Comedian/actor Mike Epps, who recently received favorable reviews for his portrayal of “Satin” in the 2012 update of the classic feature film “Sparkle,” returns to host the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards, airing at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Epps made his hosting debut at the annual hip-hop celebration in 2009.
Videotaped at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civie Center on Sept. 29, the BET Hip-Hop Awards pay homage to “a culture that changed the world while highlighting the year’s best in hip-hop music.” The ceremony recognizes artists in 19 categories including Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Live Performer, Lyricist of the Year, Video Director of the Year, Producer of the Year, Track of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
Performers at the annual hip-hop summit include Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Missy Elliott, Omarion, Busta Rhymes, Funkmaster Flex, French Montana, T.I., Kirko Bangz, MGK, Kendrick Lamar, Diddy and Future.
The evening is highlighted by freestyle sessions featuring T.I., B.o.B, Snoop Dogg, E-40 and Cassidy, but the mood turns somber when rap icon LL Cool J pays homage to Chris Lighty, the revered hip-hop mogul who took his own life last August. Rappers Q-Tip, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and 50 Cent take the stage to perform in his memory. In addition, T.I. presents legendary rapper Rakim with the “I Am Hip-Hop Legend Award” honoring “for his contribution to the music industry as being one of the greatest lyricists of all time.”
“It’s going to be a great show,” said BET President Stephen Hill. “We got Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Future and Diddy doing a great performance. We got a fantastic tribute to Chris Lighty, who a lot of people may not know because he wasn’t a performer, but he was a manager and a real force behind some of your favorite hip-hop acts. We have a great all-star tribute to Chris.”