Performances by Diddy and T.I., an award for 2Chainz and a tribute to Chris Lighty are among the highlights of the BET Hip Hop Awards ceremony being aired tonight.
Taped Sept. 29 in Atlanta, the ceremony, with Mike Epps as host, opens with Taylor Gang performing "Work Hard, Play Hard" with Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and Young Jeezy.
Kanye West, who led with 13 nominations, wins the first award of the night with the collaboration "Mercy." He didn't attend the ceremony, but 2Chainz, who tied with Drake at 11 nominations each, accepts on West's behalf. 2Chainz later receives his own award - the People's Choice Award.
Rapper T.I. presents Rakim with the "I Am Hip-Hop Icon" honor and Kendrick Lamar takes home the Lyricist of the Year award.
Rapper LL Cool J pays homage to Lighty,in an apparent suicide in August. Lighty helped shape not only his career, LL Cool J says, but also the careers of many others in hip hop. Rappers Q-Tip, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and 50 Cent take the stage to perform.
Other performers include T.I., Diddy, Wiz Kahlifa, B.o.B., Snoop Lion and a shirtless Rick Ross.
A backstage dispute between two warring groups was broken up by Atlanta police Sept. 29 but there were no arrests and the show was not disrupted.