Rapper Ludacris introduced Scarface, calling him one of “hip-hop’s best storytellers” at the taped 10th annual BET Hip-Hop Awards on Friday night. The Houston-based Scarface said he learned from the best in rap and felt honored to receive the award before a packed audience at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.
“It’s definitely an honor,” Scarface said before the show. “I’ve learned from the best. I’ve had the best teachers in the game.”
With Ludacris standing behind him on stage, Scarface kept his speech brief: “I’m not (expletive) without y’all,” he said while raising the award in the air before walking off. He was given the award for his musical achievements.
Scarface initially gained fame in the late 1980s with the group Geto Boys through the song “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.” One of the few Houston acts to win acclaim outside Texas before 2000, he became a respected influencer in hip-hop with his gritty lyrics and street wisdom.
“He helped build a culture,” Rick Ross said of Scarface. “I look up to him. I learned a lot from him.”
With 12 solo albums released, Scarface is known for songs such as “Smile,” ‘‘My Block” and “I Seen a Man Die.” He has collaborated with some of rap’s greatest from 2 Pac to Jay Z.
“He’s in my top five rappers of all time,” veteran rapper E-40 said. “He was one of the best. We go way back since 1992. He deserves it. He along with the Geto Boys made a movement like no other.”
The show airs Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Drake, who was the top nominee with 12, was not in attendance.
Snoop Dogg returned for the third straight year as host. The charismatic rapper once again performed several skits through his YouTube network called GGN (Double G News). He got the most laughs out of one skit about his addiction with riding a hover board.
The awards also included a taped pre-show performance by rapper Future. He recorded his act Wednesday night before a crowd at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, performing several of his hits from “March Madness” and “Where Ya At.”