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So everybody’s a critic. As great as technology and the advent of social networking has been to us, it has made folks hypercritical. Case in point: last night’s BET Award show. I for one would like to commend the folks at BET for their heartfelt effort. With the passing of global icon Michael Jackson coming just three days (actually two full days) prior to the award show, BET scrambled to make their annual ceremony the unofficial tribute to the King of Pop and it couldn’t have been easy. Still, as I sat on my couch watching and twittering about the award show I tried to keep a healthy sense of positivity, not out of pity, but in an effort to make a true change and look at the man in the mirror so to speak.

Now the show wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t the end all and be all of award shows, and we have a right to be critical, but some confuse criticism with just being mean or a lame attempt to be funny. Even myself. All of us have made Michael Jackson jokes, be it his skin color, his plastic surgery, his high-pitched voice or his constant legal battles and now that he’s gone we’re stuck wishing that we could take some of it back. We can’t. All we can do is try harder.

How good was Ne-Yo when he took that stage and sung a spirited rendition of MJ’s “Lady in My Life.” I was moved, yet a great deal of folks in twitter-land could only muster up enough words to comment on the size of his head (sorry I kinda gave up the no homo thing a while ago). Here’s a word of advice to the boo birds: Appreciate Ne-Yo now, you’re gonna miss him when he’s gone.

It wasn’t all good though; I was highly disappointed by Ciara’s performance. To have CiCi sit down and sing “Heal the World” rather then do a dance number like “Billie Jean” or “Rock With You” is beyond me, but then again I’m guessing she was probably scheduled to perform something off of her latest album like “Love Sex Magic” featuring Justin Timberlake. And speaking of JT where was he? I also heard Chris Brown got banned by Cover Girl, but I’m not sure how true that is. Still it would’ve been nice to see Breezy do a few steps in remembrance of the King of Pop; just not “Beat It” because that would’ve been in poor taste (let’s not lose all of our senses of humor now- because I know I made a Johnny Gill joke last night that got RT’d).
The Young Money performance could’ve been a lot better too. But folks were ready to hate on Wayne’s crew before they even started. Everyone shitted on Drake for 1) Not standing and paying homage during the BBD/Guy/Keith Sweat performance and 2) for not getting off the bar stool during his set. It seemed the whole twitterverse was ready to tear down Drizzy, ignorant to the fact that he tore his ACL prior to the show. Not sure what excuse the rest of the group had, but still I’m looking forward to the next YM outing hoping they will redeem themselves.

Another artist that bloggers, Twits and über critics love to tear down is Beyoncé. First off, she looked amazing! Many questioned what was the relevance of “Ave Maria” to the death of Michael Jackson. Ummmm, what was the relevance of “D.O.A” to MJ? Why didn’t Hov do “Izzo” or his verse off of “Rock My World”? How about Keri Hilson? Or does she get a pass just because she looped Kanye’s “This is bad, real bad Michael Jackson” lyric over and over again? Again it wasn’t a MJ tribute show, it was the BET Awards and if you think the Grammy committee would’ve switched up their ENTIRE show to commemorate Mike, you are fooling yourselves. Be thankful that BET did as much as they did. And when I think more about it, I’d be surprised that Beyoncé originally planned to perform “Ave Maria” when “Ego” is REALLY poppin’ right now. So maybe the spiritually moving “Ave Maria” was Beyoncé’s change-up in honor of Jackson. Well done B.

It was funny to me the way folks complained about the elongated O’Jays tribute. They say people never get the flowers while they could smell ‘em and maybe we should’ve honored Mike a little more when he was alive. Lord knows we didn’t honor Gerald LeVert enough while he was still here. The fact of the matter is the O’Jays deserved every minute of airtime they got. Then when they performed they absolutely TORE IT DOWN!

When it was all said and done BET did a great job under the circumstances. New Edition’s show-opening Jackson 5 tribute was dope, Mary Mary bringing out Queen Latifah was legendary and the Ne-Yo/Jamie Foxx version of “I’ll Be There” was just perfect. BET gets an XL. Stop the hate. – Rob the Music Ed

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