Hip Hop Awards 20: A Look Back At 2019’s Most Memorable Performances

One year later, we’re gearing up for the return.

2019 BET Hip Hop Awards’ Most Memorable Performances — One Year Later
The 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards cranked up the intensity to 11, metaphysically burning down the set at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta. New categories were added, along with a fresh cast of artists to fill them, plus new and creative cyphers that gave the 13th annual installment of the groundbreaking awards show a revitalized feel, ensuring the world that, like hip hop itself, that the BET Hip Hop Awards would grow and evolve organically. And with this reenergized focus and innovative approach to creativity came a host of captivating and wholly original performances that, single-handedly, changed the game for what kinds of experiences you can expect across any awards show. They were so good that we recapped our most groundbreaking here.
A year later, we’re gearing up for the return of the BET Hip Hop Awards, and we would be remiss to not mention that the show’s performances still weigh heavy on our minds. Because of the global pandemic, live experiences just aren’t the same. In this climate, appreciating the work that came before helps build upon the future, and that’s just what we’re doing right now.
So tune in and see some of last year’s most memorable performances as we prepare for the this year’s Hip Hop Awards.

  • Saweetie, Lil Jon, and Petey Pablo’s extraordinary “My Type”/”Freek-A-Leek” matchup

    Bridging the world of the past with rap of the present, Saweetie’s nostalgic performance at the Hip Hop Awards was the kind of hip-gyrating routine that got everyone out of their seats, including a smiling Quavo who couldn’t help but participate from the front row. Wearing a bedazzled sweatshirt, Saweetie popped as she performed “My Type” and when she was finished, one of rap’s great hype men, Lil Jon, screamed his way on stage to introduce Petey Pablo for a show of “Freek-A-Leek.” The energy in the building was through the roof as every generation in attendance found something to latch onto.

  • Lil Kim performs medley with O.T. Genesis and Junior M.A.F.I.A.

    When Lil Kim speaks, you listen. So when she came out on stage on top of a set of steps to perform a medley of classic hits, everyone had their hands raised to the air for her spectacular show. She kicked things off with “Lighters Up” while wearing a bedazzled jumper. Later on, she broke out into her signature, high-octane set of dance moves while performing her verse from “Quiet Storm (Remix).” She appeared as a mannequin and then danced even smoother when she performed the booty-bouncing “Found You” with O.T. Genesis. Once Junior M.A.F.I.A. came out and the classic hits kicked into high storm, the Lil Kim experience became more legendary than ever.

  • Lil Baby and DaBaby steal the spotlight with “Baby”

    The two babies of rap came to the stage and showed why they’re the youngest guys in charge. They performed “Baby” while surrounded by women who made their show even more exciting. DaBaby came out in a puff of steam to perform his verse with his scene-stealing energy. Although simple, the show was the essence of what makes the awards so great: fresh music, hot scenes, and even more exciting, electric energy.

  • Cordae and Anderson .Paak travel back to the 1970s with “RNP”

    When it comes to the funkiest newcomer and established vets in the game, the duo of Cordae and Anderson .Paak are at the top of the list. Their performance of “RNP” at the Hip Hop Awards showcased just why they’re the grooviest duo around. In front of a set made to look like they’re the coolest guys in the 1970s, they danced on a street corner while explaining just why no one has the kind of pizazz that makes them unique. It felt like a music video from Sanford & Son came to life for three brief minutes.

  • Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby perform “Cash Shit” in front of a boat

    Dressed like the American flag, Megan Thee Stallion killed the competition at the Hip Hop Awards with her performance of “Cash Shit” with DaBaby. On a set made to look like a boat, she jumped off the deck to smash the stage to the ground while surrounded by pin-up girls moonlighting as dancers. In one of the most memorable moments of the night, DaBaby slid on the stage on his back for an excited performance of his verse. The pair’s synergy was as hot as the fiery colors displayed on the stage.

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