The Microsoft Theater in LA is still sizzling as the 2015 BET Awards exploded from the venue on June 28, 2015. Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, this year’s events were nothing short of surprising.
The “Bad Boy for life” moniker was alive and well as the clique once known as Puff Daddy and the Family hit the stage for one of this year’s most anticipated family reunions. Despite the absence of Craig Mack, Total, Carl Thomas, Black Rob, and Styles P, the excitement that engulfed the arena still created a vibe so intoxicating that for a brief moment, (11 minutes to be exact), it was the 90s all over again.
The iconic reunion kicked off with Diddy entering the stage as his hit “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” plays. Less than a second later, Ma$e appeared to perform his 1997 smash “Feel So Good,” while he and Diddy danced across the stage decked in matching red and white sweatsuits. Bad Boy’s melodic R&B quartet 112 quickly followed, with an impromptu version of their uptempo club banger “Peaches & Cream,” which abruptly changed into Diddy’s “I Need a Girl Part Two.” Soon after, the pulsating beat from Faith Evans’ 1998 smash “Love Like This” engulfed the arena. The crowd once again went wild as “Bad Boy’s First Lady” glided across the stage also draped in an all red ensemble which included a mink jacket. The crowd was ecstatic.
Less than two minutes later, the Notorious B.I.G.’s verse from Total’s “Can’t You See” filled the air, while setting the pace for the rousing Bad Boy anthem “All About the Benjamins” featuring the Lox’s Jadakiss and Sheek Louch. Just when things couldn’t get any hyper, Lil Kim rose from beneath the stage in true tigress stance, as she provoked with her phrase, “Wanna bumble with the bee, huh?” As the crowd erupted into an uncontrollable frenzy, the Queen Bee continued brilliantly delivering her signature verse to the 1997 hit.
Adding to the crowd’s excitement, Ma$e and Diddy returned once again for their energetic party starter “Mo Money Mo Problems” As the crowed gleefully sang along, the energy increased as B.I.G’s voice emerged, leading into an endearing video montage of the late hip hop hero. Without Bad Boy, there would be no Bad Boy 2.0. With that being said, Diddy soon showcased his Bad Boy 2.0 artist French Montana as he delivered his verse from Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Ni**a (Remix).”
The cherry on top of this star studded family affair was Diddy’s introduction of his new single “Finna Get Loose” featuring Pharrell Williams and Chris Brown. Joined by Williams, as Brown danced through the aisles, the rest of the Bad Boy clique, along with label mate Janelle Monáe all danced together celebrating 20 years of entertainment. There were two anniversaries in one, as this year’s ceremony marked its 15th anniversary of being first televised on the same day back in 2001.
Other hip hop highlights included Kendrick Lamar who opened the show with an electrifying performance of his singles “Alright” and “King Kunta,” from his Billboard 200 topping album, To Pimp a Butterfly. While standing on top of a police car, the Compton MC brilliantly delivered bold statements which reflected his frustration over the world’s recent unfortunate events.
In true K-Dot fashion, he also beat out the rest of the nominees for this year’s Best Male Hip-Hop Artist award, which included J. Cole, Big Sean, Wale, Common, and last year’s winner Drake. This is Kendrick’s second win in the category after also receiving the honor in 2013. Oh what a night!