Fighting the Power! : BET Awards 2020 Most Memorable Moments
Updated: Jul 3
An ungodly hour, with rockstars, and a trip downtown all happened while simultaneously fighting the power at the 2020 BET awards! With Black Lives Matter being a consistent theme throughout the night, there were many moments to remember at the BET Awards. Memorable moments such as Beyonce’s Humanitarian award, The Clark Sisters “Something Has To Break” duet, or even the shows opening of the remix Public Enemy’s 1993 song “Fight the Power”.Though there were many memorable moments there were a few that definitely stuck out! Here are the most memorable moments of the 2020 BET Awards!
1.) The show began with the remix of Public Enemy’s 1993 song “Fight the Power”. The remix consisted of rappers Nas, Rhapsody, Enlist YG, and Quest Love just to name a few. The original duo of Public enemy Chuck D and Flavor Flav were present throughout the video as well. The inspiration for the show’s opening comes shortly after the recent racial tension stemming from the killings of unarmed black men and women. Tight fists and all-black attire and the colors red, green, and black on the American Flag are reoccurring imagery. The colors red, green, and black often associated with and symbolizes Pan Africanism. With powerful imagery and timely lyrics such as “The Information Age Got 'em seein' what's really wrong with these racist days,” it’s fair to say that this video set the tone for the rest of the night!
2.) After a moving performance from John Legend, another powerful and thought-provoking performance was given from D Smoke and Sir. D Smoke the winner of the hip-hop competition show “Rythm and Flow”, performed his two singles “Let Go” and “Black Habits”. The performance begins with a male dancer dressed in all black moving to the sounds of police sirens as police in riot gear move in shortly afterward. D Smoke begins his performance with “Let Go” then transitions into “Black Habits” stating the desire for “all black everything” as an image of what appears to be Black Jesus is shown on a screen in the background. D Smoke and Sir then surprise the audience by introducing their mother who concludes their segment while singing as the stage slowly dims to black.
3.) Performing his single “Rockstar” with rapper Roddy Rich, Da Baby begins his performance in memory of George Floyd. The rapper positions himself on the ground with hands behind his back and a police officer knee on his neck. If the beginning of Da Baby’s performance wasn’t captivating enough the constant appearances of all-black attire, raised fists, and his stance on the police car sent a very clear message to the audience at home. Black Lives Matter and are not exempt from unjust treatment regardless of their fame or fortune.
4) Who can forget the hot girl!? Megan Thee Stallion begins her performance in a setting that closely resembles the movie “Mad Max”. Megan begins by performing her latest single “Girls In The Hood” and then transitions into her hit single “Savage Remix” featuring Beyonce. With great stage presence and seamless choreography, Megan continuously holds the audience’s attention throughout the entire performance. Though Megan’s hit singles don’t directly address police brutality she makes sure to show solidarity with a black fist in the background.
5.) Megan wasn’t the only lady of the night captivating the audience’s attention! The heavenly twins Halle and Chloe our sure to show us their talents singing songs off their new album “The Ungodly Hour”. The ladies begin dressed in a shiny all-black assemble singing their hit song “Forgive Me”. Then the ladies transition in both imagery and song by singing their other hit single “Do It” in an all-white attire. Then the screen splits showcasing them dressed in all black battling against the other side dressed in all white giving a visual representation of what seems to be good and evil.
6) Taking a quick break from the performances Amanda Seales, the host of the show participates in her own skit called “The Karens of The World”. Prior to the killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, a white woman by the name of Amy Cooper in Central Park called the police on an unarmed black man due to a verbal debate when being asked to put her dog on a leash. With many similar instances such as Amy Cooper’s now more commonly known as “Central Park Karen”, social media has labeled her and other women who seem to take advantage of their white privileges as “Karens”. In the skit, Seales disguises herself as a “Karen” speaking privately amongst other Karens who not only participate in their white privilege but don’t seem to grasp the concept of the Black Lives Matter movement. Seales begins to pretend to agree with them only to out them as “Karens” later and reveal her true self.
7.) Going back to the performances artists Anderson Paak and Jay Rock perform the song “Lockdown”. The song “Lockdown” speaks to the current issues such as COVID-19 and the protests against police brutality. The performance begins as the camera zooms in on Paak and his band playing with a black fist in the background comprised of the names killed at the hands of police brutality. Anderson begins to sing with cuts and bruises over his face through a neighborhood typesetting. Midway through the performance, a spotlight is cast on Jay Rock as he begins his spoken-word piece. Towards the end of their performance, the camera slowly pans to a globe set on fire, a symbolization of the current chaos that surrounds us.
8.) Closer to the end of the night Beyonce receives her humanitarian award and is presented by former first lady Michelle Obama. Giving her speech Beyonce dedicates her award to every protestor on the front lines fighting against racial injustice and police brutality. She also challenges everyone to a call to action by voting. “Vote like our life depends on it because it does.”
9.) It wouldn’t be right to do a BET awards review without mentioning that the BET awards is celebrating 20 years! Furthermore, the BET network itself is celebrating 40 years! One of the highlights of the show was getting to learn the history behind the network. Bob Johnson the co-founder of the BET speaks about how the network came to be and how BET has contributed to the culture.
10.) Lastly, the powerful gospel mother-daughter duo Kierra and Karen Clark Sheard sing “Something Has to Break”. “Something Has To Break” a single originally recorded by Kierra Clark Sheard joins her mother as they take center stage in their powerful performance!
The BET Awards 2020 was definitely memorable and arguably one of the best BET awards thus far! There are other notable mentions such as Jennifer Hudsons Young Gifted and Black Performance, Alicia Keys tribute to those that have fallen at the hands of police violence, and tributes to both Kobe Bryant and Little Richard! Can't wait till next year to see what the BET awards have in store!