Last night’s BET Awards ceremony was brimming with gems, the largest of which was the reunion of Bad Boy artists — including Mase, 112, Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim and Diddy himself, (they were also joined by Pharrell, The Lox and French Montana) — performing an array of their hits: “Hypnotize,” “Feels So Good,” “Peaches and Cream,” “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” and “It’s All About The Benjamins.” The massive, 15-minute performance — which also included a video tribute to Notorious B.I.G. during his verse of “Mo Money Mo Problems” — had been kept a secret by the BET Awards, though Evans had hinted at it on Instagram the week prior. At one point during the performance, it’s been thoroughly noted, Diddy fell into a hole — the very hole through which Lil Kim would later appear:
But fans quickly helped Diddy out of the booby-trapped stage, and he returned to the concert that was momentous enough to make falling into a hole seem like the very insignificant thing it is:
Other key occurrences at the show included Nicki Minaj’s Viewers’ Choice Award win for her “Only” video (not the controversial animated lyric video); mid-speech, the rapper seems to have forgotten what exactly her award was for (she joked, “I was in the back”).
It makes sense that she would have been just a little less excited about this award, as she ultimately also won the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist award (incidentally, her sixth of these in a row), for which she brought her mother (who accompanied her as “Anaconda” blasted) onstage:
Meanwhile, Sam Smith won Best New Artist, though he wasn’t present to accept his award. Rather, host Anthony Anderson received it on his behalf, joking:
Sam Smith isn’t here tonight because he’s white and he didn’t think he would win at the BET Awards. He didn’t think he could win. But we showed him that we love him, too.
And thankfully, Kendrick Lamar — who started the evening with a symbolically heavy performance of “Alright” for which he stood atop a graffiti-covered police car in front of an enormous American flag — won Best Male Hip Hop Artist:
To everyone’s delight, the award for Best Actress went to Taraji P. Henson for her role as Cookie Lyon on Empire.
The evening also saw performances by Ciara, Jason Derulo and Tinashe (who were honoring Janet Jackson for her Ultimate Icon award):