LOS ANGELES-The happening entertainment hot spot these days is right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. Over a decade ago, the hub that houses Staples Center, L.A. Live and the Nokia Theatre, looked like a darkened version of Gotham City. It has now been transformed into a small mega-center of sports and entertainment.
This is where the ESPY’s are held every year. The ESPN’s X-Games are showcased at this spot. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers call it home. The Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards make it their holding tank annually.
Now here comes the BET Experience. Los Angeles may not be ready for what is sure to be probably the most dynamic event to take place at the city’s most famous quad area of eateries and entertainment venues.
The yearly BET Awards will just be the closing nightcap of a three-day mega-fest of stimulating music concerts, food and getting a real feel of what the Black Entertainment Television is all about.
You have the queen Beyonce kicking off her North American tour at the BET Experience, taking place from June 28 to June 30. You’re going to have R&B crooner and ladies swooner R. Kelly and Chris Brown putting it down at the BET Awards.
There will be an overflow of Long Beach and Compton folks in the house that weekend with rap icon Snoop Dogg and the hot Kendrick Lamar going on stage.
Of course, the no awards show would be what it is without an MC to get people’s attention. Comedian Chris does that and more. Tucker was chosen to host the BET Awards this year. Fans can expect some real funny moments out of the show.
Outside of Silver Linings Playbook, Tucker, the star of the cult film Friday and the Rush Hour series, hadn’t really been on the scene too much in recent years. But as he demonstrated briefly at the BET Awards/BET Experience at LA Live press conference at the ICON Lounge in downtown Los Angeles, Tucker haven’t lost his touch in making people laugh.
With Brown, Lamar, Tamar Braxton and legendary R &B singer Charlie Wilson (The Gap Band) on stage during the presentation of BET Awards nominees, Tucker was quick to get attending media members and his entertainment colleagues into a laughing frenzy.
As far as what he plans on doing as the host of the BET Awards, Tucker hinted that as of right at this moment he doesn’t even know. The best bet is to expect the unexpected from the longtime funnyman.
“I am the host this year and we’re going to have a lot of fun,” Tucker said. “The theme of this show is ‘Anything Can Happen.’ I don’t even know what I’m going to do yet. Anything can happen because I don’t know what I’m going to do until the last minute. Anything can happen. We’re going to have a lot of fun. We have a lot of great people on the show…We’re going to have a lot of fun. I’m going to have a lot of surprises.’”
What isn’t a surprise is the domination of hip hop that will be on display during the awards show. Drake leads all nominees with 12 nominations. Lamar, up for BET Awards in the Video of the Year and Best Collaboration categories, is tied with 2 Chainz with eight nominations.
Braxton breaking away from the shadows of sister Toni Braxton, is nominated in the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist and Centric Award categories.
Lamar is just happy he able to be part of this event.
“I love BET,” Lamar said. “I’m excited to be nominated for my first BET Award. I’m also going to be hitting the stage Saturday night.”
Adding to the flavor and luster of this year’s BET Awards is the three-day fan fest, a film festival and comedy shows that will the Fourth of July a run for its money. The buzz has already started in anticipation of this event. If LA wanted to set the summer off the right way, the BET Experience will get it going.
Perhaps the best moment of the BET Awards is the moment when the show honors the contributions of a living legend. Wilson, who gained notoriety as lead singer for the R & B funk group The Gap Band, will be the recipient of this year’s “Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award.
Brown has won more BET Awards than any other performer. Brown expressed his enthusiasm of being part of the show.
“I just want to thank all the fans,” Brown said. “I’m excited to be performing again…What I want to do is have fun.”