Last weekend in LA was all about the BETs. Rather than just the usual awards ceremony and after- parties, this year there was a whole weekend of events, parties and concerts (the BET Experience) leading up to the ceremony on Sunday.
I covered the red carpet at Debra Lee’s Pre-BET Awards celebration at Milk Studios in Hollywood on Saturday where Debra (Chairman and CEO of BET) hosted a dinner for stars including Nicki Minaj, Michelle Williams, Nelly, Jordin Sparks, Ashanti and lots more.
Everyone was in a pretty chatty mood with Michelle talking about a Destiny’s Child reunion, Blue Ivy, what she thinks of Kim and Kanye’s baby name etc.
Jordin as ever was gushing about Jason Derulo and talking about working with Whitney Houston on her last movie Sparkle and Omarosa Manigault went into great detail about her fiance Michael Clark Duncan’s death. Red carpet wouldn’t be my first choice place to talk about it but if it helps her cope, I suppose it must be a good thing.
After the red carpet, I dashed off to the Staples Centre where Snoop Dogg (he thankfully seems to have dropped the whole Lion thing), Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Miguel played to a packed out arena.
I missed the openers (J. Cole and Miguel) as I was running late but Kendrick Lamar was incredible. Maybe it’s because he’s a local guy or maybe he’s just fantastic but the atmosphere was insane and he totally got the crowd pumped for the main event.
Snoop was back to his Dogg best. Not only did he play all of his biggest hits, which even someone like me who’s not really into hip hop recognised. He also brought out a host of stars to sing with him including Dr Dre, Wiz Khalifa, Future and Ace Hood, to the delight of the crowd. Most of them were smoking spliffs on stage and one overeager fan sitting beside me tried to get involved by lighting up his own (and was soon told off by staff).
It also didn’t hurt that I had amazing seats thanks to a lovely PR. Although I couldn’t believe it when I saw the price on the ticket was almost $350! Who pays this amount for a gig?
Last up was the BET Awards themselves. As ever a lot of the main attractions (such as Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Nicki Minaj, Robin Thicke etc) didn’t do much press but there was still some good stuff.
Highlights had to be Nelly, who would only refer to himself in the third person during out interview. He was coming out with gems like ‘The thing about Nelly is’ and ‘Nelly’s gonna change the face of music’. It made my day it was so ridiculous. And when he told me his new album was going to be ‘off the chain’, I asked him to elaborate and he just said ‘OFF…. THE….. CHAIN’. Made standing on a red carpet for four hours totally worth it.
Also as someone who (wrongly) wrote off Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose’s relationship as a bit of a publicity stunt, I now take it all back. They were two of the nicest celebs I’ve ever met. She was so great, friendly and open and he was fantastic. He was incredibly sweet (which is not what you expect from someone who sings about getting high) and they couldn’t stop gushing about their baby son.
Snoop Dogg as ever was hilarious and just so charismatic. He’s just so chill, happy to chat to all the press and takes everything in his stride.
2Chainz was predictably wearing two massive chains and there was some serious bling going on the whole weekend. Chanel seems to be the jewellery of choice for rappers!
Only disappointment of the weekend was Columbus Short (Harrison from Scandal) who was rude, condescending and just an ass. Even though he was only a presenter and the weekend was really nothing to do with him, he couldn’t even bring himself to be polite. Who knows why he even stopped to do interviews. The usual rule applies here, the bigger the star, the sounder they are.
Anyway will post some of the more interesting quotes once I get a chance but in the meantime, enjoy my new favourite Wiz Khalifa!