The 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards are getting closer and, on Wednesday (October 8), the hosts and performers for the award show were officially announced. Comedic supergroup 85 South are the latest to join the long lineage of the iconic names in entertainment that have taken to the stage to emcee the annual award show over the course of its 14-year history. Composed of Karlous Miller, DC Young Fly and Chico Bean, 85 South is one of the hottest comedy troupes right now. If you don't know who they are, don’t worry. BET.com has you covered. Here are some fast facts you need to know.
John Whitfield, better known as DC Young Fly, is a rapper, comedian, and actor. Last year, he sat down with Adam22 of No Jumper where he delved into his life story. DC Young Fly recalled how he was “goofy” and always up to something mischievous. So, it’s little surprise that he is one of the biggest comedians right now. But it wasn’t always that way. Raised in the westside of Atlanta, GA, DC Young Fly got caught up “in the streets” as a teenager. His time in the streets eventually led to a stabbing incident that almost cost him his life in 2013. That lit a fire under him and he pivoted to comedy. He started to make a name for himself with his viral online videos. His hard work paid off as he joined Wild 'N Out in 2017 and was named "Rookie of the Year" in his first season. He's been a comedic mainstay ever since and, in 2019, he made Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch.”
Hailing from Oxford, Mississippi, Karlous Miller was a firefighter before turning to comedy. He eventually moved to Atlanta to pursue his dream, telling Tiger Roar in 2018, “what made me what to become a comedian is I’ve always had a natural ability to make people laugh without trying.” In fact, Miller told the publication he created the now-viral slogan, “Black Men Don’t Cheat,” which was later popularized by Lil Duval and Charlamagne Tha God. After grinding it out on the standup comedian circuit, he became a regular on Wild 'N Out when it rebooted in 2013.
Rounding out the troupe is Jamal “Chico” Bean. In August, he was on the YouTube channel Earn Your Leisure, where he spoke about his upbringing in Washington, D.C. He lost his father when he was two years old, and Chico’s world was changed again when his uncle was killed in 2002, when he was a teenager. “He was like a superhero to me so when that happened, it changed my perspective,” he said. He attended Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina where he began his foray into comedy. Chico Bean got his big break when Nick Cannon flew him to New York to participate in a set for his 'Fresh Faces of Comedy' stand-up show in 2011. Fast forward to when Wild N’ Out was rebooted in 2013, Chico auditioned for the show. He made it through and has been a staple on the show ever since.
85 South started as a podcast and is now a traveling live show co-hosted by Karlous Miller, DC Young Fly and Chico. The show was launched after the three men worked together on Wild N’ Out. While speaking to The Breakfast Club crew in 2019, Chico explained that he and Karlous knew each other prior to Wild N’ Out. At some point, Karlous approached Chico and DC Young Fly to launch the podcast show, and things took off from there.
“This was just organic. This is how we kick it,” he explained. “We were going to be doing this anyway so we might as well let the people see it.” 85 South Show guests have included everyone from Lil Duval, Killer Mike, and Trinidad James to NBA champion Iman Shumpert and B. Simone.
In that same The Breakfast Club appearance, the trio explained that all of their shows are unscripted. Initially, they followed a structure for the first couple of shows to get a feel for each other until they found their groove and rhythm.
Now, everything is improvised and, if one thing is for certain, it’s that no topic is off limits to the 85 South Crew. According to DC Young Fly’s breakdown, Chico is the intellect to Miller’s street-smart wisecracking that balances out DC Young Fly’s chaotic energy.
Coincidentally, viewers got a taste of what 85 South is bringing to the 2020 Hip Hop Awards. Last year, the trio performed at the 2019 BET Social Awards. Later, Chico Bean and Karlous Miller were a part of the first comedy cypher during the 2019 Hip Hop Awards alongside Lil Duval, Affion Crockett, Jess Hilarious and Juhahn Jones.
Relive the hilarious experience below:
The 2020 Hip Hop Awards will air on BET October 27 at 8/9c.
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Revolt)