Rick Ross and Young Jeezy’s backstage brawl may have taken center stage, but there were plenty of other highlights at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2012, which was taped on Saturday at Atlanta’s Boisfeuillet Jones Civic Center. Wiz Khalifa kicked off the show with “Work Hard, Play Hard,” bringing out special guest Young Jeezy for the remix.
Thirteen-time nominee 2 Chainz played the piano and rapped alongside a gospel choir on “Birthday Song,” picking up the award for People’s Champ. “This is just to let you know what can happen in a year. This is a blessing,” he said.
T.I., who recently completed his probation, displayed some southern hospitality as he welcomed the out-of-towners to his city. “I’d like to welcome you all to Atlanta!” he said before staging a medley of songs off his upcoming album Trouble Man.
Future delivered fireworks during his pyro-filled set of “Turn on the Lights,” calling on Diddy for the remix to “Same Damn Time.” His fellow Bad Boy Machine Gun Kelly was lowered from the rafters for “Wild Boy” and French Montana brought out Uncle Luke for “Pop That.”
A shirtless Rick Ross let it all hang out as he and Omarion performed “Ice Cold” and MMG’s Meek Mill burned up the stage with his new single “Young & Gettin It” featuring Kirko Bangz.
The legendary Rakim received the “I Am Hip Hop Icon” award from T.I. and Kendrick Lamar, who was honored as Lyricist of the Year.
Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Diggy Simmons, and A Tribe Called Quest joined forces in a touching tribute to Violator manager Chris Lighty.
This year’s ever-popular cyphers featured Snoop Dogg, T.I., DMX, Eve, A$AP Rocky, Mystikal, and B.o.B, and will air during the show on October 9 at 8 p.m.