Saturday, June 14th: Hundreds of LA natives packed the promenade of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall in Inglewood for the third installment of the Road To The BET Experience. The concert series were free to the community and featured performances by Bobby V. (formerly known as Bobby Valentino), Mila J., RaVaughn, Dondria and emerging girl group, Love DollHouse.
When asked why BET decided to create the concert series in addition to the annual three-day celebration at LA Live, Kelly Griffin, Sr. Director of Music Programming at BET comments, “…The purpose of the concert series is to bring the excitement of The BET Experience and Awards to a neighborhood filled with a rich history and legacy in music. The Music Matters brand reflects that strong sense of family and community that has echoed BET’s firm position in great family fun entertainment.”
Several of the performers were LA natives and expressed their excitement in having the opportunity to participate in the event. R&B singer RaVaughn, protégé of the GRAMMY Award winning singer/songwriter Ne-Yo commented, “It’s always good to be able to perform in my hometown, I’m was born and raised in LA, I grew up in Carson[California]. It feels great to get so much love from home.”
Motown Records recording artist Mila J. kept the crowd hype with her dance routines. She performed her radio hit, “Smoke, Drink, Break Up.” When asked about her passionate performance she commented, “I’ve been on the road a lot so it felt good to finally be back home and perform with my natives! I’m from LA and I grew up coming to the [Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw] mall. I would come to all of the free performances so to now be on stage and be apart of The BET Experience is amazing.”
Bobby V. was the concert’s headliner. The R&B crooner performed several of his hits from the early 2000s including “Beep”, “Anonymous” as well as “Slow Down” which was his first number one hit on the Billboard charts and his most successful single to date. Bobby also performed snippets of his catchy choruses from “Mrs. Officer” by Lil Wayne and Ludacris’ “Pimpin All Over the World” which were fan favorites. Bobby slowed down his set with covers of Jodeci’s “Freakin You” and H-Town’s “Knockin Da Boots” He also showed fans his musical range by playing the piano while singing songs from his current EP, Peach Moon.
When asked about his latest efforts Bobby comments, “Peach Moon is a live EP with live instrumentation, trumpets and keys. I’m just trying to take my craft to the next level and show people how serious I am about my music. Peach Moon is showing the growth of Bobby V.”
When asked why he chose to be apart of the concert series, Bobby said, “I wanted to really give back. A lot of times artists charge to perform but we did this for the community and for BET because music really matters. We could have been on the other side of town but we chose the Crenshaw area and I’m happy to be here.”
Eric Benet’s June 21st performance culminated “The Road to the BET Experience” at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall. Additional BET Experience events will now take place at LA Live including a free fanfest on Saturday, June 28th and Sunday, June 29th at the South Hall Convention Center. The 2014 BET Awards hosted by Chris Rock will air live Sunday, June 29th.