Welcome to the latest TGJ Roundtable!
Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!
Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.
Now, we give you a front row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, David, Rashad, and Joe – get real in a very candid way.
Today’s roundtable topic asks each anchor their thoughts on the…
2020 BET Awards
BET did that!
It goes without saying that the global health crisis meant that the odds were stacked against the show; a show many were surprised still went on. But, as the ceremony’s motto reminded, “Our Culture Is Too Big To Cancel.”
Like the Black music and movement that has blazed a trail and set trends for the world at large, the 20th annual BET spectacle set a high bar for award shows in the current climate.
For me, the evening’s undeniable MVP was Megan Thee Stallion.
Her Mad Max inspired performance very-much watched like an “I’ve arrived“ moment and seriously has me angling for this cinematic format to continue featuring (in some capacity) when everything returns to normal. Especially with top tier acts, who are consistently trying to up the ante.
I’m a sucker for the small details, so it wasn’t lost on me that her set still included “live instrumentation” and other embellishments usually present in stage performances. All of which was married with movie-like presentation. Kudos to Jaquel Knight and the entire crew.
Elsewhere, Chloe x Halle delivered yet another dynamic showing that ought to earn them new fans, while Roddy Ricch and DaBaby’s individual performances embraced the elements the show’s unique format lent itself to.
Alicia Keys and John Legend did too, but I was much more impressed with their visuals than the music. Especially as both have better songs in their recent arsenal. Still, I appreciate the clear effort and alignment with the night’s theme of #BlackLivesMatter.
Having birthed so many iconic BET moments as a performer, it felt so full circle seeing Beyonce receive the Humanitarian honour on the merit of how she’s gone on to use her platform. She’s a prolific giver and an activist, hence it’s awesome seeing her saluted as such.
Other highlights included Jennifer Hudson‘s performance, as well Summer Walker and Usher.
As for the night’s host, Amanda Seales held her own. Sound and all. That said, I would like to see her back next year, so as for her to be able to shine within the context of the show’s traditional format.
All in all, the BET Awards showed up and showed out and reminded why it sits within upper echelon of award shows.
BET nailed it.
I wasn’t sure how the award ceremony’s producers would deliver a virtual award show, but they executed it perfectly by giving its performers the space to create original and innovative visuals for the tracks they would have performed if not for the outbreak of the pandemic.
Highlight of the night? That has to be Megan Thee Stallion’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome/ Janet Jackson ‘You Want This’-inspired performance of ‘Girls In the Hood’ and ‘Savage.’
Just as brilliant? Amanda Seales who successfully carried the show using humour, history and her clear understanding of Pop culture to address the issues off the day in a light yet hard hitting way. I hope to see her return next year.
Question: Anyone else find it strange that Doja Cat was not the line-up? Considering her recent success with ‘Say So’ I expected her to be one of the night’s performers, but wonder if her recent public relations problems may be why she wasn’t.
The BET Awards continues to be a trendsetter and easily one of the year’s highlights as it relates to awards shows. Admittedly, while taking the virtual route was quite risky because of the constant changes in energy and themes (given the variety of the presentations, performances, etc.), overall BET pulled it off. It felt more like a TV special than an awards show. But again, the general execution was performed well.
Given the social climate of the moment, we needed the BET Awards to be unapologetically “us.” I very much appreciated the BLM-dedicated performances and the uniformity of the message.
Highlight of the night was undoubtedly the ‘Wild Wild West’/Mya ‘Case of the Ex’-inspired performance of Megan The Stallion which set the bar really high. Elsewhere, Alicia Keys, John Legend, and DaBaby sent powerful messages with their respective showings.
All in all, the show was commendable but served as a reminder of how vital the BET Awards audience is. Usually one of the hypest award show audiences, their absence was understood but sorely missed.
One thing is for sure, the 20th BET Awards ceremony was one of a kind.
First thing’s first, the level of production was out of this world. Especially considering the current climate.
From Roddy Ricch and DaBaby to the performance of the night courtesy of Rap princess Megan Thee Stallion, the ceremony was grand, often woke and overall fairly entertaining.
Amanda Seales held her own as far as presenting the ceremony, and her voice in these crazy times is more than necessary.
Nothing too controversial on the winners list, everything felt well deserved. Of course Beyonce’s powerful speech, preceded by some loving words by the forever First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, stole the show and was a true testament of the entertainer’s intense relationship with the trailblazing network.
As it’s been the case during the pandemic “era,” it seems people are closer than ever even when they are physically apart, and last night was a true testament to how beautiful our culture is when we come together.
Do you agree with our picks? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and your thoughts on the 2020 BET Awards.