Written by Heather “The Literary Heat” Covington
Author of Upcoming Debut Novel: Tekila Nika: The Forbidden Bronx Video Tale Diaries
THE 2007 BET AWARDS, one of the most anticipated African-American entertainment and music industry events, capitalized with a successful live outdoor pre-award show for this years’ “MAIN EVENT” theme starring the dapper don R& B singer, Lloyd, who is as charming as his young crooner lyrics of his new album, Street Love. Yes, BET chose the right “IT” male singer of the year.
The new “Brown Bomber” or “Black Charmer” looked rather country, but in an adorable way, as he sported a long black ponytail looking straight out of a Chinese karate flick, rugged deep blue denim jeans, and a silver-lined cropped wind breaker to set the pre-award show crowd off into a frenzy.
Upon request from the screeching girls, he took off his jacket, and received kudos from Rocksi.
Of course, every hostess sets the tone for the show, and Rocksi, a natural beauty who is poised and very sweet-natured as a host on BET’s 106 & Park, looked stunning in a cool ultra light blue new baby doll styled dress. She didn’t experience any fashion mishaps her way like the zany, but delightfully funny host, Tocarra, had experienced while trying to wear a fuschia dress with spaghetti straps that fell off her shoulders as she was speaking on air. She hosts the Black Carpet with Comedian Toure’ and has uplifted BET by 100% as a fresh personality with candor and always ready to take on spontaneous moments without fail.
Toure’, who I have interviewed has an upbeat charm about him too. The combination between the two works!
Perhaps, Tocarra’s act was intentional because she knew how to add humor to that moment by acting like a naive black Marilyn Monroe. Expect to see her in a lot of movies soon, and if not, what are producers waiting for?
Comedian Joe Sinclair even noticed the fashion blunder from the monitors. His expressions really added to this humorous moment. That guy is major funny and likeable. I’d like to see him do more solo movies on the order of Eddie Murphy, Tyler Perry and Martin Lawrence.
Dont’ forget the talented and beautiful hostess Julissa, who added sheer class to the evenings’ pre-award show. However, her petite figure was over-powered by her forever shifting, but beautiful backless white Dolce & Garbana dress with the back seems making its way to the side of her hip. That was a violation. What is happening with designers lately? Clothes don’t seem to fit petite ladies right anymore? Julissa is a splitting Latino image of the late AAliyah and needs a real wardrobe to accentuate her unique frame without fashion blunder potential. Get it right BET.
Rocksi’s co-host, Kenny, seemed comfortable in his manufactured crisp white Sean John tailor-made tux jacket atop casual jeans. He’s a sweetie. This is the new style that upgrades your thug celebs. You pull this host off of BET, and he is a straight up thug in my opinion.
However,Omarion just did not wear this style too well this year. He’s way too muscular under his suit and pants that hugged his body like an homage to the Pee Wee Herman look. Sorry about that Mr. O, but he’s still a hottie according to his million plus fans of his album ICEBOX. Those braids are tired. Omarion should go for a ponytail and call it a day. I guess his fans prefer him with no shirt on too. Get it right Omarion.
There were several men on the red carpet who worked the blazer atop rugged jean look. The look works for the thuggish men who can’t go cold turkey suited down from head-to-toe. It’s so hard for most entertainers to do the full tux thang, but big props to NE-YO who did his thing from head-to-toe. What a classy guy.
Our DLNA polls state that Mario should not have come on national air in a white t-shirt and casual dark denims to show off his fab arms for the ladies,and make up an excuse that the heat was an issue.
Noone is mad at Mario. He is a fresh face who looks better and better as he matures and a rising movie actor with great potential. His new song, How Do I Breathe from his new upcoming album, GO is a keeper.
Over all, I liked how Rocksi and her co-host respected one another on the show, and there weren’t any pop-shots at each other as featured often on 106& Park. Personally, I prefer better chemistry between a host and hostess and regardless if the world thinks they are having a torrid love affair off air. Black romance and plenty of flirting needs to be nurtured on air, and what better way than to have two hosts caring about each other enough to say nice things. All right now, moving on…
Well, just 10 minutes before The Main Event, in homage to Barbara Striesand’s past movie I guess, Debra Lee, the stunning lady behind the scenes responsible for the rise in BET status, appeared to discuss very intimate details about the planning of the show. The booking department did their thing because almost everyone who should have been there was present except Gnarles Barkley and a few others. In fact, the 2007 BET AWARD SHOW was the most exciting of all shows from the past. I might add, phenomenal!
