Despite being up for nine nominations, Kanye West was a no-show for the 4th Annual BET Hip Hop Awards Saturday evening (October 10). T.I. was also a no-show, but he has a reason … he’s in prison.
T.I. took home two awards — best collaboration award for “Live Your Life” with Rihanna, and album of the year for Paper Trail.
In his absence, his fiancee Tameka “Tiny” Cottle accepted his awards, and read a letter by the rapper, who began serving a year-long sentence in late May.
“Although I’m not there with you all, I’m there in spirit,” she quoted the rapper as writing. “My road to redemption is almost over. … Thanks for the support.”
As for other winners, Jay-Z took home the MVP of the Year honor, while newcomer Drake accepted the Rookie of the Year award.
The legendary Ice Cube was in attendance, and was honored with BET’s “I Am Hip-Hop” icon award. Credited with helping pioneer the gangsta rap genre, Cube said he was humbled by the honor.
Then later in the ceremony, the late DJ AM received the DJ of the Year honor. Rapper Busta Rhymes presented the award.
Other show highlights included a performance by Jay-Z and Young Jeezy with “Real As It Gets,” and a recently reunited Goodie Mob performing their 1995 hit “Cell Therapy.”
Other performers included Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Gucci Mane, and Soulja Boy.
Mike Epps served as the evening’s host.
The awards show is set to air October 27th on BET.
Winners mentioned above are:
MVP of the Year: Jay-Z
Rookie of the Year: Drake
Best Hip-Hop Collabo: T.I. & Rihanna – “Live Your Life”
DJ of the Year: DJ AM
I Am Hip-Hop Award: Ice Cube