American rapper, Meek Mill, who was recently served a jail term, on Sunday night took on the police while performing his new song at the just concluded 2018 BET Awards.
Mill was one of the night’s most memorable performers as he debuted his song “Stay Woke.” The 31-year-old rapper in April won his freedom five months after a judge jailed him over violations of probation stemming from a 2008 arrest, a decision that triggered protests charging that it was overly harsh and racially biased.
Mill performed “Stay Woke” on a set designed as a street scene in his native Philadelphia — a neighborhood that is unkempt yet also full of life with children playing.
Police swarm onto the scene with force and a shot is heard. The song pauses and a little girl who was jumping rope is revealed to have been killed, her body then draped with an American flag.
“How can I pledge allegiance to the flag / When they killing all our sons and dads?” Mill raps. The singer Miguel contributes the chorus, which says, “Though it was designed for us to lose / Nothing, nothing, nothing’s impossible / Believe it, we’re still undefeated.”
Nicki Minaj put on the raciest and perhaps most physically grueling performance of the night as she sported a skin-tight latex red dress, emerging with a dancing squad from a smoke-filled Chinese archway for her martial arts-themed song “Chun-Li.”
She crawled while twerking on stage and spread her legs to the sky in a medley that transitioned to her song “Rich Sex” and also featured YG, 2 Chainz and Big Sean.
While many of the music awards were presented off camera, hard-living trap trio Migos won Best Group and the R&B singer and emerging feminist icon SZA took Best New Artist.
The awards of Black Entertainment Television, broadcast live from Los Angeles, recognize the best of African American music and film and the blockbuster “Black Panther” won Best Movie.