Year after year, BET brings the heat for the crisp October season with its annual Hip Hop Awards, celebrating the trailblazing, the groundbreaking and the new-coming victors among the rap circle.
The 2019 Hip Hop Awards at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on Saturday (October 5) drove the anticipation to extraordinary heights in its 13-year history. With a handful of brand new award categories and knee-slapping one-liners from this year’s host, Lil Duval, attendees were in for a slew of surprises that kept them on their toes all night. But it was the array of stellar performances from the world’s hip-hop pacemakers that burst the show’s momentum through the roof.
Houston’s most flaming rap talent of the new hip-hop class, Megan Thee Stallion, drove the show in as the star opening act along with her crew of hotties aboard the S.S. Hot Girl. Joined later by her Hot Boy co-captain and Charlotte’s breakout star DaBaby, Meg busted the house down with her “Hot Girl Summer” and “Cash Sh**” bangers.
But that was just the beginning of the grand excitement that flipped the house on its head. From gripping odes to Black women to a T-Pain pop-out, here are some of the other stage phenomenons from the 2019 Hip Hop Awards that left fans with a night to remember forever:
The Snow Hill-native merged one of her Eve standouts, “Nina,” with a freestyle salute to female rap artists for her set. Backdropped with life-sized portraits of pristine, yet raw, images of Black women, Rapsody was ringed in a triangle of fire, magnetizing the audience to both her stage set and masterful lyricism.
As hip-hop’s current feature favorite and the show’s lone stage frequenter, DaBaby was met with standing ovations at every appearance. After helping Megan steal the show in its first few minutes, the “Suge” rapper stayed busy for the rest of the night while attendees stayed on their feet for his other stage tag teams with Offset and Lil Baby.
Ricky Rozay kept his set signaturely bossed up, entering the stage on none other than a king’s throne and letting the hits speak for themselves. Running down his discography, Rick brought out fresh cuts like “BIG TYME” and fan-favorited oldies, such as “B.M.F.” and “Hustlin’.” Nothing shook the house up and reinforced his chief rap commander status like his performance of “The Boss,” however, which also stunned fans with a surprise appearance from the song’s R&B assist, T-Pain.
Landscaped with a deep orange sunset and skyscraping mountains, Chano didn’t jump out of the gate with his “Hot Shower” banger that some fans might have expected. It didn’t make his performance any less memorable, however, after he devoted his song selection to his wife, Kirsten Corley. With messages of plans after death to keep his family afloat and practicing celibacy to save his relationship, The Big Day artist’s set left fans’ hearts tender and their eyes tear-jerked.
Leave it to the City Boy leader and the 2019 Hip Hop Awards host to fly completely off the rails in the grandest stage entrance of the night. Duval rang in his host duties with the TOM G. and KaMillion-featured track, complete with a wild wheelchair ride, live drummers, pink hair bonnets and more.
And be sure to tune in to the 2019 Hip Hop Awards on Tuesday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET to see these performances and more!
(Photos from left: Aaron J. Thornton/WireImage, Moses Robinson/Getty Images for BET)