Friday, June 29, 2007
THE BET AWARDS
Ok, so this was my first time coming to the BET Awards. As you may know I was nominated for BET J’s Cool Like That Award, along with Gerald Levert, Brian McKnight, Musiq, and Elizabeth Withers. Now in all honesty I didn’t think there was a chance in hell in me winning. Especially with Gerald Levert (one of my heroes) recently passing away, and me being the only independent artist nominated period. *stops to scratch his head* Well only moments after stepping onto the red carpet I found out that Gerald won. I quickly said a prayer thanking God for sharing Gerald with us, and giving me this opportunity. The entire experience was humbling to say the least, so lets start from the top of the day.
We walk into the radio remote room. This room pretty much had every big radio station in the country set up in there, and artist ranging from Neyo, Fabolous, Bow Wow, Tank, Unk (Walk It Out), and the new rap group A BAY BAY going from table to table doing interviews. Being my hotel was super far away I was already dressed in my midnight chocolate suit and power red tie. Damn it I was trying to make a statement. Well I went from table to table promoting myself, and the movement to whoever would listen. Some were far from interested, and did the interview staring at the major artists who were coming up behind me. But most were professionals and did their homework on me. Some even had my records already, and knew all about the stuff we had been doing. It was so intense that I got my yearly headache during the process. Hours later when we were finished I stood at the door, taking it all in, and considering how it would all pay off.
We hit the red carpet. It is hot as all outdoors. My shirt under my suit instantly was soaked from the sun, as well as my nervousness. Shawn was looking absolutely beautiful, and I was the luckiest man to have her by my side thru this. So I took her by the hand, and we stepped on the first marker for the photographers. Would anyone be interested in shooting me I thought? My answer was sent thru the numerous flashes over the next couple of minutes. We had to move fast because Common, and Swizz Beats were right behind us. Then we did the camera interviews. Once again it felt good to have certain interviewers sprinkled through out the line who knew about me and what we’ve been doing. All in all, every interview went great, and I enjoyed that whole process.
We head to our seats. What a beautiful stage. Wow this is going to be exciting I told myself. We had great seats. The 11th row(which was actually the 6th), and next to rappers, models and singers. All of our pictures sucked. I mastered the art of photographing the back of everyone’s head as they passed. Nic Cannon, Beyonce, Rihanna, 50 Cent, you name it I got the back of their head. The lights went out and Shawn and I were like a kid in a candy store. Half way thru the show, Elsa (my publicist) came and got me to go back and do more press and photos. During this time I missed 50 cent performance, the Gerald Levert tribute, as well as the Diana Ross tribute featuring my wife.. I mean Erykah Badu. No worries. I was here to work and promote my music and our movement. I was about to take questions from the press in their room backstage, until I was bumped out the way for T.I. I was more than willing to wait. Not out of fear of getting sucker punched or anything. (Read up if you don’t get the joke.) Hell I wanted to see what he had to say just like the rest of the people in the room. He didn’t say much thought, and before you know it I was up there doing my song and dance again.. I made a plate of food in the publicist room (thanks again Elsa), and then made my way back to my seat. And just in time to see Public Enemy do the James Brown tribute, which they rocked. That might have been my favorite part of the night.
The show is over but there is still more press to do. Most people are unplugging their equipment, but some we missed were willing to do quick interviews with me. Damn my feet hurt. I cant imagine what women go thru. Hmmm, maybe I should’ve worn my dunks.
Finally in the car, and headed to the after party. Now any one who knows me, knows that I am not a club cat. I spend most of the year in clubs performing, and when I am not singing I am far far away from them. But this is business and we have a brand and a movement to represent, so we go. Its cool.. There’s more food, a few more hands to shake and cards to exchange. We actually have another party to hit so we circle the party a few times and then head for the door.
Our names are not on the list for the next party, so we cant get in. Thank you Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. Hahahahaha… Its time to retire for the night. Our driver is a real nice guy. He was an older brother with 6 kids, and a wife of 25 years waiting at home. He picked up the right group tonight, cause he will be home earlier then expected.
Real talk. I know I work hard at what I do, but I really don’t know why I was lucky enough to have this honor. Before I go a second further I just want to say I appreciate everyone who has supported me over the years. I pray I continue to make the right decisions, and do what’s best for the thing that has helped me so much thru life. And that’s music. I love it, I know you love it, and we love each other because of it. I gained a new hunger while out in Cali. I got close enough to the fire to feel the heat, but not lose my life to it. Its time we take this business by storm, and I am going to set the bar even hire for myself and the people that I work with in this business. On you mark, get set, GO…