Over the years, the red carpet at the BET Hip Hop Awards has brought us some of the biggest looks in fashion from those who make the culture legendary. Fourteen years in, the growth of hip-hop fashion can be seen in the massive jackets from the early 2000s to the sleek looks that shape its present. We haven’t seen any trends come back around yet — 2006’s clothes we’re way too big — but, if they do, you know where you saw them first.
On Oct. 27, the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards will be back with a virtual ceremony but you’ll still be able to track the ‘fits of your favorite artists. To commemorate the coming ceremony, we’ve taken a look back at the standout looks from each year’s awards show. These styles will make you even more excited to see what your faves bring to the carpet later this month.
Nothing says 2006 like Billionaire Boys Club. The legendary streetwear brand is responsible for Ludacris’ one-of-a-kind jacket, covered with beepers, that instantly reminds you of the Myspace era — it even looks like a background that would be on the page. He made a splash on the red carpet during the first BET Hip-Hop Awards that the world still isn’t all the way over.
Fresh off her poppin’ “Lip Gloss” fame, Lil Mama was determined to showcase how her style makes all the boys keep stoppin.’ With a patterned jacket, beret and Ed Hardy belt, the rapper was the star of the show before it even started. Her ensemble could, dare we say, interrupt a planned performance on stage.
This one’s a double header. Soulja Boy and his partner-in-rhyme, Arab, brought fresh and youthful energy to the 2008 BET Hip Hop Awards with oversized Soulja Boy apparel. It looks funny now, of course, but at this time it was cutting edge, inspiring other artists to step up their merch. They stood out with ease.
If you remember early Busta Rhymes that ruled over rap in the 1990s, you know that his fashion choices have always been a spectacle. His 2009 red carpet get up had him looking like the richest uncle at your family cookout, in a Louis Vuitton jacket with more checkerboard than an actual checkerboard.
When the former host of 106 & Park steps to the red carpet, she’s bound to shut it down with her sexy looks. At the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards, she was the fiercest feline in the room with a cheetah print dress that left hearts racing.
The actress hit the carpet in a sleek, shiny, and futuristic platinum dress at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. Ross could have turned the on-stage celebration of hip-hop culture into a disco party — or launched everyone into a space odyssey.
The Good Kid in a M.A.A.D outfit introduced the world to the Rhude brand with a red paisley print shirt that was the talk of the internet when the awards aired. He performed on stage that night and switched the red shirt out for an even grittier black one.
At the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards, Eve was the night’s shiniest star — literally. She wore a dress that could best be described as a celestial map, featuring dazzling pieces that could blind you if you stepped too close. Just like her 2001 collaboration with Gwen Stefani, her dress could, and still does, blow your mind.
This list wouldn’t be complete without recognizing just how much Lil Mama’s style transformed since 2007, with it being equally as magnetic but in a slightly more mature way. Her sharp, futuristic dress created a sophisticated look that we still can’t get enough of.
Sometimes, the best outfit combinations come from keeping it simple and working with what you already know. For Scott in 2015, that was streetwear. He combined a sunset orange plaid shirt with an extremely rare Supreme tee and leather pants. It was a lot to take in, but when isn’t Travis a lot to digest when he releases his music? When you look at it that way, he stole the show.
One of the fiercest spitters in rap decided to dress like a goth band reject in 2016 with his magnificent ensemble at that year’s BET Hip Hop Awards. Perhaps inspired by the aesthetic of Marilyn Manson (who Uzi is a large fan of), the rapper wore black, tight, clothing that was leagues different than the baggy jeans and glistening grills of his peers that night.
Cardi B’s killer figure was the game-breaking aspect that made her 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards outfit so heart-stoppingly gorgeous. With her body gripped by a sleek, silver dress, she jammed foot traffic all around her.
What makes .Paak’s excellent outfit a true standout is that a part of it honors his friend, and acclaimed lyricist, Mac Miller. The late rapper died weeks before the show’s taping so, to pay respects to his friend, .Paak decided to wear a shirt that references Miller’s album and let the world know that he’d never be forgotten.
At last year’s BET Hip Hop Awards, Taylor was the talk of the town thanks to her beautiful, form-fitting dress. Her hubby Iman Shumpert’s fly fit, on the other hand, looked like it came with a first class ticket to the islands. The pair looked as if they were planning to head out on vacation at the end of the show.
(Photos by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET & Prince Williams/WireImage)