Ciara’s dance number was fabulous. That’s right bring back real choreography that gets folks dancing and off their feet.
As far as who were the best dressed ladies on the show, I would have to say Amerie, Tracee Ellis Ross, Nicole Sherzinger, Rhianna and Eva Pigford who stole the show on the red carpet. Of course, Gladys Knight was a doll! Love here! Her appearance added that classy touch to the show.
Now I am going to critique all performances with extreme honesty. Don’t get offended by what I say. I’m just Heather and when I write, trust, it is the collective conscious of the majority. Sometimes I am wrong, but as a producer of shows in the past with entertainers, models and talent, I think I can assess every artist fairly.
Let’s begin with Beyonce’. That robot intro was off the meter and all of that working out paid off. Did you see her Egyptian toombed outer casing pop open to expose her new abs? Go get’ ’em Beyonce. That was a very creative and original opening. I have not seen that kind of opening since attending a Janet Jackson concert and sitting alongside Sean “P. Diddy” whom I did not exchange words with at all. I guess we were able to hold down the best seats at Madison Square Garden, and so, there you have it.
Beyonce’s dance moves weren’t out of control and haphazard like in her latest videos. I believe Beyonce’ is taking her dancing ability more seriously. The medley with her friends, Kelly Rowland, Michelle and sister Solange was phenomenal and cra-zee, and Kelly’s supergirl number for her new hit off her album, “Ms. Kelly” available in music stores right now, shows growth as an artist with equal appeal as Beyonce’, so look out for her album.
Noone ever thought Destiny’s Child would re-unite like that. It may have been the last appearance of all three girls for a while. Beyonce has put out 3 albums in 1 year and taking full advantage of time. I don’t care what people say about her, Beyonce’ is a legend of her time. No artist has been able to accomplish what she’s done and keep it all together with poise and class.
Who’s next? Well, well, well…tsk, tsk, tsk. I am holding my tongue on the duo with Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer ????. Sooo sorry, I can’t remember the original Dream Girl’s name. What I am trying to say here is that it took BET to do the responsible thing and pair these two together to pay homage to the original Dreamgirl, Jennifer Holiday (the forgotten diva) who was snubbed from being invited to the screening party of the movie. I could feel every ounce of pain she’s endured as she SANG, but for some reason, I sensed pain in Jennifer Hudson’s voice as well. She didn’t ask to be compared to the original Dream Girl or any controversy attached to her role.
Many movies or plays are re-made over with a new cast. Yes, it is pr management’s job to make sure all who made a movie possible both living and deceased be acknowledged. However, I am afraid, that the hype is overpowering and making a parade out of Jennifer’s singing career. The last time we saw Jennifer, she was losing weight, and now she’s gained it back and more from sheer stress I am sure. She should just break away from all the hype and work on herself, and a new gospel album. HINT, HINT! I just think she is way too talented for all of this media nonsense. Folks bring you up to bring you down. She seems to be a smart camper and just flutters her eyes with the flow of things to enjoy the ride while it lasts.
However, the ladies sounded lovely. Jennifer Holiday overly exerted herself at the end, and that was painful to watch as well. The only person I can stand tearing up a song like that is Patti La Belle.
Speaking of Patti La Belle, her words in honor of late R& B crooner, Gerald Levert was a tear jerker for me. Her sincerity is so real and geniuine. I am going out tomorrow to buy up any albums I have not added to my cd collection from Ms. Patti. She still looks as beautiful as ever and is a true diva. She acts for us y’all, and she knows it, but who else is going to help a legend be remembered with sincerity. I miss Gerald Levert already. The image of Patti’s tears will always resonate in my mind.
The Diva who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award was Diana Ross. At 63, she’s defying gravity and still THE BOSS. It’s like Mo’Nique said, “There will only be one boss!” I loved how BET let her entire family come up on stage. She acknowledged her kids from Berry Gordy and other marriages with class. They all looked happy and unified. Diana mentioned Mary Wells, and unlike the controversy over how one of her singing group members was treated and soon died, I still believe there are always 2 sides of every story.
When these singing groups are climbing to the top, they are either going to fall down because one member is hostile or in disagreement, or replace and let that member go to move on to success. So many groups from Destiny’s Child, SWV, TLC, 702, Blaque, Changing Faces and Total have gone through major changes.
The formula has to be right, and it’s just business, but sometimes you are doing everything right, but a main group artist gets one way too. This is why I urge artists to get their higher education first to have something to fall back on, and because it’s so much harder to fall from super-stardom and return to the hood. Once at the top, you never want to go back.
