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The BET Awards are just a day away and this year’s show will be unique because the WGA strike has left the production unable to utilize writers or a host in the way they have in previous years.

BET Awards Media House - Day 1

Source: Leon Bennett / Getty

BOSSIP caught up with comedian Chris Spencer and his wife Vanessa at the BET Media House Friday. The couple also works together as a writer/producer team, and Spencer has been behind the scenes of many jokes at the BET Awards in years past. When asked how the WGA strike is affecting this year’s show, he had this to say:

“It hurts, lady!” Spencer told BOSSIP Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden about missing out on crafting jokes for this year’s ceremonies. “It hurts because usually we’d be writing and producing on the show and the fact that we’re going to have to go watch this concert it’s still exciting because Jesse Collins and Janee and Dionn Harmon and even Stephen Hill who invented this, put together a great show. It’s going to be a great concert but my jokes will be missing this year.”

“And a host will be missing,” Vanessa Spencer added.

Chris And Vanessa Spencer Reflected On Life-Changing Hip-Hop Moments Ahead Of BET’s #HipHop50 Tribute

The show is set to honor Busta Rhymes with a lifetime achievement award. When asked which artists would get them out of their seats, Chris Spencer responded by requesting artists from his era of music.

“There’s rumors that Mary J. and Method Man are doing a collab. Actually, I just made that up but that would get me up out of my seat. That’s my era. Anybody from that ’90’s or early 2000’s hip-hop and R&B. Anything Bad Boy, anything Death Row is going to get me excited,” Chris added.

When it comes to a life-changing hip-hop moment, Chris immediately flashed back to a classic from his childhood.

“I remember the first time I heard ‘Rapper’s Delight.’ I was in the 7th or 8th grade and this guy named Eric Webb brought this big-a** boombox into the bathroom. He goes, ‘Y’all gotta hear this!’ And immediately, every cliché from every movie of people listening to that song? That was us going, ‘What the hell was that?'” Chris explained about the national hit from New York’s bubbling underground movement.

The controversial question of who belongs on the hip-hop Mt. Rushmore sparked a debate between them. To Chris, Jay-Z deserves a top spot for his overall contributions to the culture. “I don’t care who wants to fight,” he added. Other noteworthy favorites included Biggie, Snoop, Ice Cube, and Nas. Vanessa listed LL Cool J and Andre 3000.

“They never talk about Q-Tip! Lauryn Hill definitely belongs up there,” Chris said, but Vanessa second-guessed him. “She’s the best female MC of all time. There’s nobody better than Lauryn Hill,” he continued, doubling down.

Performances from 69 Boyz, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Unk, E-40, Fast Life Yungstaz & Easton (F.L.Y.), Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Kid ‘N Play, MC Lyte, Master P, Remy Ma, Soulja Boy, The Sugarhill Gang, Trick Daddy, Trina, Uncle Luke, Warren G, Ying Yang Twins, Yo-Yo and more have already been announced for the 2023 BET Awards..

Although Chris and Vanessa will only participate in this year’s BET Awards due to the strike, they have plenty more collaborations in the pipeline. During the pandemic, they launched a podcast called Date Night with Chris and Vanessa. Next, they wrote, directed, and produced the film Back on the Strip, which premieres in August 2023.

“It stars Wesley Snipes and Tiffany Haddish. It’s about these male strippers (called the Chocolate Chips) that get back together after 25 years to help this woman save her hotel and dance club. The dancers are, and think about these bodies, Bill Bellamy, Gary Owen, J.B. Smoove, and the most ripped of all, Faizon Love. Spence Moore, not sure if you’re hip to All American or saw him in Creed III, but he’s our lead,” Chris explained.

Tune in to the BET Awards Sunday night at 8 pm EST!


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