Before I commence with the best moments from the inaugural “BET Social Awards” hosted live Feb. 11 in Atlanta, I have to announce that there was a warrant issued for Michael Blackson for first-degree felony assault of the eyeballs, cornea and pupils with his dizzying suits and matching shoes.
From Blackson deep-frying comedian Mo’Nique for her one-woman crusade against Netflix to singer Erykah Badu crucifying Blackson for his horrific choices in apparel, the stage was set inside Tyler Perry Studios for the largest celebration of social media usage in the country.
Blackson was joined at the electric soiree by the likes of Erykah Badu, Tony Rock, Justin Combs, Amanda Seales, Reginae Carter, Symone Sanders and social media influencers Kash Doll, Blame it on Kway, La La Sizahands, Amara La Negra, Jess Hilarious and others, who showed the rest of us how to take social media to another level.
Social media has advanced light years since users immersed themselves with now antiquated platforms like Black Planet and MySpace. And with categories like Best Podcast, Mood AF and Baewatch, the BET Social Awards was an unabashed celebration of Black creativity and social media mastery. The awards were the biggest celebration of social media to date and honored influencers for their hard work, as well as brands for their curation of content.
From Donald Trump to Tyrese Gibson to Mo’Nique. Host Blackson opened the show by highlighting how various people use social media, and how it was Tyrese’s use of it that caused the “Coalition of Dark-Skinned Brothas” to offer him as a sacrifice and trading him for NBA star Steph Curry and rapper Drake. Tyrese is a constant reminder about how to avoid using social media to air out your most sensitive personal matters for public consumption.
An early highlight of the show was delivered by none other than Amanda Seales of “Insecure” fame, who served up a dose of #BlackGirlMagic in an opining moment about the art of clapping back.
“Bump that. We’re not hostile. We’re passionate. Clapping back is our way declaring, we ain’t having it!” Seales exclaimed. “They go low, we go high. They say no, we defy. They didn’t want us to read. Kept us out of libraries they built. Now we are the biggest buyers of books, so we can read you for filth.”
The Women’s March founders, including Tamika D. Mallory, hit the stage to accept The Social Movement Award for bringing all women together after the election of Donald Trump to advocate for equality. They were given the award by CNN commentator Symone Sanders.
Actor/comedian Mike Epps executive produced the show, so of course he was in the mix. He brought his girlfriend Kyra Robinson as his date.
Recording artist-model Kash Doll took the crown in the Issa Wave category for pulling the “streams, likes and views” you need these days to dominate the music game with 2 million followers on the ’gram, while online comic BlameItOnKway took home the award in the LMAO! category.
The Clapback category was filled with people who will never be the one to try, with Jess Hilarious winning because of her ability to speak her mind. The Shade Room won for their ability to satiate the intense thirst for pop culture information in the Best Tea category.
You already knew, without having to be told, that “Love & Hip Hop: Miami star and singer Amara La Negra rip it at the awards. La Negra is using her social media presence to empower her community and change the narrative on Afro-Latinas in South Florida and throughout America.
Below is a complete list of the categories and winners from the inaugural BET Social Awards:
ISSA WAVE: Kash Doll @Kashdoll
SOCIAL HUSTLE: KendallKyndall @KendallKyndall
LMAO!: Blame it on Kway @blameitonkway
CLAPBACK: Jess Hilarious @JessHilarious_Officiak
BEST PODCAST: The Joe Budden Podcast @TheJoeBuddenPod
MOOD AF: Issa Rae – “I’m Rooting for Everybody Black” @IssaRae
BAEWATCH: Remy Ma & Papoose @RemyMa @PapoosePapoose
BEST TEA: The Shade Room @TheShadeRoom