Jamie Foxx took the helm of a wild and unscripted night of entertainment on Sunday for the 2018 BET Awards. There were powerful and moving moments, hilarious moments, inspirational moments, a few shocks and lots of laughs along the way.
In one of the more powerful and humbling segments of the night, the show even took some time to honor non-celebrities who've made an impact with its Humanitarian Heroes, including high school student Justin Blackman, who was the only student at his school to participate in the March 14 walkout to protest gun violence. Parkland student Anthony Borges, who saved his fellow classmates was also honored.
Mamoudou Gassama scaled four floors up the outside of a building last month to save a four-year-old in Paris, while James Shaw Jr. disarmed a gunman at a Waffle House. They were also honored, alongside journalist and activist Shaun King and Naomi Wadler, the 11-year-old girl who inspired a nation with her powerful speech during the March for Our Lives rally.
"I'm not here to host, I am here to celebrate black excellence televised," Foxx said at the top of his monologue, and then he decided to spend the next five minutes celebrating the most successful black film of all time.
"We have to address the 'Panther' in the room," he said. Foxx had praise for the film's stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan as well as the blockbuster film's director Ryan Coogler. He even brought Jordan up to redeliver an important line from the film, which you can see in the clip above.
Begging isn't a good look on anyone, and it was especially difficult to watch Jamie Foxx tug Donald Glover onstage and practically beg him to perform an a cappella take on "This Is America," the powerful song and video about violence that took the nation by storm a few weeks ago.
Foxx danced along and got a few lines out of him, but he also roasted Glover's look, which he compared to pajamas.. Later, just to drive the joke home, Foxx came out wearing a robe and shouted, "This is how I sleep, bro!"
Mrs. Cardi B Offset?
(Update: TMZ has confirmed that Cardi B and Offset are, in fact, married and have been since Sep. 20, 2017.)
While accepting the award for Best Group with his fellow Migos members Quavo and Takeoff, Offset made an off-the-cuff remark that left fans wondering if he'd just let something spill. "I thank my wife, you should thank yours," he said.
Now, it could have been just a term of endearment, but the two are engaged and she is pregnant, so it's also possible they secretly got married and Offset spilled the beans. Unfortunately, Cardi wasn't there, either, so we couldn't check her response to dig a little deeper into this one.
Jamie Foxx reached deep into the archives of his own career to pull the character of Wanda from the annals of "In Living Color!" For this pre-taped bit, Wanda was revealed to be the last best hope for transporting vibranium through the jungle.
But mostly it was about Foxx doing that crazy thing with his lips and saying offensive things like, "You ain't the only black pussy in the woods," whinnying like a horse and even dropping Cardi B's "Okurrr" on a real black panther. We should all be very afraid.
"This my calling dawg," Snoop Dogg intoned, taking the crowd to church for the final part of his greatest hits medley. He'd already taken them on a journey through his career, kicking it off with "Who Am I? (What's My Name)" and even slipping into some of Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode."
But it was when he came back out in choir robes and accompanied Sly Pyper on "Sunrise" that viewers got to see the turn the venerable rapper has taken on his latest venture, the well-received "Bible of Love." While reggae wasn't a great fit for the former Snoop Lion, the pulpit looks good on him!
As always, Nicki Minaj absolutely owned the stage when she took over for a sexually-charged performance of "Chun Li." The rapper was adorned in a red latex leotard, after she lost that robe, and she looked to be giving Cardi B's former career a run for its money at times.
The audience was delighted, shocked and in some cases a little uncomfortable at just how comfortable Minaj was in loving her own curves during the performance.
Meek Mill Eulogizes
Celebrating his early release from prison, Meek Mill took to the BET Awards stage for a powerful performance that paid tribute to recently slain rappers XXXTentacion and Jimmy Wopo in his wardrobe, and all lives lost by gun violence in his imagery.
The artist transformed the stage into the streets of Philly and re-enacted a poor, black child getting shot by police with her mother mourning over her body. It was just one moment in a beautifully effective performance of his new single "Stay Woke." After that, we will be.