For a second there, the heart of Los Angeles looked like a corner in North Philadelphia. Philly’s own, Meek Mill, 32, lit up the stage at the BET Awards on June 23, performing to a crowded Microsoft Theatre in L.A. First, DJ Khaled rose from beneath the stage on a white platform, as if he was about to ascend to heaven. Then, out came Meek, and the two performed “Weather The Storm.” However, that song also features Lil Baby. Where was he? Waiting in the wings, because he came out, along with Jeremih, for a heartfelt performance of the song “You Stay.”
The 2019 BET Awards was poised to be a big night for Philly’s favorite son. In addition to this performance, Meek Mill is up for two major awards. His album Champions was nominated for Album of the Year, and he also scored a nod for Best Male Hip Hop Artist. Sadly, Meek faced stiff competition. Travis Scott was nominated in both categories, as his Astroworld is also up for Album of the Year, along with Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, The Carters (that’s Beyonce and JAY Z, in case you’ve forgotten) Everything Is Love, and Ella Mai’s self-titled release. Cardi won the Best Album award early on in the night. In the Best Male Hip Hop Artist category, Meek and La Flame are up against J. Cole, Drake, and the late Nipsey Hussle.
The night before the BET Awards, Meek Mill took part in the BET Experience at the Staples Center in Downtown LA. However, when Meek came out, he transported the arena to the city of Brotherly Love. “I go by the name of Meek Milly, and I represent the streets. I’m finna take y’all to Philly,” he said as he hit the stage, according to Billboard. Throughout the night, rappers YG, Roddy Ricch, and A Boogie with da Hoodie all paid tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle, and Meek was no different. He performed songs like “Trauma” and “Racks in the Middle” in honor of Nipsey, who Billboard notes was Meek’s friend for over a decade. During one moment in his set, he encouraged the audience to hold their lighters in the air for Hussle and his close friend, Lil Snupe.
— gínα mαríє✨ (@ayegina_) June 24, 2019
that DJ Khaled + Meek Mill + Jeremih + Lil Baby performance was solid but not the most memorable, gets a B+ from me #BETAwards
— Anika Reed (@heyitsanika) June 24, 2019
“I don’t wanna keep y’all sad and down but I gotta represent for the real soldiers,” Meek said earlier in the set, a sentiment that rang true during this display. As he performed the images of young black men who lost their lives – from Trayvon Martin to Hussle – appeared on the Staple Center’s screens. However, he ended on a high note, with a surprise appearance of YG, DJ Khaled and Ella Mai. Together, the four performed “24/7” and gave audiences an unexpected version of her hit, “Boo’d up.”