Katt Williams A No Show, T Pain Hosts BET Hip-Hop Awards

The third annual BET Hip-Hop Awards kicked off with a bit of a surprise in Atlanta this evening (Oct 18). Attendees of the event were greeted by surprise host T-Pain, who took over the role of master of ceremonies from comedian Katt Williams, who has hosted the award show since it’s inception in 2006.

While T-Pain provided no clue to the last minute line-up change, rumors have surfaced that the replacement was made due to a disagreement between Williams and the brass at BET or even that the pint-sized comedian had been arrested in the hours preceding the start-studded live taping.

BET.com’s P.O.V. Blog, however, provides a much more interesting theory, courtesy of the Network’s Executive Vice President Stephen Hill.

“So we were all hanging out last night and Katt bets T-Pain couldn’t beat him in a break dance battle,” Hill was quoted as saying. “Not knowing T-Pain was an extremely dope break dancer, Katt thought it was an easy win. T-Pain said if I win, I get to host the Hip-Hop Awards.”

The Hip-Hop Awards provided several memorable moments and performances this year.

Among those who graced the stage were Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and host T-Pain, as well as Common and Pharell Williams performing “Universal Mind Control,” the first single from Common’s forthcoming eighth studio album of the same name.

Their performance was followed eclectic performance by N.E.R.D. The most spectacular moment of the night was a tribute to women in Hip-Hop, showcasing the talent of some of the genre’s lady pioneers.

The Women In Hip-Hop medley consisted of rousing performances by YoYo, McLyte, Salt-n-Pepa, and the Lady of Rage.

On a tragic note, The Game missed his scheduled performance alongside Ice Cube and Musiq, due to the recent injury to his sister, up-and-coming rapper B-Fly, during a drive by shooting in Compton.

At press time, there is no word on the young woman’s condition, although sources said that she is recovering from a minor graze wound.

Presenters and performers alike used this platform as one more opportunity to speak on the importance of taking part in the electoral process, with Lil’ Wayne making the Republican ticket a target of his pre-recorded freestyle.

There were also several performances dedicated to Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Ice Cube urged the audience to “vote black.”

The Third Annual BET Hip-Hop Awards will debut on BET Thursday, October 23 at 8 p.m. EST.