One GHETTO-BABY turned entertainer extraordinaire is 50 Cent. He’s the only artist I cannot tell is acting in the name of business or is a straight up gangster. Can’t tell, and won’t tell. All I know is that he paced back- and- forth when he missed his lip sync to his album intro. Of course, he was mic’ d to do his thing live so his performance wasn’t a lip synching mishap at all in my opinion as rumored. The song, “Amusement Park” is an intricate rap song. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone pulled the feed by accident to try to back track so 50 Cent could catch up with his own song.
What I got was, the rapper didn’t want to do the song as its clean version or maybe he forgot the words of his song because he was distracted. I also, saw where he took off his jacket because he was hot on stage and as if to say, “OH well!”
He can do what he wants. His albums will still sell. I believe the Massacre Album has sold over 20 million albums to date,and he’s pushing VitaminWater at a rate of 41 million as a part owner of the company. Don’t forget his shoe deal, book deal, video game deal, movie deals, and tour.
What he did do was face his demons as he literally walked himself right into the crowd with no back-up as if to say, “If there are any enemies out here, come and get me now.” However, noone did. He looks mean as hell. Got my Vibe magazine here at Disilgold. Get your copy to judge for yourself. As a former psychoanalytic therapist, I am sure he got jumped a lot as a kid. Kids always tried to jump me too, and that made me an aggressive go-getter ever since, so I do know what is driving 50 Cent. It’s not payback or self-esteem issues, but it’s flight response, survival instinct and distrust of people. However, don’t expect anyone to prey in his vulnerabilities.
His advantage is that he’s built like a bull dawg, so he’s intimidating, but I am not going to lie, my big brother is 2 times larger than 50 Cent, and he could still use some more work on the V-BACK to stretch out the number 50, and perhaps add the word million, because that’s what he’s banking close of business this year. Very proud of a thug making it to the top and changing his life around.
I will be honest, I feared for his life at the moment he walked into the audience because everyone was crazy quiet. You know how there have been other fueds at live award shows. Hatred and jealousy have no fear in these rap wars.
However, do the math, 50 Cent is more valuable alive to all rap artists because when his album drops people come to the store and then they discover other no name brand rap artists. Let me be real here. Forget the fueding and past conflicts between Tupac and Biggie Small’s camp, rest in peace. Rap is under fire with the N-word on the hot seat and use of degrading words like ho, bitches, and you name it, and so the art form is in jeopardy as a whole.
Even his enemies should call a truce and team up with him. The man is making bank, and in order for his empire to grow, he’s going to need to sign more artists. That’s how THE MACHINE works. I think he’s going to work out his attitude issue very soon. Most people who make it to the top real fast got attitude because all friends want hand outs, and the world seems lonely. They are still bitter, don’t trust anyone and sheer paranoid.
It takes time. Even T.I . apologized for his behavior at another event. Snoop Dog took a licking on a rap show too on BET poking fun at his retreat from Suge Knight, but I don’t blame these guys. There is so much to live for in the rap game. Feuding and rivalry can be resolved with open dialogue on perhaps Dr. Ben’s Hip Hop summit or radio show.
Now that is being tough and that gains respect in my eye. I admire entertainers who are intelligent, bring on the good music and get along with everyone like MC Lyte. And- I am sure that was her emceeing the show. I remember that voice in Rel Dowdell’s TRAIN RIDE movie on DVD. Much respect to MC LYTE. Speaking of Rel, my boys in pr just informed me that Rel got a huge shout out on WBLS’s Steve Harvey Show as a Director on the rise. Well holler at Rel here: www.Reldowdell.com.
Over all, I don’t like rap feuds. No one wins. Besides, 50 Cent looked his best at the 2007 BET AWARDS. He came out with a powder blue jacket instead of a white manufactured white blazer worn across the board. His transition away from rap should be starring in leading action adventure movies on the order of DIE HARD and Raiders of the Lost Arc. Okay, I said what I felt here about 50 Cent. Enough said. If you don’t know who he is, check him out on my Top Friends Space. I am loving another song by 50 and becoming more lighthearted toward rap as just an art form, mood maker, and motivator. I wrote the last chapter of a book listening to 50 Cent album. Credit due. Millionaire Mind Set Mentality is made from listening to rap music! I mean, music really don’t hurt nobody when you can turn it off.
