BET awards logo

The BET Awards are back. The awards themselves have gradually lost their charm over the years BUT it’s always worth watching if only because they’ve become the unofficial official Black Twitter summer family reunion. Before the Awards pop off life at 8/7 PM Central time (and before we start lusting over how good Keri Hilson looks on the “Live from the Red Carpet” pre-show), however, here are 7 things you can expect during tonight’s show.

1. Sam Smith Will Lose Best New Artist to Rae Sremmurd, and That’ll Be Okay

Sam Smith’s incredible debut album In The Lonely Hour was in the top 3 projects released in 2014. He got shown some love at the Grammys, and it’s smart of BET to include him in the “Best New Artist” category at this year’s awards. However, that award will go, hands down, to Rae Sremmurd. The Black Ed and Edd (but no Eddy) shocked everyone with their SremmLife LP, which was loaded with bangers and produced not one, not two, but THREE consecutive hits for the duo in “No Flex Zone,” “No Type,” “Throw Some Mo.” So if anyone HAS to beat Sam Smith, let it be the Sremmurderers.

2. Shockingly, Nicki Minaj Will Win Video of the Year for “Anaconda”

The favorite for the BET Awards’ Video of the Year award is Beyoncé’s “7/11.” Because Beyoncé. BUT I have a strange feeling that “Anaconda” might walk away with the upset. Primarily because of how the video’s homage to the female derriere is a thing of beauty (and the Light Skin Coalition will continue to conveniently forget how Drake merely buried his face in his hands after Nicki broke him off some at the video’s end). BeyHivers will REACT. (now, had “Feelin’ Myself” been nominated, however… )

3. Not Shockingly, Nicki Minaj Will Win Best Female Hip-Hop Artist

“Best Female Hip-Hop Artist” is going to be named The Nicki Minaj Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist by 2017. I mean, it might as well. It’s not like the nominees are any real competition for her ever.

Except, this year, they kind of are. Nevermind the throwaway entrants of Iggy Azalea (again?!) and Trina (again?!). Tink and Dej Loaf are actual emcees that put out quality bodies of work this past year. Dej Loaf has the radio on lock with “Try Me” and “Me U & Hennesey,” and Tink is slowly but surely coming into her own (her Think Tink LP, due later this year, will further make her a contender next year. Favorite this twe- err, remember what I said).

The difference between this year and (most) years previous, is that Nicki actually has a case for best in the category. Her The Pink Print LP is the best album of her career to date, and she’s kinda earned it. Expect Tink and Dej to make it more of a competition next summer, though.

4. The Bad Boy Reunion Will Bring Back Memories But Miss A Lot of People

Look, I got as excited as everyone else did when Sean Combs posted on Instagram that “#BADBOYFAMILY” was coming together again for a reunion performance of sorts for this year’s BET Awards. I wonder if this is Diddy’s attempt to make me forgive him for being arguably the worst label/artist manager ever (Jay-Z is a close second) since Biggie’s passing. IF that’s the case, nah. Still never forgiving you for abandoning your roster so quickly, dawg.

BUT the prospect does sound intriguing – Faith Evans and Lil’ Kim will occupy the stage at the same time (and likely be cordial). Ma$e, Black Rob, 112, and the remaining members of Junior M.A.F.I.A. will all be brought together. 80s babies will REJOICE when that “Missing You” x “Whoa” x “Get Money” medley pops off. But it just won’t be the same without G-Dep there to do “Special Delivery.” And where’s my white girl group Dream at?! We not gonna get “He Loves You Not,” Diddy?!

5. Jason DeRulo Is Going to Let Everybody Down in the Janet Jackson Tribute

If I were to be completely honest, I’ve honestly not never checked for Jason DeRulo like that. Not that he isn’t a good singer, I’ve just never been a huge fan of him. So when it was announced that DeRulo would be joining Tinashe and Ciara in the Janet Jackson tribute performance at the BET Awards, I just prepared myself for disappointment.

Why am I singling out DeRulo, you ask? Because I don’t trust him. Whatever qualms you may have about Tinashe, her choreography and movement is always superb, whether it’s in her videos or on the awards themselves (Tinashe performed her breakout single “2 On” at the 2014 BET Awards). And I’ve always considered Ciara comparable to Janet in terms of choreography and performance – the singer’s latest LP cover looks like just one old Janet might have done, and she even had a “rack” on her tour similar to the one Janet had on the “All for You” tour.

6. Whose Technological Difficulty Will Be Worse – The Presenter’s or Smokie Robinson’s?

One thing that can always be counted on in the BET Awards’ 15 year existence? TECHNOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES. At some point, SOMEBODY (usually an awards presenter) is going to drop a tablet, or read a name wrong, or something’s not gonna appear on screen, or something. We just know it’s coming. This year, there will be TWO technological difficulties – I’m suspecting a presenter is either gonna say the wrong name or drop an award while handing it to someone; AND during the honoring of Smokie Robinson for the Lifetime Achievement Awards, somebody’s mic is going to go out or the speakers will mess up. Black Twitter reactions will be glorious.

7. The EMPIRE Performance is Going to Be A Tribute to Gay Marriage

Look. I enjoyed Jussie Smollett’s rendition of “You’re So Beautiful” on EMPIRE, and I thought it was dope that his character came out on the show by changing the words to reflect a gay relationship. BUT let’s be clear – the best songs on that EMPIRE soundtrack are “Drip Drop” (I admit it, sigh) and “Keep Your Money,” which everybody sleeps on. I wouldn’t be surprised if hosts Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson even do an EMPIRE-themed skit. But in light of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, “You’re So Beautiful” is going to get all of the shine. Just please don’t have Jason Collins introducing the performance. Please. I’ll take Michael Sam over Jason Collins.

8. The Gospel Portion Will IMMEDIATELY Be Followed By “Trap Queen”

Because it’s only right that Donnie McClurkin take us to church and Fetticus Wappicus take us to the strip club immediately afterwards. (sidenote: in 15 years, has BET never learned not to sandwich the gospel performances between two displays of ratchetness? Or at least have praise and worship and go to commercial before going back to the secular? Like, come on, man.)