Paras Griffin // Getty Images for BET
Uncle Luke, born Luther Campbell, has always been one of rap's southern pioneers. After years of not getting his proper due, he got the respect he deserves at the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards.
The awards were hosted in Miami, so it was only right that the awards paid homage to Luke with the I Am Hip Hop Award. As the founder of 2 Live Crew, he was the first rapper to truly pop from The Magic City. He was also the first to have a parental advisory sticker on his albums. They were enemies of a U.S. government that was trying to shut down their music, and they were also chastised by a hip-hop world that wasn't embracing artists from the south.
"35 years in this business, and ain't nobody ever honor me for shit," Luke said, after stepping on stage at the conclusion of a video that paid homage to him. He gave a moving speech, speaking about his trials in the industry and his exuberance to see the success of fellow Miamians like DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, and Atlanta Falcons running back Devanta Freeman, who presented him with the award.
After his award speech, he would take the stage and perform a medley of his hits while being joined by Trina, Rick Ross, and a dancing Cardi B.