Are we really supposed to call them “T-Wayne”? Collaboration kings T-Pain and Lil Wayne — who have revealed plans to forge a supergroup together in the future — made a joint effort to move the crowd during last night’s BET Awards in Los Angeles. Pain came out during Weezy F Baby’s closing set and helped the New Orleans “Fireman” with his medley finale.
The pair started out with “Got Money” from last week’s #1 album, Tha Carter III. In the midst of the mayhem, Pain showed off a T-shirt that read “T-Wayne.” Weezy then went into “Lollipop,” and the two shouted out the late co-star of the record, Static Major, who died in February . Pain and Wayne sent everyone home right after “A Milli,” the most energetically performed number of the trio of cuts.
Of course, there were awards handed out as well. Kanye West got two big wins with Best Male Hip-Hop Artist and Best Collaboration. West brought T-Pain onstage with him for the latter, and Pain took his sweet time getting to the podium: He walked in slow motion all the way from his seat, ensuring that everyone could see his flamboyant circus-ringleader outfit, which was silver and black (with a matching top hat to boot) and had a litany of designs on it. UGK also won two awards (Best Group and Best Video, for “Int’l Players Anthem”), Lil Wayne took the Viewers Choice award, Alicia Keys nabbed Best R&B Female Artist and Chris Brown won Best R&B Male, Missy Elliott scored Best Female Hip-Hop Artist and The-Dream won Best New Artist. (Head here for a complete list of winners and nominees.) Actor/comedian D.L. Hughley was the host of the night, and Diddy and Keri Hilson hosted a live afterparty.
But as always, the highlights of the night — both good and less good — were the performances.
No doubt Usher is one of the top showmen in the game, but the famed pharaoh of performing seemed to lip-sync his way through “Love in This Club” as he opened the show. Ush did display some slick dance moves on a conveyer belt, at one point sliding through the legs of three female dancers.
Kanye West brought the audience to its feet when he joined Young Jeezy for “Put On.” ‘Ye went through a couple of false starts on his verse, beginning to rap “I feel like there’s still n—as that still owe me checks/ I feel like there’s still [women] that owe me sex” too early in the song. However, West did compensate for the errors with his undeniable presence.
Very sexy was the pairing of Chris Brown and Ciara during “Take You Down.” Cici did gyrations that would make most professional strippers retire as she stood over Brown, who lay flat on the ground. The duo had the dance moves of the night when Ciara slowly fell backward from a standing position and Brown caught her with one of his feet. Only the best can do that!
Alicia Keys brought girl power — actually, grown woman power — to the stage during “Teenage Love Affair.” Keys started with her hit, then transitioned into classics by top female R&B acts. SWV came out for “Weak”; En Vogue — all four members, y’all — stepped onstage for “Hold On”; and TLC came out for “Waterfalls.” It’s always emotional to see Chilli and T-Boz sing without Left Eye. No matter how excited you might be to see the two, there’s always a sigh in the heart because the spunkiest part of the group is no longer with us.
Ne-Yo shut things down with “Closer,” which was the sleeper highlight moment of the night. Ne-Yo showed off his dancing skills with a very versatile repertoire, which include frat stepping, smooth spins and some foot-gliding.