Ne-Yo Prepares For BET Awards Amid "A Milli" Controversy

As he prepares for a headlining performance at this year’s BET Awards, singer/songwriter Ne-Yo has stepped into the world of Hip-Hop freestyles and subsequent beef rumors.

A new track leaked to the web over the weekend found Ne-Yo submitting a late entry into the “A Milli” remixing game, joining a legion of artists varying from Jay-Z and The Game, to Lil’ Mama and even Will Smith.

As the song made the rounds on blogs and radio stations across the country, speculations arose that the crooner’s efforts were directed at a competitor, namely Chris Brown and even the originator, Wayne himself, who are also scheduled to perform during Tuesday’s (Jun 24) live airing of the BET Awards.

The rumors are fueled by Ne-Yo’s verses on the lighthearted recording, which he introduces with, “To whom it may concern: you might sell a million more than me, but you ain’t got a million more than me.”

He goes on to spit for over two minutes, dropping lines like “even if I didn’t sing it, write the lyrics, make a milli, let another artist bring it. R&B to Pop, even got them Hip-Hop records dropping.”

The clip, which features a lot of direct interpolations of Weezy’s original, concludes with the statement that “you do not pick a street fight with Floyd Mayweather,” and Ne-Yo borrowing from Hip-Hop braggadocio to offer Jay-Z and Beyonce a gift from his latest “Irreplaceable” check.

Amidst the swirl of rumors, Ne-Yo’s entourage has refused to comment about the purported beef either way.

However, the artist himself assures listeners on the track that “at anyone in general this is not, but if you claiming millis you ain’t got, this red dot is on your forehead.”

While it seems unlikely, then, that Ne-Yo’s rap debut will cause any tension at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Tuesday evening, BET is promising the show will be “the hottest ticket on television,” hoping to add to the list of unforgettable moments, which have included a brief Fugees reunion, Rick James’ last live performance, and Destiny’s Child’s impromptu “Cater To You” lap dance.

The show will also feature appearances by Young Jeezy, Usher, Keyshia Cole, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Nelly, and Jill Scott, who has tapped to perform a tribute to this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, the legendary Al Green.

Hosted by comedian D.L. Hughley, the BET Awards ’08 is set to premier at 9pm EST, and will also honor quintessential music man Quincy Jones for his outreach to African-American youth with his Listen Up Foundation.