The stars were in attendance as tonight BET aired its annual Hip-Hop awards show from Atlanta.
Jay-Z took home the first award of the night for MVP of the Year, beating out Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Drake, and T.I. The Brooklyn mogul kicked off the show with an orchestral rendition of his Jeezy-assisted "Real As It Gets," and dedicated his award to Mr. Magic.
Young Money star Drake took home Rookie of the Year honors, beating a strong nomination list that featured B.O.B., Wale, Kid Cudi, and Dorrough.
The self-proclaimed world's most dangerous site, AllHipHop.com, took home Hip-Hop Blog Site of the Year over four other competitors.
Tiffany "Tiny" Cottle was on hand to accept two T.I. awards for CD [Paper Trail] and Collaboration of the Year ["Live Your Life" feat. Rihanna].
"To all rappers and critics, I'm coming back with a vengeance. It's the king, bitch!" Tiny and Grand Hustle members exclaimed from a prepared statement.
West Coast pioneer and Gangsta Rap icon Ice Cube received a standing ovation as a video montage preceded his receipt of the BET "I Am Hip-Hop" Lifetime Achievement Award. In his acceptance, Cube challenged his peers to create art with integrity, and not for sale to the highest bidder.
"We gotta do what we feel. We can't be slave to video programmer, radio programmers, or A&Rs. We gotta be slave to our own creative minds," Cube urged. "To all the older rappers, keep doing what you doing. Don't let the industry push you out. As long as you got a tongue, u ain't too old to rap. BET I hope you give out two of these, because I have a whole 'nother life of work ahead of me."
The show was highlighted by its anticipated cyphers, which this year featured strong verses from Joe Budden, KRS-One, Nicki Minaj, Mos Def, Black Thought, and Eminem.
All was not celebratory, as the show had to take a moment and acknowledge several deaths that have devastated the Hip-Hop community.
Busta Rhymes took time to offer condolences and celebrate the achievements of Mr. Magic, DJ Roc Raida, and DJ AM.
AM, who died in August of a drug overdose, was posthumously honored with DJ of the Year honors.
Below is a select list of winners from tonight's broadcast. For the entire list, fans can visit www.bet.com/hiphop
A comprehensive recap can be found HERE.
Best Hip-Hop Blog- AllHipHop.com
Best Hip-Hop Collabo- T.I. feat. Rihanna "Live Your Life"
Best Live Performer- Jay-Z
Lyricist of the Year- Jay-Z
Producer of the Year- Kanye West
CD of the Year- T.I. Paper Trail
Rookie of the Year- Drake
Best Hip-Hop Video- T.I. feat. Rihanna "Live Your Life"
MVP of the Year- Jay-Z
DJ of the Year- DJ AM
Hustler of the Year- Jay-Z