I know people want to know my take on Mo’Nique’s performance. I will say one thing, she represented for the heavy divas, but I don’t like the Beyonce’ bashing dance numbers. Beyonce’ should be getting respect in this game, not being bafooned. I would love Mo’Nique’s hosting minus the performance. Really, black folks don’t need all of that hype to watch a show. We watch the Golden Globe Awards, so there is your proof.
If the black community is working so hard to control music lyrics, video content and censorship of the n-word, why are we still allowing degrading acts or performances toward woman that evoke laughter of our heavier divas. Just doesn’t make sense to exploit ourselves. Mo’Nique is talented enough to just host the darn show, understand me!? I am sure those performances cause her stress too. Why not let some male dancers fan her next year and feed her Ambrosia while Chris Brown does Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” Dance number and wallah, Michael appears? This is way too much work for Mo’Nique. She’s classy, but steps down a notch to entertain. I see through the act. I mean just imagine Susan Taylor hosting the show. All of these Mo’Niquisms would look ridiculous because we know Susan’s character. Mo is not able to show that consistent classy side of her character, and will lose respect if she keeps getting typecasted with these kind of numbers. She’s gotta’ always tap dance and I am tired of it.
Debra Lee seems like a suitable and classy host of the BET Awards Show. If we want our award shows and winners to be respected, the tone of the show starts from the top.
For example, The African American Pavilion Awards at Book Expo began with a tribute to Victoria Rowell, a true-to-life photojournalist who survived the foster care system and has a real message to give folks that brings on change. We can’t make children respect history if we are not respecting ourselves.
You can’t fool the mind of an intelligent audience. Don’t entertain us, educate us! Mo’Nique can do that! The woman is a diva!
Before writing this article, I listed my picks for award categories. I do know many of the artists were able to solicit pre-show votes so this may have made the difference.
The winners were:
T.I. for Best Hip-Hop Artist who out polled Diddy, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Ludacris.
Best R& B Artist was , Ne-Yo. He shut down Akon, John Legend, Robin Thicke and rest in peace, Gerald Levert. Next time, a deceased person should not be entered in nominations.
Best Female Artist went to Beyonce’. I was surprised Mary J. Blige did not win that. And- surely know Ciara is popular with my students, so I was routing for her. Jennifer Hudson and Corinne Bailey Rae who, Disilgold was the first to even spotlight her media wise, (A HISTORICAL FACT) hasn’t made any noise lately media wise. Every bit of publicity helps toward getting votes.
I called it right when Kirk Franklin won for Best Gospel Artist, and Ludacris and Mary J. Blige won for Runaway Love.
Best Group award went to Gnarles Barkley who I love, but I just didn’t think he would nab the vote, and perhaps why he didn’t show up to the show either. That was a surprise. Pretty Ricky is pretty hot right now and off the meter.
Video of the Year went to Beyonce’s Irreplaceable, and Best New Artist to Jennifer Hudson. Wow, MIMS got aced out. I guess someone was listening to the lyrics of that song, “This is Why I’m Hot!” I urge artists to have 2 versions of their songs, both clean and as explicit as you want to be.
I guess the Best Actor Award to Forest Whitaker was politically correct, but I just admired Wil Smith’s performance more so in the movie, Pursuite of Happyness. Jennifer Hudson won for Best New Actress.
It was a kind gesture to give a Humanitarian Award to Don Cheadle, but I was so sure Oprah was going to get that one upon launching a school in Africa. All respect due in order of greatness!
Well, I am back to completing my media kit for my new debut novel, Tekila Nika: The Forbidden Bronx Video Diary Tales. JUST IN: www.REZMOB.com did me the honors and sent my media kit to me! It takes a lot of focus and discipline to complete every aspect of self-publishing a book, but even more so, having the endurance to exercise one’s writing skills during break time. JUST IN: TEKILA NIKA BY BABE CHARISSE WORTHINGTON IS LISTED ON WWW.AMAZON.COM. Now how did it get there? Must be that publisher over at Disilgold.com. Do you mind if I take my time folks. If you enjoyed the BET AWARDS 2007 tribute by Heather Covington which is sure to be read by the most important eyes in all industries any minute, feel free to email them to Disilgold@aol.com.
My voice is getting stronger on issues so I launched an advice column on www.Heather-Covington.com.
I dedicate this piece to the late James Brown and also, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Patti La Belle and Gerald Levert (RIP). If you are a music lover, go out to the store tomorrow and treat yourself to quality music that now I know why I am having so much difficulty liking most music…..These icons are simply irreplaceable and what today’s young generation need to listen to and add some substance to their lives. Wishing you Literary success.
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