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The 'Fits You Missed From The 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards Red Carpet

The theme was definitely comfortable and cozy this year, with few artists differing.

Culture & Entertainment

Tonight, the biggest names in hip-hop gather to kick off the 16th annual BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta. Held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, this year's show is hosted by the 85 South Crew: Karlous Miller, Young Fly, and Chico Bean. Nelly will be honored with the I Am Hip Hop Award, awarded last year to Master P.


Industry powerhouses Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion lead the pack in nominations with 9 each, while our controversial loverboy, Drake, follows closely with 8. Performances will include ATL legend Lil' John, chart-topping darling BIA, and 'Best Duo' nominee Young Thug. "Best New Hip Hop Artist" Award nominees include BLXST, Coi Leray, Don Toliver, Morray, Pooh Shiesty, and Yung Bleu.

The theme was definitely comfortable and cozy this year, with few artists differing. Below, see what all your favorite artists, actors, and singers wore on the BET red carpet.

85 South

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85 South put a show on the red carpet before taking up hosting duties inside. The crew donned a mix of utilitarian, classic hip hop, and new school fresh; each playing to their respective personalities.

Fat Joe

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Fat Joe went for the ultimate old-school hip-hop vibes this year. He hosted the BET Live pregame in baby blue sweatpants and a matching Louis Vuitton bomber jacket.

BIA

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Ahead of her performance, BIA shut it down in a black bodysuit and head-to-toe zebra print. The rapper solidified the look with an oversized 'BIA' chain and 90's-style crimped blonde hair.

Lakeyah

Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The stunning rapper Lakeyah showed out in a beautifully draped gold-sequined cut-out gown. The gown was selectively sheer, giving us the ultimate sophisticated but seductive look.

Sarunas J. Jackson

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The block's favorite Insecure love interests, Sarunas J. Jackson was peak causal in a delicious royal blue sweatsuit. While he did elevate the look by adding loafers, he doubled down on the coziness with the undone jacket. Speaking of Insecure, we can't wait to see the finale season on October 24.

​Benny The Butcher

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Benny the Butcher stayed casual in a logo-centric Balenciaga sweater and gold accessories.

​Kidd Kenn

Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Kidd Kenn shut down the red carpet in a modernized silver and blue suit. Male artists tend to wear the same thing, so it's exciting to see a risk-taker on the BET red carpet.

​D Smoke & Angelina Sherie

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

D Smoke and Angelina Sherie were the epitome of cozy-chic as they hit the red carpet, hand-in-hand. Angelina was angelic in an all-white slightly oversized suit, while D Smoke elevated his casual look with a stylish wide-brim hat.

Nelly

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Nelly was one of the only celebrities that brought the fall vibes on the carpet. The I Am Hip Hop Award honoree rocked camouflage Burberry from head to toe and accessorized in everyone's favorite: diamonds.

Ari Fletcher

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Ari Fletcher came through to support her man, Moneybagg Yo, but she did not disappoint. In all-black custom Calechie, Ari completed the look with a sleek bun and meticulously placed diamond-studded barrettes.

Doechii

Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Doechii stunned in a plunging neckline, secured by safety pins and the gods. The plunging neckline and metallic skirt are giving us major inspiration for upcoming holiday parties.

DreamDoll

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

DreamDoll decided to give us 'Headmistress Realness' in a corseted tuxedo coat-dress. Only a doll of this magnitude can pull off this plaid look effortlessly.

Nick Cannon

Derek White/WireImage via Getty Images

Nick Cannon showed up in Christmas crocs, a metal breastplate, and a long fur coat. Complete with red beaded braids and a stack of foam cups, it's clear that Nick opted for the classic Hollywood rockstar vibe.

Tyler, The Creator

Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Tyler, the Creator secured the bag literally. He channeled classic bellhop vibes in a plush orange hat, silky smooth button-up, and match suitcase that he often posed with on the carpet.

The Originals

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

LaNell Grant, her brother Tobe Nwigwe, and his wife Martika Ivory Rogers (also known as "Fat") were complete #familygoals on the red carpet as The Originals in coordinating sweatsuits. And we can talk about those adorable girls?! By far the cutest dressed in our book.

Remy Ma & Papoose

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Remy Ma left everyone speechless in a perfect cut-out red asymmetrical number, complete with gorgeous strappy heels. She pulled up with her husband Papoose, radiating Black love up and down the red carpet.

Latto

Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Latto hit the red carpet in a modern deconstructed suit, with exposed, drop shoulders and 'cut-off' suit shorts. Latto personalized the look with her signature long (red) nails and layered silver chains.

Young Thug

Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

By far one of the biggest risk-takers on the red carpet, Young Thug sported metallic-draped jeans and a fur-lined cardigan jacket. Complete with 90s style sunglasses, we always appreciate a man who takes risks in fashion.

Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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