Chris Brown, SZA and Teyana Taylor Set Fire to BET Experience Opening Concert
You don’t know energy until you’ve stood in the middle of thousands of people in the Staples Center during BET Weekend. Chile… Our first year (hopefully of many), to cover the celebrity packed weekend was full of far more excitement and surprises than we were prepared for.
Kicking off the weekend was the BET Experience opening day concert housed in LA’s famed Staples Center. Fans and celebs alike packed the venue for performances by headliners Chris Brown, Teyana Taylor, SZA and Ella Mai and more!
Rising star Ella Mai opened by performing her chart-topping hit and claim to fame “Boo’d Up”. Her set also included a surprise pop-up performance with Ty Dolla$ign of their collaboration “She Don’t” .
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 22: Ella Mai performs at 2018 BET Experience Staples Center Concert, sponsored by COCA-COLA, at L.A.(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET)
Immediately following, SZA hit the stage performing several hits from her 5-time Grammy Nominated album CTRL. Crooning out fan favorites such as “The Weekend”, “Love Galore” and “Drew Barrymore” , her set also included a surprise appearance from TDE label mate Kendrick Lamar as they performed their duet “Doves In The Wind” . Despite being briefly removed from the TDE Championship Tour in May due to “swollen vocal chords”, any reported permanent damage to her vocals was noticeably absent.
One of the more curious moments of the night included Teyana Taylor’s performance. With the highly anticipated release of her new album K.T.S.E just several hours prior (all G.O.O.D Music releases had been slated for Friday drops), many fans were disappointed to find that no new material was performed. “I’m wondering where my album is too”, she said somberly in an address to the crowd. The project would not be released until Saturday morning. As of now, there are still no details concerning the delay.
Instead of newer singles such as the uptempo house-eque “WTP” and raunchy “3-Way”, Teyana’s set included a host of older joints like “Do Not Disturb” and “Maybe” featuring Pusha T and Yo Gotti.
The highlight of the night was a carefully curated slew of high-octane performances by everyone’s favorite bad boy sex symbol, Chris Brown. Brown left nothing to be desired, as the hour-long set (the longest of the night) included a harmonious blend of both his older and newer projects. From his early 2000’s hits, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” and “Wall to Wall, to an array of new material , including “Liquor,” and “Back to Sleep” from his 42-track album Heartbreak on a Full Moon, the costume changes and effortless choreography made his set feel like more of a tour stop than guest apperance.