Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"The Beat's" 2006 BET Awards Predictions

I'm not one to handicap music awards shows (or anything else, for that matter), but the allure of guessing the winners of the BET Awards is too great to pass up.

The nominees were announced today, and the leaders are an unsurprising quartet of Black Star Power (as the network once heralded itself): Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and Jamie Foxx predictably lead the way with four noms each. All four have either released or will release a new album within the year.

The awards show is still in its infancy stages (what is this, like the fourth annual installment?). Still, it's produced some memorable moments: M'onique doing the Beyonce booty quake to the tune of "Crazy in Love" while 'Yonce watched with terrified glee; Rick James performing with Teena Marie and then announcing the girl in the back who didn't recognize him "I"m Rick James, Bitch!"; Marie's over-the-top eulogy to James a year after their performance together, complete with spoken word delivery and dark-skinned white girl moxie.

With that said, let's take a look at the nominees and my predictions for this year's awards:

Female Hip Hop: Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim, Remy Ma, Shawnna, Trina.
Let's see, Lil' Kim has a show on BET, ther videos still get play on 106 & Park, and I'm pretty sure she'll be all over the network once she's released from prison later this year (call her the Martha Stewart of hip-hop, minus the domestic skills). Prediction: Kim, easy.

Male Hip Hop: 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Common, T.I., Kanye West.
An interesting field. Common has a snowballs chance in hell of winning, but it's a nice gesture anyway. Veteranos 50 and Busta could cancel each other out, leaving T.I. and Kanye to do battle. A win for T.I. could solidify his standing as "Kang of the Souff," but then Kanye might throw a total BF. Prediction: Kanyeezy, for sheezy.

Collaboration: Beyonce featuring Slim Thug, ‘‘Check on It’’; Bow Wow featuring Ciara, ‘‘Like You’’; Busta Rhymes featuring Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Papoose and DMX, ‘‘Touch It-Remix’’; Jamie Foxx featuring Ludacris, ‘‘Unpredictable’’; Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx, ‘‘Gold Digger.’’
Foxx is nominated twice, once as the main attraction and once as a feature, so odds are in his favor. Standing in his way: Busta-Bus' NYC resurrection/all-star jammy-jam "Touch It" has been in the 106&Park Top 10 for a hot minute, and could steal the show. Also, I wouldn't count out Bow Wow and Ciara's cute coupling/publicity stunt collabo. Prediction: Kanye "We Want Prenupt" West and Jamie "Don't Call Me Ray" Foxx for "Gold Digger."

Female R&B: Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Keyshia Cole, India.Arie.
Any other year, 'Yonce would probably be the front runner, but she only came with that Pink Panther single this year (Next year, this award is hers). In the meantime, we have an interesting battle between the 'hood Queen, Mary J., and the new ghetto princess, Keyshia Cole. I nominate Cole as the heir to Mary's ghetto-goddess throne, but head-to-head, it's no match. Prediction: MJB tha MVP.

Male R&B and New Artist: No need to list the nominees in these categories. Anyone not betting on Ne-Yo to sweep both is just playing themselves.

Group: Black Eyed Peas, Destiny’s Child, Floetry, Mary Mary, Three 6 Mafia.
I can't remember seeing a Black Eyed Peas video on BET at all this past year, so their nom is a bit of a shock. DC could get the sentimental vote, but BET has been plugging Three 6 Mafia's Oscar win, so they are my darkhorse. Prediction: Them Memphis Boys from the Triple-Six Mafia.

Gospel Artist: Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Smokie Norful, CeCe Winans.
There is some unwritten rule that Yolanda Adams should win this award every year. I think it was written by god herself. Prediction: Yolanda Adams.

Video of the Year: Beyonce featuring Slim Thug, ‘‘Check on It’’; Mary J. Blige, ‘‘Be Without You’’; Busta Rhymes featuring Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Papoose and DMX, ‘‘Touch It-Remix’’; R. Kelly, ‘‘Trapped in the Closet’’; Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx, ‘‘Gold Digger.’’
Hype Williams directed two of the video nominees and both were gorgeous. But let's be real: "Trapped in the Closet" was secretly everyone's favorite song/video last year. I just want to know which part is being nominated (I vote for part 1, but parts 2-57 were amazingly canny in their own right). Prediction :Kells (wonder if he's gonna wear that creepy Zorro mask?)

Actress: Tichina Arnold, Taraji P. Henson, Thandie Newton, Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard.
It's hard to predict this one because the nominees aren't recognized for any single work (what was Thandie Newton in last year?). But on blind faith, I'll say Taraji has the best shot. Her performance in "Hustle & Flow" was so overlooked (possibly because her character was so vulnerable, which played to one too many female stereotypes). Prediction: Taraji "It's hard out here for a pimp's wife" Henson.

Actor: Chris ‘‘Ludacris’’ Bridges, Don Cheadle, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, Denzel Washington.
Nice touch nominating Luda for his breakout performance in both Crash and Hustle and Flow. But c'mon, we all know Howard takes this one, easy. It'll be nice to say he beat both Jamie and Denzel in an acting category. Prediction: Terrence "I don't like rap music" Howard.

Female Athlete: Laila Ali (boxing), Chamique Holdsclaw (basketball), Lisa Leslie (basketball), Sheryl Swoopes (basketball), Venus Williams (tennis).
Venus had a down year, so she doesn't deserve to win. Laila is overrated, and neither Chamique nor Lisa Leslie did anything other than keep their names respectable to get a nomination. Therefore, I'm picking Sheryl Swoopes, who quietly has made a case for herself as the greatest female basketball player of all time (sorry Cheryl Miller, but it's true). Her bold move of outing herself as being lesbian deserves some quiet recognition as well. Prediction: Ms. Swoopes, if you're nasty.

Male Athlete: Kobe Bryant (basketball), LeBron James (basketball), Shaquille O’Neal (basketball), Tiger Woods (golf), Vince Young (football).
Like Ne-Yo in the music categories, LeBron's name should be the lone one in this category. Have you been watching the Cavs-Pistons series? Geez. I didn't think he'd penetrate the Big 3-D (Ben and Rasheed Wallace, Tayshon Prince) like that. Prediction: Lebron "I'm really 31 years old" James.

BET J Cool Like That: Eric Benet, Anthony Hamilton, Heather Headley, Kindred the Family Soul, Corinne Bailey Rae.
Eyes closed, I'll just take a guess. Ummm... Anthony Hamilton. Phew, that was close. Viewers’ Choice: Chris Brown, ‘‘Excuse Me Miss’’; Busta Rhymes, ‘‘Touch It’’; Mariah Carey, ‘‘Don’t Forget About Us’’; Keyshia Cole, ‘‘Love’’; Ne-Yo, ‘‘So Sick’’; T.I. ‘‘What You Know.’’
Ya girl Keyshia deserves something and this is where she should shine. No one has been more popular with young black girls on 106 & Park than Cole. They sing her songs verbatim, with heart, whenever she shows up. Not bad for an Oakland native. Prediction: Ya Girl Keyshia.

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