Spring Bling

Over the years, Miami has become the getaway paradise to outsiders. Since we call this city our home, the appeal and hype quickly becomes dismissed. But since BET operates in New York and Washington D.C., choosing Miami to be the location for its annual Spring Bling concert series was a no-brainer. This weekend, BET will finally air what was taped three weeks ago, but there was a lot that went on that won’t be televised. Read below for a recap of what happened behind the scenes during this year’s Spring Bling.

Day 1 – Friday, March 24, 2006

BET started on a slow note first by being two hours behind production schedule (a frequent problem over the weekend). But once the cameras started rolling, the fun and excitement began.. In between the long breaks in during a taping for the DJ freestyle competition, Remy Ma kept the crowd’s interest by doing one of the hottest freestyles she’s done in a while, while rapper Juvenile looked on..Backstage, Atlanta’s Dem Franchise Boys (“Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It”) and D4L (“Laffy Taffy”) seemed to still be beefing over the similarities of their simplistic “snap” songs.. Although Christina Milian and Nick Cannon recently broke up, BET apparently didn’t get the memo. With both having albums dropping within the next two months, the two appeared on the same show for what wouldn’t be the only time. Milian kept it professional by asking the media to only ask her questions concerning her album, So Amazin’.Other artists that either performed or hosted included Pall Wall, Ne-Yo and Trey Songz.

Day 2 – Saturday, March 25, 2006

This was by far the most artist-filled day of the weekend. There wasn’t a minute in which talent didn’t come through to greet the press.Right when we entered the press area, R&B crooner Bobby Valentino blended in with the crowd until BET’s publicity spotted him out. Although he enjoys Miami, he wanted to let people know that his sophomore album is almost complete. He would later go on to perform with Ludacris and his DTP camp.. Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child was next, surprising most because she didn’t host. Like Valentino, Rowland promoted her upcoming album My Story.Kelly Rowland due in stores this June… After performing with Christina Milian on their hit single “Say I”, Young Jeezy made his way to the press area. A few artists opted not to talk to press including Sean Paul, Ludacris and highly frustrated Busta Rhymes who seemed to be in a sour mood even though he gave a hype performance of “Touch It”. 20-year hip-hop veteran (who seems to only be getting younger) LL Cool J took time to pose for cameras..On the mixtape circuit, there were talks that the “King of the South”, rapper T.I., was directing some of his lyrics at one of raps most talked about newcomers and Miami’s very own, Rick Ross. When the two crossed paths, there was nothing but love as they spoke, possibly about a future collaboration on Ross’ debut album due later this year..Miami’s own, Luke Campbell, has always understood the power of sex and during his performance, his three dancers stole the show (let’s just say there was a lot of girl-on-girl action). There will be some serious editing done by BET for that one.Fresh off of being arrested for shoplifting, Miami rapper Jacki-O was unafraid to confront her problems and speak to the press.”In Love Stripper” singer T-Pain should think about going into comedy if music doesn’t work out. He was accompanied by his dreadlocked mascot.To end the night, Miami’s hip-hop ambassadors Trick Daddy and Trina capped off the show.

Day 3 – Sunday, March 26, 2006

Although day two brought in over 20 celebrities throughout the day, BET still upped the ante with just one performer -Jamie Foxx. Before the taping began, Foxx could be heard through the loud speakers, but most were little unsure if Foxx was actually in Miami. When the taping finally began, the Oscar winner gave the most memorable performance of the three days. Accompanied by a full band and three backup singers to kick off his performance, Foxx performed two songs from his number one selling album, Unpredictable. Backstage, Foxx and his entourage enjoyed a brief moment with the press posing for pictures before making his way out…Speaking of Oscars, the next to roll through the press area were rappers Three 6 Mafia. Fresh off of winning an Oscar of their own, it was amazing to see how such an accolade can increase your popularity. As I’ve been at events where press wouldn’t speak to them, this day was a different story. The voice for the group, Juicy, obviously didn’t mind, enjoying every minute that he got to tell people about how great it felt to win an Oscar and to promote the album from friend/rapper, Project Pat…Other artists included Lil’Wayne, Chamillionare, and Juelz Santana.

Overall, it was a celebrity filled, musically packed weekend.

Marcus Washington can be contacted at m.washington2@umiami.edu.