Last night’s American Music Awards was oddly hip-hop themed. Aside from the sexy cat-accompanied purrformance (see what I did there) by Miley Cyrus and the fact that Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift cleaned house in the awards category, the show seemed to revolve around rappers. That would normally be a good thing, but the AMAs are also notoriously strange, both in terms of who it gives awards to and who it schedules to perform. As a result, there were quite a few awkward moments last night involving rappers. Here are some of them:
Nelly performing “Ride Wit Me” with a country band
Everyone loved Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me”—along with his album Country Grammar as a whole—when it first dropped 12 years ago, but seeing it reprised at the AMAs with country music band Florida Georgia Line was still pretty random. Actually, just seeing Nelly perform at an award show was random in itself, but evidently he’s still big in the country world. Too bad the same thing can’t be said for hip-hop.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis being nominated for best “pop/rock” band
We get that these guys became pop darlings this year for their hit “Thrift Shop,” but we’re not sure they belong in the same category as One Direction and Imagine Dragons.
Macklemore speaking out against racial profiling
It’s a good thing that Macklemore used his acceptance speech for favorite rap album to pay tribute to Trayvon Martin. It was still a little awkward, however, when the white-as can-be rapper spoke out against racial profiling and quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
2 Chainz wearing a t-shirt that looked like the advanced levels of Tetris
Somehow Tity Boi made Miley Cyrus’ cat uniform the second ugliest outfit of the night.
Lil’Mama paying tribute to Left Eye with TLC
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was a true talent, and the music world greatly misses her. But it was a little random that the AMAs paid tribute to her more than a decade after her death. The tribute was made weirder by the fact that Lil Mama took part in it. She played Left Eye in VH1′s recent biopic on TLC, so it sort of made sense, but seeing her perform “Waterfalls” alongside Chilli and T-Boz was bizarre.
Kendrick Lamar not winning anything
Kendrick performed two songs off his platinum debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, but walked away from the show empty handed after losing to Macklemore for favorite rap album of the year and not even being nominated for favorite rap artist.