The Stars Were Aligned For The BET Awards 2012

I truly enjoyed every aspect of the show this year.

I must say it was star studded and truly represented Black Entertainment minus a few people here and there. The event looked classy, despite the causal-ness that hip hop artist can sometimes bring.

Most of the artist who preformed brought their A game and I was very proud of them. Usually I feel like some artist don’t take the BET awards serious and do lack luster performances but Melanie Fiona performed like she would never perform again. This set the bar for the rest of the evening.

Nicki Minaj performed her face off too with 2 Chainz. Beyonce was rockin’ to Bees In The Trap, I had a flashback to the Soldier video watching Bey. lol #thuggin

Whew the BET staff were a fool for bringing back Chante Moore!!! My Gawd she did justice to Donna Summers. Where did she come from though? She looked very rejuvenated and youthful. You Go Girl!

It wouldn’t be right for me to forget D’Angelo showing us he still has it. I really enjoyed seeing him perform after reading that GQ article about a month ago.

The Whitney Houston tribute was phenomenal! Mariah looked great and I enjoyed her speaking about the memories she had with Whitney. She was fighting not to breakdown. The ladies from Waiting to Exhale was a nice bonus also, especially since I love that movie. Monica truly showed her skill in a tremendous way singing I Love The Lord, a song that meant more to Whitney than her biggest hit I Will Always Love You. Monica looked beyond beautiful too. I was on pins and needles unsure that Brandy would be able to deliver vocally, but she made me very proud with her vocals and dance moves. Now if only we can get that on her own music she might be able to sell some albums. Cissy, took me to church and back to the old school. I surprisingly didn’t shed a tear like Soulja Boy and Beyonce.

Speaking of Beyonce… the front row was like watching royalty with Solange and her man Alan Ferguson, Jay and Beyonce, and Kanye with his new addition Kim Kardashian (she looked very uncomfortable and unaware of black culture by the way). Nikki Minaj was next to Kim K. I enjoyed all the different interactions Beyonce had with her husband and sister. She was truly enjoying herself, comfortable being herself, and not just sitting there prim and proper. Afterall, its the BET awards which means family and when you’re around family there is no need to be frontin’.

We see hip hop passing the paton with new artist like Wale and Big Sean both winning an award.

The opening of the show really surprised me. I was not prepared for Mercy to be the opening performance, I love that song. Then, I was extra shocked to see Kanye West come out.

Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee rapping their own version of N**** In Paris to open the show was hilarious even though I really couldn’t understand what they were saying, but they clearly enjoyed themselves which made me laugh with them and not so much at them.

Surpise number three came for me when Jay Z came out during West acceptance speech on behalf of The Throne group.

I was a little annoyed by the official announcement that Lauren London will be on The Game, like who cares?! (Maybe its just me) I’d rather here continue to be Shelly on Single Ladies as a regular.

Lala Anthony, was looking a mess. That outfit wasn’t it and her hair looked jacked up. I assume there were some behind the scenes activity that may have played a part in her appearance.

Overall, I was satisfied by the various things that took place July 1, 2012 in the Shrine Auditorium. It was clever, funny, talented and most of all it was Family.


A Lesson In Acceptance via J. Cole

This thing has been bothering me for a while now.

This summer I kept hearing this song that was sooo west coast, the beat, the vibe, even the way it was rapped, but I didn’t know who’s song it was. At first, it was very seldom it would come on the radio. Gradually, I began to hear it more and more. I thought it was some new artist from out here in LA, but to my surprise it was J. Cole. WTF?!!

The funny thing is that I kept rejecting the fact that it was him every time someone would tell me this. I would ask my friends who are always up on the latest music and they would tell me the same thing every time; in the car or at a party, it never failed. After a while I started to get the side eye -__- from them in my confusion. I have to laugh at myself right now just thinking about the numerous times I heard the song and sincerely thought “hmm, I wonder who this is rapping?” This has gone on for about four months now.

Everytime I hear it in the car I would feel so good and bounce to it as if it were a Dre and Snoop Dogg track from the early 2000s, or even a DJ Quik song. I felt taken advantage of and used when I kept hearing J. Cole’s name. I have nothing against him, after all, he is college educated, from an HBCU at that (I love my HBCUs), and somewhat handsome, but at the end of the day he is not from Cali.

I feel like I sound narrow-minded about this song, but I hold west coast music dear to my heart because it is a specific kind of beat and feel to it. A dip, bounce groove to your two-step happens when you listen to a west coast beat no matter what the song is talking about. The RnB vibe is always tied to a west coast song, even if its subconscious. So, here I am doing my sacred west coast/Cali groove to J. Cole’s “Work Out” and I feel deceived deep in my heart.

Finally, this week I received it in my spirit that this was J. Cole’s song. LOL

*Side Note: I’m not a huge music person, but I do feel that sometimes California rappers don’t get their just do and then here comes J. Cole benefiting from us. I’m not even going to mention Wiz Khalifa’s “I Roll Up”…*

Okay, so after accepting it in my heart that this is J. Cole’s song I go to my Dell Notebook, in hopes that the video has some palm trees and a beach in it. I even cross my fingers for a low-rider or two. Once again, I’m thoroughly disappointed while looking at the video on YouTube, this negroe is on a basketball court in grimy a$$ New York- Brooklyn to be exact. Once again, WTF?!

Hold up! I have love for New York, don’t jump down my back. I’m actually trying to live there, but that is neither here nor there. The video just hurt my soul, slowly; seeing him on the basketball court, then that house party scene (not even at a club) #Icant. I guess I should appreciate the Los Angeles Raiders snapback he wears in the video though, right?

All jokes aside, the video doesn’t do the song justice at all anyway. Let me retract that house party scene comment, I understand the logic behind it now.

I have love for J. Cole and his recent come up. This is in no way a diss to him or his music. This is merely about my love for my city, Los Angeles, and how near and dear it is to my heart, especially the music.

The reason for this tangent is to also let you know that I got over all my preconceived notions about the song, finally. I can now fully enjoy the song and dance/ groove to it because I have accepted it for what it is, a great song by J. Cole. I can’t lie, I really enjoy the song and feel good while listening to it, although the lyrics are slightly distasteful- talking about a one night stand smh. So, don’t be surprised if you see me dancing to it at a party or gathering.

P.S. the song was produced by J. Cole and samples Kanye West “New Workout Plan” and Paula Abdul “Straight Up”

What have you had trouble accepting? How do you feel about the song “Work Out” and its west coast feel? Any other feelings come to mind with this song?

-TheJournalist25 xoxo