Beyoncé set off the 2016 BET Awards with a powerful message about black rights, kicking off the show with a dynamic, and very wet, performance, debuting a new remix of “Freedom” with special guest Kendrick Lamar.
As her backup dancers strutted through the aisles to the sound of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Queen Bey stood perched on the stage in an ankle-deep pool of water while fire erupted behind her. “I’ma wade, I’ma wave through the waters,” she sang, kicking up waves as she hit choreography with her crew.
The biggest surprise of the evening was when Kendrick Lamar popped up at the front of the stage to dole out a new verse on the LEMONADE cut. “Revolution televised, hoping that you see the sign / Meet me at the finish line, 40 acres give me mine,” he rapped, joining the singer in the pool to face each other and wild out.
Beyoncé already was awarded the Centric Award for “Formation” this evening, and is up for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Best Collaboration with Nicki Minaj for “Feeling Myself,” Video of the Year for “Formation,” and Viewers’ Choice Award.
Watch them make a splash with their epic performance.