Despite being up for seven awards at the BET Hip-Hop Awards at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on October 3, 2023, Nigerian Afro-fusion artist Damini Ogulu, better known by his stage name Burna Boy, ended up without a single award when the event was broadcast on October 10, 2023.
Burna Boy was nominated for Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Collaboration for “Sittin’ on Top of the World” with 21 Savage, Best Live Performer, Song of the Year, Hustler of the Year, and Lyricist of the Year.
Following these nominations, his fans and the music world were hopeful he’d take home some trophies, but it turned out that it wasn’t his night.
Burna Boy’s song “Sittin’ on Top of the World”, a collaboration with 21 Savage, got a lot of attention. It was nominated for Best Collaboration, showing how he can blend Afrobeats with hip-hop.
He was a strong contender for Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, given his stage presence and unique sound that has fans all over the world.
Songs like “Ye” and “Anybody” were fan favourites, earning him a Song of the Year nomination, but he didn’t win.
The spotlight apparently shifted to American singer and rapper Kendrick Lamar, who emerged as the night’s biggest winner with an impressive four victories. Lamar claimed the titles of “Hip-Hop Artist of the Year”, “Lyricist of the Year”, “Best Live Performer”, and “Video Director of the Year”.
The competition at the BET Hip-Hop Awards was fierce with top artists in every category. It was no mean feat for Ghanaian singer and rapper Black Sherif, who won the Best International Flow Award, triumphing over formidable opponents such as the late South African legend AKA and fellow South African artist K.O, France’s Gazo and Ninho, the UK’s J Hus, Central Cee, and several other international talents.
But Burna Boy’s no win at the BET Awards hasn’t diminished the love and respect his fans, known as the “Burna Army”, have for him. At the same time, his music and global influence remain strong.