This year, the BET Awards held virtually in multiple venues, as a result of the covid 19 Pandemic. But it was another opportunity to celebrate black excellence, with Kirk Franklin winning the Dr Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award for the song ‘Just for Me’, over other Fred Hammond for “Alright”, John P. Kee featuring Zacardi Cortez for “I Made It Out”, Kanye West for “Follow God”, PJ Morton featuring Le’Andria Johnson & Mary Mary for “All In His Plan” and The Clark Sisters for “Victory”.
The awards night was flavoured with awesome performances, including
virtual performances of Karen and Kierra ‘Kiki’ Sheard, Jonathan McReynolds and Kane Brown.
KAREN CLARK AND KIERRA SHEARD
Couture-esque black dresses, with complementary honey toned extensions dazzled as the stage lights became brighter at different portions of the song ‘Something Has to Break’. The acoustic piano started the song with Kierra singing strong, and emotional, with a desperation for God to have his way in the quintessential gospel style vocalising. Karen came in refreshing, affirming God’s ability to get us through hard situations. The back ups then came in, and the bridge followed with that portion of Isaiah 53 that talks about Jesus’ bearing our griefs and sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). There is a lot of pulling of the chest voice and growls at the bridge, which culminates in Karen going and octave higher in her head voice, with Kiki following with spontaneous lines, ending the great performance on a pleasant note.
In effecting the finished works of Christ, there are different approaches, e.g God is going to do it or God has already done it. Whatever the principle you apply, it doesn’t work overnight, meaning you are in a dire situation and you just start confessing the word expecting the situation to break in actuality. However, when you ponder over the injustices against black people, you realise the lyrics ‘Something Has to Break’ are apposite.
However, in terms of using the word to bring a change in a particular area, confessing the word has to be a lifestyle. First of all, your relationship with God should be functional and great, and make sure you are not placing an emotional demand on God to just ‘do it right now’. Lol.
You have to focus on yourself, your faith walk and the peculiarities of your situation, and not be distracted by how other people work their faith. Also, place in the back of your mind that there are supervening circumstances that have an impact on the results of faith, such as intercession by (yourself and) other people.
JONATHAN MCREYNOLDS, KANE BROWN
I thoroughly enjoyed Jonathan McReynolds’ performance of ‘People’: nice and animated in a chill way, reminding me of Jimmy Needham. It started with the acoustic guitar, which was sure to reverberate because of the size of the venue. There was orchestral back up from the cello and violins (which sometimes sounded digital) which also added another layer of pizzazz to the live performance. With incredibly poetic lyrics, the performance spoke to the times we are in right now, in terms of the reactions to the unjust killings of blacks and how It also pondered how God’s stepping-in in sophia (the widsom of God’s word) may be activated in actuality. This song sort of ponders the line between loving people as christians and keeping a safe distance for our sobriety and emotional wellbeing. Kane Brown’s performance started after McReynolds, like it was a medley, and reminded me of Nickleback,especially with the drums. The rhythm of the song was so ‘feel good’, and the bass guitar shined on this piece. Live music is always so splufik.