The Internet changed a lot of things in our everyday life: how we consume news, how we buy clothes, how we research things. And, oh yeah, how we watch music videos.
Watching music videos might be a petty thing, but man, it’s so easy nowadays. You head to YouTube and you can find every music video that’s ever existed. (With the lone exception of The Diplomats’ version of Master’s P “Bout It Bout It.” That ain’t on there. *Sheds thug tears*.)
But being able to look up any music video at any time takes away the fun of looking at music videos, ya know? Back in the day, if you wanted to see a video, you really had to work at it. You had to basically keep the channel on BET or MTV. And if the video you like isn’t that popular, you call that bitch in.
How we watch music videos is the reason why a channel like BET has fallen off. Yes, clearly BET is still kicking, but the feeling isn’t the same. Nowadays BET is just Bow Wow, Menace II Society reruns, and that Gabrielle Union show Black Twitter like.
That ain’t the BET ’80s babies were brought up on. So for #TBT today, we look back at the greatness that was BET during those late ’90s, early 2000 years.
We started this post talking about music videos. But really, the show that made BET matter was Teen Summit. On Teen Summit, the pop stars were put to the back and social issues that are important to black teenagers were placed in the front. The topics discussed were ahead of their time: who else was talking about bullying like Teen Summit was in the early ’90s?
When talking about Teen Summit, we cannot not mention some of the iconic performances featured on the show. There was C.N.N.
and Mary J. Blige
OK, if you were a teenager during that late ’90s, early 2000s era, here’s what you were watching when you got home from school. There was the sometimes-funny Hits from the Streets, which starred Al Shearer. (He would later go on to have a role on MTV’s Punk’d.)
Then there was Cita’s World, which starred a CGI character named Cita. That show was weird…and amazing.
Then there was Rap City. The show was on in the early ’90s, but it really hit its peak when Big Tigger became the host of the show in the late ’90s. That show basically featured every relevant rapper ever:
The show also featured some of the most epic freestyles ever.
This Diplomats one is an all-time great:
And we can’t forget the time when Tigger went bar-for-bar with a young, hungry Kanye West:
Remember the time G-Unit scorched the booth?
Or how about Eminem and D12?
After Rap City there was 106 & Park, the last remaining franchise. While today’s Bow Wow and Keshia Chanté are doing a great job, there was nothing like Free and AJ, the original hosts of the show.
The best thing about 106 & Park? Freestyle Fridays, which featured D-list cats like Hell Rell, Posta Boy and Jin:
When the nighttime came, Midnight Love was the show that featured all those old-school, sexy R&B jams:
Midnight Love then turned into the notorious BET Uncut, which featured X-rated music videos from rappers that you would probably never hear from again.
OK, before we go on, let’s count down our five favorite BET Uncut videos.
5. The Mighty Casey “White Girls”
4. Waxamillion “No Panties on the Dance Floor”
3. Danoiz “Freak of Nature”
2. Ludacris “Pussy Poppin'”
1. Nelly “Tip Drill”
(Duh. That was like eight minutes of gold.)
You know what was cool about BET? The access they had to your favorite celebrities. Remember All-Access? BET had some of the last footage of Aaliyah while on set of the “Rock the Boat” video:
Speaking of access, one of the cooler things BET would do: every Saturday, they would let celebrities pick their 25 favorite music videos of all time:
Everyone from Eminem, Jay Z, DMX and Master P picked videos:
Before we get out of here, we have to mention Comic View, which was the bomb.
We really don’t need to add commentary here.
Long live BET!
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty