Chris Brown’s emotional performance at last year’s BET Awards turned out to be a turning point in the singer’s once-ailing career, and with his 2011 performance Breezy is reveling in his hard-won fame.
Following a heartfelt, off-prompter intro by host Kevin Hart, Breezy kicked things off with his Michael Jackson-sampling jam “She Ain’t You.” The singer took the stage on a raised platform in the middle of the stage surrounded by a cluster of monitors splashed with psychedelic designs. Breezy worked the midtempo hit in an avant-garde gray suit with voluminous pant legs and a cape fashioned out of a jacket. But the F.A.M.E. singer ditched the fashion-forward ensemble in favor of a black jumpsuit to helm his woozy, Diplo-produced banger, “Look At Me Now,” as a crew of dancers in similarly street black hoodies joined him onstage.
Then Busta Rhymes emerged from a brightly lit cube flanked by dancers in eerie, transparent masks illuminated by blinking lights. The Back on My B.S. lyricist wowed the Shrine with his legendary, breathless, rapid-fire flow — much of which was obscured by super-cautious censors — sporting a unique, black jacket with enormous, ridged sleeves. After ripping his verse, the MC dropped the mic and walked off. Breezy took back the stage for his F.A.M.E. cut “Paper, Scissors, Rock,” busting out some agile choreography and finishing up the performance with an athletic flip off the stage.
When speaking to MTV News earlier this year about how the all-star collabo came together, beatsmith Afrojack gave snaps to Busta’s hypnotic flow.
“Busta’s verse on it is really sick,” he said. “It’s like I can’t even hear what he said, but I love the part where he goes [mimics Busta’s rapid flow], and then pauses and goes rapping really quickly. And I don’t know how to do it, I don’t even try. But it was really, really cool.”
The bigwigs at BET are also clearly feeling Breezy’s chart-topper. “Look at Me Now” took the Best Collaboration award directly after the set.
What did you think of Chris Brown’s performance at the 2011 BET Awards? Let us know in the comments!