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Live from BET's Red Carpet

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Live from BET's Red Carpet

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Live from BET's Red Carpet

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This is News & Notes, I'm Farai Chideya. Jill Scott, Nelly, Ashanti, some of the biggest names in black Hollywood were in town this week for the BET Awards. We caught up with some of them on the red carpet at an exclusive party and you will be able to see some of our highly entertaining conversations on our blog. Holding the camera was our web producer Geoffrey Bennett. How are you doing?

GEOFFREY BENNETT: I'm good, Farai, how are you?

CHIDEYA: I'm great. So we were working the red carpet. I haven't done that in years. I used to work for MTV and other places, but I haven't worked a red carpet in years. But we were at the pre-BET Awards dinner hosted by BET Chairman Debra Lee. So tell us who was there and how folks can catch it on the web.

BENNETT: Well, all the people you mentioned, Debra Lee herself, Nelly, Ashanti, Jill Scott, Holly Robinson Peete, Malcolm Jamal Warner. Some people might say what was News & Notes, a radio show, doing at the BET pre-party with video cameras? Well, it's all part of our effort to incorporate video on our website. It gives us another way to interact with our listeners and it's experiential. It helps put people at the scene. So here's part of what Nelly had to say to us about your question about his video tip drill.

Mr. NELLY (Rapper): You know, sometimes we make entertainment for adults, you know. It's not the adults' fault all the time that the kids find the Playboy magazine sometimes, you know. I don't think that pops intended that to happen, but if they did find it, let's explain it to them and lets not act like it's the worst thing on the world. Let's explain it to them and maybe they can understand it a little more.

BENNETT: So what do you think of that analogy?

CHIDEYA: Well you know we're going to with MC Lyte, later today, so I'm going to leave that to her. But it was really a good time, and I have to say, having seen you edit this material, it's pretty fantastic what you can do. But let's talk about another person who was not at the BET awards, probably very deliberately, R. Kelly. He is still the center of attention following his acquittal on child pornography charges. So what are folks on the blog saying about him?

BENNETT: Well the latest issue in this containing saga was highlighted by Allison Samuels of Newsweek, who's our entertainment contributor. And the question she asked was, why do black women continue to support R. Kelly? And so we asked that question too. Shanna Miles (ph) wrote in our blog, "My theory is that black women are so used to getting the raw end of the deal they no longer identify with the victim. And D. Gilchrist (ph) wrote, "Here's one black woman who thinks R Kelly is guilty. But because of the poor job done by the prosecutor, R's a free man. Blame them as well."

CHIDEYA: What else are folks talking about on the blog?

BENNETT: Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe withdrawing from the runoff election there. And since all things Obama continue to fuel the blogosphere, people are talking about Michelle Obama's image makeover. And there's a clip that we have of historian John Hope Franklin, now 93 years old, talking about how he feels about Obama's success. And if people come to our blog for no other reason than to watch that clip it will be well worth it. One cultural legend talking about another potential legend, a legend in the making.

CHIDEYA: So we're actually working on a series about living legends and we need folks' help. Tell them how they can get involved.

BENNETT: Well they can either drop us a line on our blog or hit us up on our Facebook page. You know, tell us about some the people we should interview or profile for this series. It would be a huge help.

CHIDEYA: Well we have some interesting people coming up. I will leave folks in suspense. Geoff, thanks so much.

BENNETT: Thank you.

CHIDEYA: Geoffrey Bennett is the web producer for News & Notes, and he joined me from our studios at NPR West.

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