L. Jackson as Host

I didn’t have high expectations for Sam as a host, and apparently BET didn’t either. The veteran actor was barely seen on the broadcast, and when he was, I wished he wasn’t. His showing was a prime case of “get your great grandfather off the stage.”

G.O.O.D. Music

The Kanye stan in me wants to label this performance a hit solely based on his appearance, but I have to be objective. Other than the elaborate set and Kanye’s freestyle…or whatever that was, this performance was underwhelming. Yes, it was nice to see GOOD Music gracing the stage ahead of Cruel Summer, but this showed that the label still has some ways to grow when it comes to meshing as a group. It was nice, though, to see Pusha T getting some shine even if he refuses to let the braids go.


To be honest, the performance never went anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Climax’ is a particularly difficult song to perform live, but Usher’s showing just didn’t seem award show worthy. It was pitchy and uninspired.

Chris Brown

My favorite summary of Breezy’s performance comes from MJF’s own Bauce Sauce:

The performance was boring, and Breezy just seemed to be going through the motions. The only thing that could’ve improved this performance was the fact that Chris Brown decided to sing live for the first time in his career, but even that sucked.

Kim Kardashian

What purpose did Kim Kardashian serve? She barely stood up out her chair the entire night, and looked like a deer in headlights for the duration of the broadcast. You would think, given her dating history, that she would feel more at home at this type of award show, but that obviously isn’t the case. I miss Amber Rose. Props to Miss Jia for the photo.

What was your take on the 2012 BET Awards? Did they deliver? What were some of the best (and worst) moments?