Snoop Dogg was saluted for his venerable career in rap and entertainment at the 2016 BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta on Saturday (Sept. 17). The Doggfather was given the prestigious I Am Hip Hop award at the star-studded event.
Kendrick Lamar was on hand to present the honor to his idol. According to the Associated Press, K.Dot said that Snoop “paved a way into many hearts” as he touted the veteran rhymer-slinger’s influence on hip-hop.
“He mastered the game through tests and challenges that earned him the respect of a college professor, except his game came from the streets,” said Lamar. “He put (me) on game, so I would avoid the same pitfalls. Snoop Dogg was the God, and continues to be so.”
During his acceptance speech, Snoop encouraged today’s rap newcomers to “push the envelope” and always stay original and creative.
“To all the young rappers in the game, a lot of people don’t understand you. Y’all are misunderstood,” he said. “I was misunderstood at the beginning. So you got to keep pushing, be original and diverse. Hip-hop was created many years ago and it’s taken people so many places. You have to be who you are.”
There were plenty of performances at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Gucci Mane, still looking fresh as ever from his three-year prison stint, opened the show with a four-song medley, including “First Day Out Tha Feds.”
But overall, this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards set a politically-themed tone for the entire night. Rappers expressed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of voting in the upcoming November elections. A militant looking T.I. performed “We Will Not,” while Big K.R.I.T. and Lecrae spit truth to power about police and race relations in America.
Other highlights of the night included the popular freestyle sessions known as The Cypher. Although the official lineup of the Cyphers wasn’t announced, rappers Lil Wayne and Kevin Hart (aka Chocolate Droppa) participated in them.
As for the winners, Lamar took home Lyricist of the Year, while Fat Joe and Remy Ma grabbed the Track of the Year award for their anthem “All the Way Up.” DJ Khaled, who was this year’s celebrated host took home the Hustler of the Year honor and Best New Hip-Hop Artist went to Chance the Rapper.
Brooklyn rapper Desiinger closed the show out with his haunting banger, “Tiimmy Turner.”
The 2016 BET Hip-Hop Awards will air on Oct. 4.
You can check out photos from the event at BET.com.