Mark your calendars. The 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards return on Tues., Oct. 5 at 9/8c. Going strong since the ceremony first began 15 years ago in 2006, the annual awards show has been credited for giving both new and seasoned rappers their flowers in the form of awards, performances, cyphers and well-deserved recognition. Hip-hop fans and beyond from all over the globe tune in to watch the show in real time or revisit recaps on their social media timelines and TVs as viral moments that often occur during this one evening spread worldwide.

The BET Hip Hop Awards prides itself on showing love to the next generation of talent. Throughout 17 categories this year—nominees are elected by revered music industry professionals—are ones like Best New Hip Hop Artist. Los Angeles-bred rapping and singing hybrid Blxst, Travis Scott’s red-hot signee Don Toliver, the self-proclaimed trendsetter Coi Leray, platinum-selling trap star Pooh Shiesty, Alabama’s own Yung Bleu and soul crooner Morray are among those competing for the win.

While all of those names are still early in their careers, the night does carve out time to celebrate acts that have already built the legacy that newcomers strive to achieve. Legends like Master P (2020), Lil' Kim (2019) and Lil Wayne (2018) have taken home the coveted I Am Hip Hop Award over the last few years. Who will take home the honor this year? Nelly will be celebrated for his chart-topping hits and career achievements.

Other respected rappers lead the way when it comes to overall nominations. Cardi B, Lil Durk and Megan Thee Stallion front the pack with nine nods each, Drake follows with eight and Lil Baby will go up for six awards, all off the strength of their albums, songs that stay getting plugged up on the aux cord, features and much more. With this year’s theme being unity, expressed in the tagline In Hip Hop We Stand, it’s only right that additional categories like Best International Flow be included, which sheds light on popping rappers overseas; Impact Track, which features moving records like Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” Nipsey Hussle’s posthumous Jay-Z collaboration “What It Feels Like” and more; plus the opportunity for those who put in work behind the scenes to be acknowledged via groupings like DJ and Producer of the Year.

Many rap fans anticipate who will win the big-dog awards like Hip-Hop Album of the Year (nominees include chart-topping efforts like Moneybagg Yo’s A Gangsta’s Pain, Tyler, The Creator’s Gangsta Grillz project Call Me If You Get Lost and J. Cole’s The Off-Season to name a few), Song of the Year (including Pooh Shiesty’s “Back in Blood” featuring Lil Durk; Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” Bia’s “Whole Lotta Money (Remix)" assisted by Nicki Minaj and more) and Artist of the Year (options include Drake, Lil Baby and Tyler, The Creator).

Then there's the most-talked about moment of the night: the cyphers. The lyrical showcase of some of the game's best and brightest dominate the evening, with distinguished artists repping Slaughterhouse, G.O.O.D. Music and Top Dawg Entertainment showing out in the past. And, of course, there are a number of performances to look forward to. Last year, Quavo, who did a Pop Smoke tribute, Gucci Mane and Mulatto, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, plus others, graced the stage.

There’s a lot more in store you don’t want to miss on Oct. 5. Make sure to tap into some of the most memorable hip-hop moments on TV and watch as the game’s best artists use this platform to create their next big moment.

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