Eminem Drops Exclamation Point on Thrilling BET Hip Hop Awards

The BET Hip Hop Awards splashed down to the Sunshine State for its 2017 ceremony, taking advantage of South Florida’s tropical vibes, frenetic energy and vibrant music scene to honor hip-hop’s hustle. The show attracted a who’s who of hip-hop royalty, including Gucci Mane, Luke Campbell, Playboi Carti and Flo Rida, while transforming Miami’s Jackie Gleason Theater into a trendy South Beach nightclub with bursts of pyrotechnics, fog, and flashing lights.

Migos performs “Too Hotty” at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Hosted by Miami native and modern renaissance man DJ Khaled, the Hip-Hop Awards paid homage to both industry veterans like Eminem (who went viral with a politically-charged freestyle) and spunky newcomers like Hustler of the Year, Cardi B.

Check out these highlights from the hottest night in hip-hop:

DJ Khaled represents the 305 with an opening, all-star performance of I’m So Hood

DJ Khaled’s 2007 single I’m So Hood depicted the city’s street life and featured a roster of fellow Miami-based rappers, including T-Pain, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross and Plies.

Ten years later, the song has been remixed by countless new artists, including Lil’ Wayne and Young Jeezy, and has become a hip-hop staple, cementing Miami’s place in Southern hip-hop. Fittingly, DJ Khaled chose to open the night with I’m So Hood, reuniting with his crew to perform their iconic, ebullient anthem.

Watch the performance:

Hustler of the Year Cardi B snags five awards, surprising no one

After releasing her debut single Bodak Yellow, spunky Bronx native and former Love & Hip-Hop: New York star Cardi B ascended to rap stardom. Her raucous hit reached the no. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list in September, with The New York Times declaring it “the rap anthem of the summer.” The Hip-Hop Awards honored the 25-year-old singer with a well-deserved title: “Hustler of the Year.”

Here’s the breakdown from BET:

“2017 has seen [Cardi B] rise phenomenally to the top of the charts through sheer grit, determination, charm, and talent,” wrote Noisey. “It’s only right that she was appropriately honored at [the Hip-Hop] awards.”

And despite competing against rap titans such as Jay-Z, Diddy and Snoop Dogg, Cardi B won five awards, the highest number for any nominee that night.

Eminem’s incendiary cypher goes viral

One of the most highly anticipated parts of the ceremony are the cypher showcases, where rappers compete in pre-recorded freestyle battles aired throughout the ceremony.

This year’s standout performance came from Eminem. The Detroit rapper’s four-minute, incendiary tirade against President Trump covered racism in America, gun violence, the president’s antagonistic use of Twitter, the NFL protests and the disaster in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Dissing Trump isn’t exactly revolutionary, especially for a rapper, but Eminem ended his cypher by calling out his own fans—many of whom voted for Trump—with the words, “…Any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his…I’m drawing in the sand a line, you either for or against.”

Watch the cypher:

With his ferocious, politically explosive freestyle, Eminem served as a segue between “young, angry, disenfranchised, white fans and the world of hip-hop, the urban ghettos and ‘hoods where poor Black folks struggle and strive under the weight of ingrained American injustice,” Uproxx noted.

The freestyle went viral almost instantly. Eminem’s tweet with the embedded cypher video is currently the most-shared post on Twitter.

Political commentator Keith Olbermann deemed Eminem’s performance – which he shot in a Detroit parking garage – as, “the best political writing of the year, period.”

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the originator of the NFL protest movement, took to Instagram and Twitter to personally thank Slim Shady for supporting his “Take a Knee” protest in the cypher:

Re-watch the show on BET.com, and see the full list of nominees and winners below:

Single of the Year
Migos Feat. Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee”
Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow” – WINNER
Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”
Future, “Mask Off”
DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts”

Album of the Year
DJ Khaled, Grateful
Future, FUTURE
J. Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only
Jay Z, 4:44
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN. – WINNER
Migos, Culture

Best New Hip-Hop Artist
Cardi B – WINNER
Kodak Black
Playboi Carti
Tee Grizzley

Hustler of the Year
Cardi B – WINNER
Chance the Rapper
DJ Khaled
Jay Z
Kendrick Lamar

Best Collabo, Duo or Group
DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts” – WINNER
French Montana feat. Swae Lee, “Unforgettable”
Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee”
Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”
Yo Gotti feat. Nicki Minaj, “Rake It Up”

Best Hip-Hop Video
Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts”
French Montana feat. Swae Lee, “Unforgettable”
Future, “Mask Off”
Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.” – WINNER

Hot Ticket Performer
Cardi B
Chance the Rapper
J. Cole
Kendrick Lamar –​ WINNER

Lyricist of the Year
Chance the Rapper
J. Cole
Jay Z
Kendrick Lamar –​ WINNER

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom –​ WINNER
Colin Tilley
Dave Meyers and Missy Elliott
Director X
Hype Williams

DJ of the Year
DJ Drama
DJ Envy
DJ Esco
DJ Khaled –​ WINNER
DJ Mustard

Producer of the Year
DJ Khaled & Nasty Beatmakers
DJ Mustard
London On Da Track
Metro Boomin –​ WINNER
Mike Will Made-It
Pharrell Williams

MVP of the Year
Cardi B
Chance The Rapper
DJ Khaled –​ WINNER
Jay Z
Kendrick Lamar

Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style)
A$AP Rocky
Cardi B –​ WINNER
Nicki Minaj

Best Mixtape
Cardi B, Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2 –​ WINNER
Gucci Mane, Droptopwop
Juicy J, Gas Face
Playboi Carti, Playboi Carti
Tee Grizzley, My Moment
Yo Gotti & Mike Will Made-It, Gotti Made-It

Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse
Chance the Rapper, “I’m the One” (DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne)
Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles” (Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane)
Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee” (Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert)
Nicki Minaj, “Rake It Up” (Yo Gotti feat. Nicki Minaj) –​ WINNER
Ty Dolla $ign, “Ain’t Nothing” (Juicy J feat. Wiz Khalifa & Ty Dolla $ign)
Wiz Khalifa, “Ain’t Nothing” (Juicy J feat. Wiz Khalifa & Ty Dolla $ign)

Impact Track
Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow”
Jay Z, “Story of O.J.” –​ WINNER
Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.”
Kendrick Lamar, “DNA.”
Lecrae, “Blessings” Feat. Ty Dolla $ign
Tyler, The Creator, “Who Dat Boy” Feat. A$AP Rocky


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