Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Chance the Rapper were among the most decorated winners at last night’s BET Hip-Hop Awards, but the most prestigious prize of the night went to Snoop Dogg. After more than 20 years in the game, the West Coast OG was given the “I Am Hip-Hop Award,” recognizing his contributions to music and to the community.
Lamar introduced Snoop by leading the crowd in the Doggfather’s verse from Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang,” and gushing, “He mastered the game through tests and challenges that earned him the respect of a college professor, except his game came from the streets. ... Snoop Dogg was the god and continues to be so.”
Dr. Dre, Pharrell, and YG were among the artists who appeared in a video montage highlighting Snoop’s accomplishments, both musical (17 Grammy nominations) and otherwise (he’s a mentor for the Snoop Youth Football League).
Upon taking the stage, the honoree went straight into “legend” mode, saying he’s proud to become “Uncle Snoop” and “not some old, bitter rapper.” He also shared some poignant words of wisdom for the next generation of artists, saying, “To all the young rappers in the game, a lot of people don’t understand you. Y’all are misunderstood. I was misunderstood at the beginning. So you got to keep pushing.
“Y'all know I ain't really one to be sentimental or whatnot, but this is real sentimental right now for me to see all of my peers, all of my people in hip-hop give me the respect I didn't strive for,” he continued. “I just strived to make music and to make people feel good.”
Mission accomplished, Snoop.