9 Great Moments From The 2014 BET Awards

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  • nicki minaj bet awards
    Last night's 2014 BET Awards offered us plenty to talk about, from Nicki's speech to Breezy's return to Wayne's energy and Chris Rock's hilarity. While the whole event was worth the over-long four-hour running time, here are nine of our favorite moments from the show.
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Missy Elliott comes out to perform with Pharrell</strong></span><br /><br />Pharrell was on hand to open the show with his new single "Come Get It Bae," but the best moment of the performance was when he shouted out Virginia and Missy Elliott emerged, transitioning coolly into "Pass That Dutch." It was a rare appearance from Missy, but one that set the right tone for the evening and got everything started on the right foot.
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Chris Rock was on fire</strong></span><br /><br />Another thing that helped things get going smoothly was Chris Rock's performance as host, which was completely on point. Coming out for his opening monologue by joking about Solange and Jay Z's <a title="fight" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/05/solange-attacks-jay-z-while-beyonce-watches/" target="_blank">now-infamous elevator fight</a> proved that no one was safe throughout the evening, and Rick Ross, Dr. Dre, Robin Thicke and Chris Brown were all targets as the night went on. Calling the BET Awards the "Black World Cup" was also a hilarious opener, and he even went to a <a title="monster" href="http://gawker.com/chris-rock-interviews-white-people-at-a-monster-truck-1597798637" target="_blank">Monster Truck rally</a> and interviewed white people about the BET Awards. Hosting is so easy to get wrong, and Rock was right all night.
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Lil Wayne performs three songs</strong></span><br /><br />Drake may have been a no-show, but his Young Money boss Lil Wayne was as animated and energetic as ever, performing two new songs, "Believe Me" and "Krazy," that are slated to appear on <a title="v" href="www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/04/lil-wayne-carter-v-everything-we-know/" target="_blank"><em>Tha Carter V</em></a>. After a touching nod to his daughter, Weezy came back out a little while later to assist Chris Brown on the summer anthem "Loyal," which gave him a third performance on the night. And Nicki paid a heartfelt tribute to him as Young Money accepted the award for Best Group, as well, meaning Wayne pretty much came out on top at the show. Carter Season!<br /><br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">BET is da absolute best 4da whole nite Being acknowledged 4 HARDWORK is a feeling next 2none Thk u amazing fans! w/out yall, I/we ain't shit— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) <a href="https://twitter.com/LilTunechi/statuses/483466982931443712">June 30, 2014</a></blockquote>
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Usher's career-spanning performance</strong></span><br /><br />Usher was the target of one of Rock's better jabs—“This next performer discovered Justin Bieber, and now he’s going to spend the rest of the night apologizing for it"—but his performance erased all memory of that. Moving through a medley of his early hits—a snippet of "Yeah," "Nice And Slow," "Confessions," "Caught Up," "You Remind Me," "You Don't Have To Call"—he closed out with his latest single "Good Kisser" and reminded everyone why Usher Raymond is one of the greatest to ever do it. We're gonna need to have a conversation about that hat, though.
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Chris Brown's first big public appearance since leaving jail</strong></span><br /><br />Breezy's had a bit of a rough year so far, spending a good chunk of it in jail and rehab, and his performance of "Loyal" with Lil Wayne and Tyga marked his first big public appearance since re-entering society as a free man. The song itself is fire—it's easily in the running for this year's Song Of The Summer—but most people were caught up by his shirt, which appeared to be a 3/4 length flannel that was much larger than it would have seemed. It turned out that flannel would be a theme of the night; August Alsina wore flannel during his performance later on as well, and Wayne and Tyga both sported it, too. Oh yeah, and Travis Barker from Blink-182 was on drums towards the end, as well.
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>August Alsina and Trey Songz officially end their beef on stage</strong></span><br /><br />They may have insisted for a few weeks that their beef was over, but when August Alsina brought out Trey Songz (and Chris Brown, though he wasn't involved in the feud) to perform "I Luv This Shit," it was the first time the two singers had made a public appearance together since they began beefing a few months ago. Beef or no beef, it certainly caught the crowd by surprise. August helped himself to a big night; in addition to his performance, he also took home Best New Artist—tearing up a bit on the podium while he accepted the honor—and the People's Choice Award for "I Luv This Shit."
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>The tribute to Lionel Richie</strong></span><br /><br />Lionel Richie was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the former Commodore was treated to an electrifying medley of his hits performed by John Legend ("Hello," "Still"), Ledisi ("Brick House") and Yolanda Adams ("Jesus Is Love"). Richie's speech was emotional as well; he thanked Motown legend Berry Gordy and his former bandmates in The Commodores, and said, "Soul is a feeling, not a color. Talent is a God-given gift, and not a category."
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Nicki Minaj's "No Shade" speech</strong></span><br /><br />Nicki Minaj took home the trophy for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist for the fifth year in a row, and in her acceptance speech she made sure everyone knew that she deserved it. "What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is, that when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it," she said, leading many to believe she was taking shots at fellow nominee and current leader of the Billboard Hot 100 Iggy Azalea. "No, no, no, no shade," she continued, convincing few people that she actually meant no shade. Earlier, she had performed "Chi-Raq" and her latest single "Pills And Potions," showcasing how much she did deserve the award, again, for the fifth straight year. When you're on top, you're on top.
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    <span style="font-size: large;"><strong>T.I. brings out Iggy Azalea to perform "No Mediocre" and "Fancy"</strong></span><br /><br />Not to be silenced, Iggy submitted a solid performance herself, coming out during T.I.'s set to perform Tip's latest single "No Mediocre" and to run through her current No. 1 song in the country, "Fancy." She hasn't responded to Nicki's subliminals as of yet, though Nicki was also spotted dancing to "Fancy" in the crowd during Iggy's performance. Beef or nah? Time will tell.

Previously: The 2014 BET Awards Complete Hip-Hop Winners List
Watch All The Performances At The 2014 BET Awards
Nicki Minaj And August Alsina Will Perform At The 2014 BET Awards