The Bet Awards 2013: California Knows How To Party
Last weekend (June 28-30) I headed to LAX to attend the BET Awards 2013. This year, the television network was not only hosting an award ceremony, like they have since 2001, but they were also hosting the BET Experience – a weekend where anything could happen. The BET Experience took place nearby the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and featured performances from some of the West Coast’s finest, including Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar…
The music festival also saw a soul food exhibition and a ‘Music Matters’ stage which featured artists Marsha Ambrosius, Elijah Blake, Ab-soul and others. Movies such as Kevin Hart’s 'Let Me Explain' were also shown during the weekend, and musical mastermind Pharrell Williams even held a seminar called ‘Genius Talk’ were he discussed his artistic inspirations.
Arriving in LA on Thursday (27) evening, I headed to True Magazine’s pre-BET party at Couture Nightclub in Hollywood, which gave us a real authentic insight into night clubs on the West Coast. The vibe gave off a down-south Atlanta feel, as girls positioned themselves on top of tables in every available corner to give the fellas a seductive dance to blaring hip-hop music in not much more than their underwear.
Kicking off the BET Experience on Friday night before the awards on Sunday night was Beyonce. The singer was not only starting the BET Experience, but it was also the first North American tour date she had done during her Mrs Carter World Tour. Performing some of her biggest hits, she left the Staples Center in awe with her bold outfits, almost-acrobatic dance moves and intense caramel vocals.
The concert saw after parties take place in the plenty, so The Wrap Up’s UK Rap columnist and I headed to the W Hotel in Hollywood Vine to attend the BET Experience Kick-Off party, which took place on the roof of the hotel in Drai’s nightclub, which was complete with palm trees and a swimming pool – bliss. The party saw some familiar faces attend, such as Miley Cyrus, Da Internz, rapper Problem, and many others who were ducking in and out of the bustling crowd.
On Sunday came the day that everyone had been waiting for – the BET Awards. Representing MTV’s The Wrap Up on the red carpet, we spoke to 2 Chainz, French Montana, Elijah Blake, Bridget Kelly, Elephant Man, DJ Drama, Tyson Beckford, Jay Ellis and many others – look out for the video footage coming to The Wrap Up soon.
The award show itself saw a legendary performance from Snoop Dogg, Lifetime Achievement award winner Charlie Wilson, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell. Other performers included Miguel, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Jamie Foxx to name a few. Chris Tucker presented the show in the Nokia Theatre, keeping the laughter flowing.
After the awards, we made our way to the nearby Belasco Theater, where Chris Brown was hosting an after party. The theater was grand and visually stunning, which was a stark contrast to the pleasantly anti-Hollywood atmosphere, which saw people banging their heads and smoking in the seated balcony area to some intense rap.
As the crowd thickened, rapper Problem came to the stage which had the crowd going insane – as well as the audience’s enthusiasm, Problem was also a name that was mentioned by established artists we spoke to over the weekend, indicating that he is one to keep your eyes on this year.
With Chris Brown, Karreuche Tran and many others in attendance, the crowd continued to party until the early hours after the live acts were over to staple West Coast tracks by Tupac, Dr Dre and others.
UK viewers can catch up with the BET Awards as the show is set to be repeated on Saturday, July 6 at 8pm on Sky 187, Virgin 184 and Freesat 140.
Words: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)