Shortly before this blog launched, I took BET to task both in the magazine and over at PopWatch for this year’s all-male roster of BET Hip-Hop Awards nominees. A few days later, I found myself in the uncomfortable position of being confronted by a defensive staffer from the network at an intimate cocktail party honoring Universal Motown Records president Sylvia Rhone, presented by the Black Women in Entertainment Law Foundation. Though cooler heads prevailed, I was no less surprised when a BET PR rep called to personally invite me to the taping of the show on Oct. 18 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. My response? Hell to the yes! Does that make me a hypocrite? Hell to the no!
Just because I think it’s wack that Estelle, M.I.A., and Jean Grae were overlooked by the nominating committee doesn’t mean frontrunners Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, and Jay-Z don’t deserve to be celebrated for their achievements. Besides, there’s no way I’d miss the top-secret all-star tribute to women in hip-hop that BET is keeping under wraps — despite the fact that it could help diffuse some of the flack they’re catching for failing to nominate a single female rapper. Though details of the salute remain scarce, I was told by one of the participants that it will include performances by Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and the Lady of Rage, among others.
I just confirmed my travel arrangements and I can’t wait to get down there so that I can keep you abreast of the scoop from the parties and the show. But before I pack my bags, I want to hear from you: Are you looking forward to the BET Hip-Hop Awards? Will you watch when the show airs on Oct. 23? Who are you rooting for? Are you as annoyed as I am that female rappers — few as there may be — were snubbed this year? Or is the era of female rappers dead and ovah?