During the BET Awards on Sunday night (June 25), the network paid tribute to Prodigy of Mobb Deep, who died on June 20 , a mere five days before the show. On Monday (June 25), rap mogul Master P took to Instagram to slam the network for their tribute he deemed insincere.
The Instagram video shows the Ice Cream Man standing outside of a BET Experience event in Los Angeles and talking to the camera. “Prodigy, last week, couldn’t even get in here. Couldn’t get backstage, couldn’t have a pass,” he said to the lens. “All of a sudden, when you die, you this big superstar. Why couldn’t we give the man his flowers while he here?”
The rant, which lasts a full minute, talks about how other fallen entertainers have received similar treatment. He ended the rant with: “It’s sad. They did the same thing with Prince and Whitney Houston. C’mon, man. Give the people they flowers while they still here.”
He continued with a lengthy caption that read: “The Truth Hurts…BET Would Have Never Changed Their Show For Prodigy If He Was Still Alive!! It was a great thing acknowledging and celebrating the life of Prodigy and all of his accomplishments. But It’s a shame that none of these artists are told how great they are while they’re alive. Why can’t they get their flowers and tokens of appreciation while they’re still living? I know the truth hurts. I just have one serious question… Was Prodigy or Mobb Deep on BET’s radar last week… were they invited to the red carpet event, offered guest passes or an invite to perform at the awards show in the last 10 years?
“I’m willing to bet the answer is NO,” he continued. “I came to support my daughter today on the BET Experience stage but I decided that my family and I will not participate in the red carpet or awards events this year. I love my people and I support them but we really need to do better by each other. We lost a very talented brother, Prodigy. I send my condolences to his family. Hopefully, one day we can start appreciating the talented sisters and brothers while they are still alive. I know that what I am saying may ruffle a few feathers but the truth needed to be heard.”
The tribute to Prodigy ended up being a smaller spectacle than what viewers likely expected. Havoc, the other half of Mobb Deep, and Lil Kim both paid their respect prior to presenting the Kendrick Lamar with the award for Best Male Hip Hop Artist.
“His pen painted vivid pictures of street life,” Kim said. “He made what was ugly sound beautiful.”
“I’m going to miss my dude,” Havoc added. “This loss is painful. But the lyrical legacy he left us will impact the culture forever. Rest in peace, Prodigy. My brother.”
Reports obtained by TMZ say the tribute was originally supposed to involve performances, but was changed at the last minute to avoid interfering with performance contracts already signed.