This year, the BET Awards made sure to kick things off with a bang, even with the show being broadcast to viewers virtually. Upon opening, viewers witnessing a young child singing about the pain that his community is facing due to systematic oppression (“I just wanna live”). That acapella solo then opens up with a grand version of Public Enemy’s classic 1989 cut “Fight The Power,” featuring the legendary hip hop collective alongside fellow peers old and new.
Following a revised intro from Chuck D, the “Fight The Power” opener kicked off with a poignant verse from none other than Nas, before he’s joined by Rapsody, Black Thought, and YG — all updating the track to reflect the current protests taking place around the country following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others:
“The information is, got em seeing what’s really wrong with these racist gangs, honor the strong and pity the weak/ …
It’s a system I’m talking, nobody’s agreeing, they say it’s suicide but dead bodies is swinging, cowards, 100 Black men, that’s what I’m seeing/
How many Tulsa’s have been burnt down, and 1 Central Park was a thriving Black town, yo Chuck, I’m fighting the power right now, thanks to you, Flav and PE, putting it down…/”
The BET Awards 2020 is hosted by Amanda Seales, and will feature virtual appearances from a slew of your favorite artists and celebrities. Tonight’s performers include Alicia Keys, “Rhythm & Flow” winner D Smoke, Megan Thee Stallion, Nas, Roddy Ricch, Summer Walker, Usher, YG, and loads more, all of whom are expected to keep the message of Black power and unity flowing throughout. Beyoncé and the late Kobe Bryant will also be honored for their individual contributions to our community.
Fans who missed it during the premiere can enjoy the explosive “Fight The Power” opener below.