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WATCH: The BET Awards Opened With a Tribute to Go-Go

Taraji P. Henson and Regina Hall at the BET Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The BET Awards’ Nipsey Hussle tribute and Billy Ray Cyrus cameo Sunday night are gathering lots of headlines this morning, but the opening was perhaps the biggest highlight for local viewers. During a parody of Beyoncé‘s Homecoming, host Regina Hall said she wanted to “teach people, especially the younger generation, about Washington, DC. The Washington, DC, I grew up in.”

In the film, Hall quizzes dancers about Hains Point, kicks out a drummer (“We don’t do snare drums in DC, okay? It’s buckets. Buckets and congas”), and leads a group in a prayer based on Junkyard Band’s “Sardines.” And then there was this:

https://youtu.be/JNCG6MQBieM

You can see the message #DontMuteDC, which sprang to prominence during protests over a Shaw cell-phone shop being forced to turn off its outdoor speakers playing go-go earlier this year, at the end of the segment. EU‘s Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliot and James Funk of Rare Essence joined Hall onstage, as did DC native Taraji P. Henson.

Here’s the opening film:

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.