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Monday, June 29, 2009

BET, The Black Community's Whipping Boy

I watched the BET awards last night and I tweeted at the same time. Overall I think it was a great show considering the confines of a BET show. By confines I mean the usual bull jive that happens on BET all year long that usually keeps me and my children from tuning in. I don't expect the BET Awards to step up to being a show that shows the best and brightest in the African American community. That's not what they do, so I don't expect it. I watch to see a glimpse of something interesting or good here and there and then I use TIVO to mute out or pause the rest.

Last night it seems viewers came in droves with huge expectations because of the death of Michael Jackson. I too came with expectations, and mine were fulfilled. New Edition kicked it off with a Jackson 5 tribute. Ne-yo did a smashing job on two MJ song's.

Jamie Fox did a dance tribute and delivered poignant commentary on Michael's work. Beyonce sang Ava Maria & in the Arms of Angels, which was beautiful and sad. Several artists spoke about their memories of Michael Jackson and his impact on their lives. For a total or 3 days at best, BET did a incredible job altering that big machine into a MJ BET tribute while continuing on with the show. I think Michael Jackson deserves and has earned a 4-hour special dedicated to only him. The kind of special that takes months to put together, not just three days. I know he will get it, and I believe BET or TV-One will be the ones to do it.

Many tweeters and Facebookers are not in agreement with my assessment of last night's show because they have been blowing up saying just the opposite of what I am saying. I think that's because they are insane. Insanity is doing the same thing (tuning in to BET) and expecting a different outcome (a show filled with dignity and purpose through and through). They also expected a bigger tribute to Michael, although there was only a three-day turnaround. That's naivete on the part of viewers. I produce photo shoots and television commercial shoots, and I can tell you that with three days notice it's hard to change the direction of those drastically. I can just image a huge awards show. So many camps to contact and coordinate with, so many egos to deal with, so many costume changes, set changes, etc. Sorry viewers, but to expect more is just folly.

Having said all of that, I will now give you blow by blow of the whole show. New Edition's tribute was great, and it was what I expected. Funny part was Johnny Gill holding a guitar.

Maxwell was wonderful just the way I expected. The tweets for his part were hilarious. Women were swooning by tweet, ooohing, and awwwing.

Ne-Yo has finally gained my respect because he really sang Michael's songs last night with such grace and clarity.

I almost went into a full on ugly cry when Jamie Fox talked about Michael's career and his purpose. I started up and sucked it back in, so I wouldn't scare my children. Still have to get that out at some point.

I was shocked to see Joe Jackson there. I thought it was hilarious when Don Cornelius said Al Sharpton would "fight a brick." I also thought it was hilarious when Eddie Levert went into his story about being on the set of Michael's Black and White video, and cursed like and old Uncle would.

We TIVO'd through that Lil' Wayne and Drake tom foolery, so I can't really comment because I didn't really see it. It was inappropriate for the night in much the same way Snoop Dog's show was on the anniversary of the March on Washington, a year or two ago. Some fools you can't stop no matter what you do.

Aaron Hall, of Guy has lost his voice. I don't know what happened there. Keith Sweat was whiny as usual. I don't know why I ever liked him.., ahhh youth. Tevin Campbell looks like he has had a hard life, but is now trying to get it together. I could still see the hardness though.

Umm Keri Hilson is boring, but I prefer her to Rihanna. As a matter of fact up until last night I thought her songs were Rihanna's songs. That's probably not good for Rihanna.

Mary Mary and the Queen were excellent. My kids went nuts.

Soulja Boy Tell'em boo!!! What Ice Tee said...yeah. (Grown folks only)

Jay-z's new song became likeable to me last night. I guess it was the live performance.

Here is Alicia Keys doing her best impersonation of "I am not a homewrecker, I am a humanitarian."

Keyshia Cole looked the same as always, Monica looked polished and on top of the world. Frankie & Neffe are getting a show...sigh. I'll be watching...sigh. Tiny & Toya have a new show...sigh. I watched a sneak peek last night... won't be watching anymore. Tiny is too disgusting to watch. She looks like an old drunk, and the exaggerated facial expressions she makes when she says her "life is great." Signals a life that is horribly wrong. I study facial expressions and lying (favorite past time of mine).

Janet Jackson looked beautiful and very sad at the same time. She even looked and sounded a little resentful toward us, the public. I can't say that I can blame her because CNN and others have been very cruel towards Michael over that last few days. A side note here, I will be doing an M. Jackson tribute, but I am taking time to get things right within myself. This was a huge loss for me.


3pieceonline said...

right on all counts. I too think they did the best they could. It is not like all of a sudden something classy will magically appear. Ne-Yo classic! Janet made me start crying all over again. Jamie was Jamie.


life as I know said...

Okay, you're right, it was insanity on our behalf to think B.E.T. could be something other than what they are. I should not have expected a leopard to change its spots. LOL!

It did have its high's but there were oh so many low's in between.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

True. True. You can't expect a leopard to change its spots, and it IS admirable that they did all of that in three days.

But... Lil' Wayne and them up there grabbing their crotches and singing "We Like Her" with tweens on the stage shouting the curses and "N" words with them was a NEW low for BET. It was absolutely disgusting.

Definitely have a newfound respect for Ne-Yo, though. Beautiful voice, and he seemed genuine in his delivery.

Love Janet--always.

Thanks for the recap!

Miss you, Michael--RIP.

Dori said...

I haven't seen the awards yet, but they are on here this Saturday. Thanks for the heads up.

I tell you though, it is so hard to think of Michael being gone. Been loving him since Off The Wall. I pray he gets the rest he deserves now.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

Wow!!!! Glad I TIVO'd through Lil' Wayne's part. I didn't know kids were up there. Some fools will never stop being fools, BET seems not to be able to have a show without a fool on it. That nightly show they have on is full of fools. I can't watch for two minutes without aborting mission.

Ms. Bar B: said...

Lol, who's home has Alicia wrecked?? I missed that one... I think I can say that I agree with everything that you've said about the show. I did almost fall asleep through Don's speech/intro though, God bless his heart, lol...

Not many people did, but I liked Keri's performance. I'm all about dance so I like the way that it was laid out and that she incorporated her own personal tribute to Michael within it AND the fact that her whole little crew was women. That was hot.

Ne-yo I have always loved and I thought it was cool that he took us back, even though like you said, Aaron wasn't prepared to be singing.

Am in love with Maxwell and I'm glad he's back... Loved Tyrease, Trey Songs and Johnny Gill saluting the O'Jays.

That pretty much sums the experience up for me... of course Janet stole my heart. I wasn't expecting her to be there at all, and yes, I do think that when it comes to Michael the public has broken both his heart and her's so I can see why she would be a little "fill in the blank" to see so much love pour out for him. And I don't even wanna talk about Joe...grrrr.

Jennifer said...

I couldn't wait to see what you wrote. Love, love, love this!

I watched Li'l Wayne and it almost ruined the show for me. I didn't see the beginning, but from what I saw, people were being a little more mature and dignified. Li'l Wayne, in particular, was tacky I think.

Keri Hilson is boringish, but I love her style and individuality so it balances out :)

I think Vin Reems (spelling?) pushed it, but I don't think he meant to be disrespectful with that "Guns in Michael Jackson..." stuff. It came off as weird.

Jamie was perfect for the event and his performance rocked, I think, Ne-Yo was awesome too. Jay-Z... love, Beyonce...would like to see something different, but always love, Tiny...LOL...I'm taking your advice and stearing clear of the show.

Nice post and can't wait to see your tribute :)

Jewelry Rockstar said...

@ Bar. B., Alicia Keys has been caught dating Swizz Beatz while his wife was pregnant. He had been with his wife for about 11 years and when she got pregnant, I guess he wigged out like some men do. Alicia swooped in a took him despite the fact that he has a new baby that probably needs him at home. Oh well, some folks have no morals, and they forget the law of reciprocation.

Also, double grrr @ Joe's ass. I'm ready to black his eye. Don cornelius was funny, but I don't think he was trying to be.

I did think it was nice of Keri to do a MJ tribute too.
Tyrese and the crew were great! Forgot to mention it.

@Jennifer that whole Baby Boy thing was a little bizarre.

fly tie said...

big loss for me as well. :-(

i'm shame to even say i tuned in for it, but i did. (also to see what would/could be done for michael). great points you made in opening paragraphs.

missed new edition. will have to youtube it. was kinda zoned out on a lot of it actually. but maxwell...sigh. teared up on that part.

lil wayne...just why? yep. young girls and all. and i agree: inappropriate.

was also about to ask whose home alicia wrecked, but got it.

really didn't get beyonce's wardrobe situation, but hey, whatever.

drake's mannerisms had me confused. and has staying on the stool.

yeah, i got that from janet, too. definitely can't blame her.

keyshia cole looked weird next to monica.

i hear you on tevin, he just looked old. sounded half good, though.

while watching that at someone else's house, they were flipping to tv one so we could also see "unsung" about florence ballard (original supremes member), and i though about your blog and all the great tributes you do. looking forward to mike's.

*about to find you on twitter*

Jewelry Rockstar said...

@Flytie folks on twitter said Drake torn his ACL and couldn't move.

I watched the Flo Ballard Unsung after the BET (ala TIVO). It was good, but I had read about her story some years ago. I am loving Unsung. I think the only story I already knew about was Florence Ballard. The others are very intriguing.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I forgot that I love your read on Janet Jackson. Honestly, I got the vibe that the audience was surprised that she said to us he was an icon, but to them he was family...before that I think people felt like they were much tighter with him...very interesting and I respect it.