Beenie Man, Shenseea, Skip Marley, Koffee, Bounty Killer, ZJ Liquid perform at the BET Hip Hop Awards – The Cypher
Do you remember when Dawn Penn, Chakademus and Pliers, Beenie Man, Elephant Man and radio personality, Jabba, blazed the stage at the 2013 BET Hip-Hop awards? It was one of the most prolific performances of the show, a timestamp in history and a proud moment for the Caribbean!
Fast forward to October 27, 2020, Jamaican culture was on full display at the 20th installment of the award show. New-aged artistes, Shenseea, Koffee and Skip Marley, joined legendary artistes Beenie Man and Bounty Killer in a cypher, sponsored by Sprite, performing verses on Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock riddim. Cyphers are a staple of the award show, usually showcasing rappers, but this year’s production included the show’s first Reggae installment.
The year 2020 has thrown a number of curveballs and as a result of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the award show was delivered in a virtual capacity, which was the first in the show’s history. The super talented Jamaican artists delivered their verses in a garden setting, with ZJ Liquid spinning the world-renowned riddim.
This EPIC performance follows Beeine and Bounty’s outstanding Verzuz appearance in May of this year. The Verzuz co-founder, Swizz Beats, expressed respect and total appreciation for the culture and declared the Reggae segment one of the best installments of the show. Although social media plays a major role in advancing the music, traditional media still holds value and being included in prime time appearances is extremely vital. It is a necessity that mainstream media continue to embrace the contributions of the Caribbean music industry and pursue opportunities to showcase talents. Inclusion is necessary and music should be approached with an equitable lens, providing access and opportunity for all genres, in all areas; namely mainstream media.
The pandemic has impacted the industry worldwide, but with innovation and unique opportunities, Reggae and Dancehall music have remained relevant and continue to breakthrough. We look forward to the day, when we return to in-person shows and watch our Jamaican artistes and dancers “Gi Dem a Run” and “Signal De Plane” across the stage, with Nicki Minaj bussin the “Pon de River, Pon de Bank” in the audience as we witnessed in 2013.
Cheers to the continued growth and success of Caribbean music and culture; may we continue to WIN!