What Is The Best BET Awards Performance Ever?

Tonight, Usher, Nicki Minaj, D’Angelo, and Kanye West and the rest of his G.O.O.D. Music ensemble will perform in Los Angeles for the 12th annual BET Awards (9 p.m. EST). I know, I know, you were probably so focused on the second season premiere of “Episodes” that you didn’t even know it was on, and that Samuel L. Jackson is hosting the whole shebang. But it is, and I’ve spent much of today watching old BET Awards performances on YouTube. Life, totally not wasted.

And after much scientific research, I have decided that the best BET Awards performance (or at least the best BET Awards performance that’s on YouTube) happened in either 2004 or 2005:

“Public Service Announcement” is one of my favorite Jay-Z tracks, and here, he and his band, including ?uestlove, are on fire. That organ wails, the drums crash, and Hova still sounds like he cares about being one of the greatest rappers ever, rather than assuming he’s one of the greatest rappers ever, like he does now. Things fall apart a bit when Kid Rock is allowed to speak during “99 Problems,” but that’s true of anything.

You actually forget that they hate each other. Love Lauryn’s outfit, too.

What’s your favorite performance?