News Brief

Black Coffee, AKA, Cassper Nyovest Nominated For The BET Awards’ Controversial ‘Best International Act: Africa’ Category

Check out the full list of nominees for the 2016 BET Awards.

The 2016 BET Awards nominations were announced Thursday. South Africans are leading the way in the Best International Act: Africa category. AKA, Black Coffee and Cassper Nyovest are up against Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz, Ghanaian star MzVee, Côte d’Ivoire’s Serge Beynaud and Nigerians Wizkid and Yemi Alade.


But the category is not without controversy. Last year, a number of stars took to social media to profess their discontent after the Best International Act: Africa award (which went to Ghanaian dancehall artist Stonebwoy) was presented at a closed ceremony hours ahead of the main show and never aired on TV. A number of artists declined to attend the awards over the matter.

“Dear @BET, the reason why I didn't come is because you give our awards backstage! You have no respect for our hard work and achievements” tweeted Fuse ODG.

Yemi Alade shared a similar sentiment. “Why on Earth is the Africa category held hours before the main event? If African artists are not worthy in your sight. Pls by all means delete, cancel, omit the best international act africa category from this glorified award” wrote the two-time BET Award nominee.

BET offered the following statement to City Press: “We are proud of our track record of recognising international artists at the BET Awards… Like any televised award ceremony, the BET Awards uses prerecorded segments to ensure that as many honourees as possible are included in the show. In some instances this means that segments of the show are prerecorded.” (Editor’s note: the ‘Best International Act: Africa’ was never broadcast)

No word on whether there will be a change in policy going forward. Regardless, this year’s nominees seem to be excited.

To God be the Glory?????????? #betawards16 #blackcoffee to vote link on bio.

A photo posted by realblackcoffee (@realblackcoffee) on

The 2016 BET Awards are set to take place 28 June at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. You can vote for the Best International Act: Africa category here. Check out the full list of nominees below.

Full list of nominees at the 2016 BET Awards:

Best International Act: Africa - AKA (South Africa), Black Coffee (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Diamond Platinumz (Tanzania), Mzvee (Ghana), Serge Beynaud (Cote D’Ivoire), Wizkid (Nigeria), Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

Best International Act UK - KANO, KREPT & KONAN, LIANNE LA HAVAS, SKEPTA, STORMZY, TINIE TEMPAH

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist - ADELE, ANDRA DAY, BEYONCÉ, K. MICHELLE, RIHANNA

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist - BRYSON TILLER, CHRIS BROWN, JEREMIH, THE WEEKND, TYRESE

Best Group - 2 CHAINZ & LIL WAYNE, DRAKE & FUTURE, PUFF DADDY & THE FAMILY, RAE SREMMURD, THE INTERNET

Best Collaboration - BIG SEAN FT. CHRIS BROWN & TY DOLLA $IGN - PLAY NO GAMES, BIG SEAN FT. KANYE WEST & JOHN LEGEND - ONE MAN CAN CHANGE THE WORLD, FUTURE FT. DRAKE - WHERE YA AT, NICKI MINAJ FT. BEYONCÉ - FEELING MYSELF, RIHANNA FT. DRAKE - WORK

Best Male Hip Hop Artist - DRAKE, FETTY WAP, FUTURE, J. COLE, KANYE WEST, KENDRICK LAMAR

Best Female Hip Hop Artist - DEJ LOAF, LIL KIM, MISSY ELLIOTT, NICKI MINAJ, REMY MA

Video of the Year - BEYONCÉ - FORMATION, BRYSON TILLER- DON'T, DRAKE - HOTLINE BLING, KENDRICK LAMAR - ALRIGHT, RIHANNA FT. DRAKE - WORK

Video Director of the Year - BENNY BOOM, CHRIS BROWN, COLIN TILLEY & THE LITTLE HOMIES, DIRECTOR X, HYPE WILLIAMS

Best New Artist - ALESSIA CARA, ANDRA DAY, BRYSON TILLER, KEHLANI, TORY LANEZ, Dr. Bobby Jones

Best Gospel/Inspirational Award - ANTHONY BROWN & GROUP THERAPY, ERICA CAMPBELL, KIRK FRANKLIN, LECRAE, TAMELA MANN, TASHA COBBS

Best Actress - GABRIELLE UNION, KERRY WASHINGTON, TARAJI P. HENSON, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, VIOLA DAVIS

Best Actor - ANTHONY ANDERSON, COURTNEY B. VANCE, IDRIS ELBA, MICHAEL B. JORDAN, O'SHEA JACKSON JR.

YoungStars Award - AMANDLA STENBERG, QUVENZHANÉ WALLIS, SILENTÓ, WILLOW SMITH, YARA SHAHIDI

Best Movie - BEASTS OF NO NATION, CONCUSSION, CREED, DOPE, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

Subway Sportswoman of the Year - CHEYENNE WOODS, GABRIELLE DOUGLAS, SERENA WILLIAMS,SKYLAR DIGGINS, VENUS WILLIAMS

Subway Sportsman of the Year - CAM NEWTON, KOBE BRYANT, LEBRON JAMES, ODELL BECKHAM JR., STEPHEN CURRY

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award - BEYONCÉ – FORMATION, BRYSON TILLER – DON’T, CHRIS BROWN – BACK TO SLEEP, DRAKE – HOTLINE BLING, FUTURE FT. DRAKE – WHERE YA AT, RIHANNA FT. DRAKE – WORK,

Centric Award - ANDRA DAY - RISE UP, BEYONCÉ – FORMATION, K. MICHELLE – NOT A LITTLE BIT, RIHANNA - BBHMM, THE INTERNET - UNDER CONTROL

Best International Act UK - KANO, KREPT & KONAN, LIANNE LA HAVAS, SKEPTA, STORMZY, TINIE TEMPAH

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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