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Tyler, the Creator Accepts Cultural Influence Award and More at BET Hip-Hop Awards

By Kiani Belgrave

On Tuesday (October 5), the BET Hip-Hop Awards aired after a special episode of the iconic hip-hop music series, Rap City. The award ceremony followed, celebrating and honoring the pioneers and classic artists while appreciating the work of emerging emcees as they preserve hip-hop culture. 

The 2021 BET Hip-hop awards had some memorable moments from the hilarious hosts, comedy crew, DC Young Fly, Chico Bean, and Karlous Miller, dope freestyles, spirited performances, and Tyler, the Creator accepting the Rock the Bells Cultural Influence Award. 

BET recruited DC Young Fly, Chico Bean, and Karlous Miller as hosts for the hip-hop award ceremony. The trio brought their over-the-top antics seen on their beloved podcast, the 85 South Show. From their hilarious Pimp C impersonation to cranking that Soulja Boy, the guys were a treat to watch throughout the night. 

This is the first year Rock The Bells and BET teamed up for the annual Rock The Bells Cultural Influence Award, honoring the impact and influence of today’s most prominent acts in hip-hop. This year, Los Angeles emcee Tyler, the Creator, was honored for his creativity and innovation, from his eccentric sound to his fashion sense; Tyler has had his thumbprint on the culture for years now. The emcee gave an emotional appreciation speech, shouting out artists that inspired him to be the artist he is today. 

“Playboi Carti has a line where he says ‘bought my mom a house off this mumbling shit,’ and I always get teared up when he says that,” he said in his acceptance speech on the transformative power of hip-hop. “I wouldn’t be here or up on this stage or have this silly hat or anything without the Q-Tips, the André 3000s, the Hugos, the Pharrells, the Kanye Wests, the Missy Elliotts…” he added, paying homage to his forebears in the genre. 

St. Louis rapper Nelly has been in the game for almost 25 years. Last night at the awards, the emcee was honored for his time devoted to the culture with the honorable  I Am Hip-Hop Award for giving us timeless hits that still turn any club or party up to this day. 

“It’s an honor anytime you get celebrated for your achievements in whatever it is that you do, especially if you’ve been doing it for almost 23 years,” Nelly told PageSix. “It definitely feels like a blessing, you never take it for granted. And it makes you feel kind of old too,” he added with a hearty laugh.

Possibly the highlight of the night for most, the BET Hip-Hop Awards cyphers have always been a showstopper. This year, rappers Smino, Erica Banks, Toosii, and Tierra Whack gave some fan-favorite performances, flaunting their individual styles and flows on the mic over DJ Khaled’s “Every Chance I Get” instrumental. Tiera Whack tweeted out, claiming, “We all wanted a different beat!” despite being a standout act in the cypher.

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you, BET, for another iconic night of hip-hop music and culture.