The 2019 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 23) was a massive time capsule of this musical moment, with performances and awards spanning the genres that comprise hip-hop culture. Cardi B opened the spectacle with a performance of "Press" to kick things off, and artists like DaBaby, Migos, Kirk Franklin, and more took the stage afterward.
One of the most spectacular was Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus's cinematic performance of the "Old Town Road" remix that got the crowd to its feet. Out of everyone enjoying the country anthem, it was Cardi's beaming reaction that stole the show.
The joint performance began with a slow horse trot to the stage, from on the street by the Staples Center to a makeshift saloon filled with cowboys exchanging sneaky looks. Once they got acclimated to the stage and the saloon's attendees, the fun began as Cyrus grabbed the microphone for a live version of the chorus. Then, Lil Nas X burst in with his baritone singing, galloping around the stage like a valiant steed.
The crowd of attendants involved some of music's most popular figures who were all deeply invested in the show. Franklin nodded his head fiercely, while rising Texas rapper Asian Da Brat rolled her body in excitement. Cardi, slightly breathless, smiled wider than anyone else as she rocked to the song, clearly excited by the moment. Her fingers couldn't stay still at she echoed Lil Nas X's admission that can't nobody tell him nothing.
Cardi was rightfully winded after her performance of "Press" to open the show. In addition to intricate choreography for the aggressive tune, she also gave Offset, her husband, a high-energy lap dance to kick the show off with a bang. Cardi later won the awards for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist and Album of the Year thanks to her 2018 debut, Invasion Of Privacy.
Watch Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus perform "Old Town Road" up above.