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Hip-Hop’s Past, Present and Future on Display at BET Hip-Hop Awards

The 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards —hip-hop’s biggest evening — featured the best from hip-hop’s past, present and future recently in Atlanta.

The Hip-Hop Awards, which debuted on BET in 2006, have become an annual event for artists seeking to connect with fans globally in a night of performances, laughter and reflection.

This year’s show was no different, featuring such noted acts of today as Travis Scott, Rich Homie Quan and Dej Loaf,  who joined hip-hop legends Diddy, T.I. and this year’s host, Snoop Dogg, on stage for hip-hop’s biggest night.

The show also featured a taped performance from hip-hop’s rising new star, Future, who got the crowd hyped with a performance of two of his most recent hits: ”Where Ya At” and “March Madness.”

Sean “Diddy” Combs also performed with two artists from his heyday at Bad Boy Records: Lil Kim and Styles P. During his two-song set, Diddy treated the crowd to performance of his most recent single: “Workin,” which got the audience dancing in their seats.

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This was the third consecutive year Snoop Dogg served as the host. He sparked laughter throughout the show with this improvisation humor and his comfort ability with being one of the elder rappers on the show.

Legendary Houston rapper Scarface was honored with the “I Am Hip Hop” award, given annual to those who have made a long-standing contribution to hip-hop. Previous award recipients have included Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, Rakim, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Ice Cube, Russell Simmons, KRS-One and Grandmaster Flash.

“I am not an icon,” the Houston rapper says in his acceptance speech. “…I’m lyin. I’ve been doing this for 27 years. Twenty-seven years ago, you couldn’t have told me that I would be standing up on stage in front of y’all tonight saying something that I’m making up off the top of my head. Twenty-seven years of this, I know too many of y’all. There’s too many of y’all to name. From start to finish, appreciate y’all. Seriously. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I ain’t shit without y’all.”

The BET Hip-Hop Awards typically features several recorded freestyle sessions that are well-received by audiences. This year was no different as the show featured cyphers with Eminem and Redman. However, the beatbox session with Doug E. Fresh, Nicole Paris and Rahzel earned the most applause. The crowd was also excited about the live cypher featuring T-Top, Rain, Charlie Clips, DNA and K-Shine who battled it out on the show.

Other highlights included:
-Young Dro was joined by T.I. to perform hit street anthem “We In Da City.”
-Kid Ink joined Dej Loaf on stage to perform “Be Real”
-Travis Scott hit the stage to perform ‘90201’ and ‘Antidote’
-Viral sensation iHeartMemphis performed their hit “Hit the Quan”

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Award Winners

-Best Hip Hop Video: Kendrick Lamar “Alright”
-Best Collabo, Duo or Group: Big Sean f. Drake and Kanye West “Blessings”Best Live -Performer: J. Cole
-Lyricist of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
-Video Director of the Year: Benny Boom
-DJ of the Year: DJ Mustard
-Producer of the Year: DJ Mustard
-MVP of the Year: Drake
-Track of the Year: “Trap Queen” Produced by Tony Fadd (Fetty Wap)
-Album of the Year: J. Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive
-Who Blew Up Award: Fetty Wap
-Hustler of the Year: Dr. Dre
-Made-You-Look-Award (Best Hip Hop Style): DeJ Loaf
-Best Club Banger: Big Sean f. E-40 “IDFWU” (Produced by DJ Dahi, DJ Mustard, -Kanye West and Key Wane)
-Best Mixtape: Future – 56 Nights
-Sweet 16 Best Featured Verse: Drake – “My Way (Remix)” (Fetty Wap f. Drake)
-Impact Track: Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
-People’s Champ Award: Big Sean f. Drake and Kanye West – “Blessings”