Why BET’s ‘106 and Park’ Was So Significant

After 14 legendary years, BET‘s 106 & Park aired its final show on Friday evening. The original hosts of 106 & Park, AJ and Free, returned to MC this monumental event. AJ and Free represented realness and authenticity that most music networks lacked. They also provided a much needed perspective and appreciation for the urban culture.

106 & Park was so important to black culture because the culture needed a voice, an outlet, and a platform to get their music televised. When the show first aired on September 11, 2000, it created a shift in music. The significance of 106 & Park was so important because the year 2000 was flooded with boy bands. No one could turn on the television without seeing or hearing N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and countless other bands. Pop music had simply taken over all music networks until the great minds at BET created “the livest show in entertainment.” Respectfully, all the former hosts of 106 & Park returned to pay homage to the show as well.

I will admit, I was so angry when AJ and Free left, and I didn’t give Terrence and Rosci a fair chance. I didn’t like either host because of spite. Over the years, I have matured, and I must say that Terrence and Rosci did an outstanding job replacing AJ and Free. I was very disappointed more celebrities didn’t show up for the 106 & Park finale. Besides the former hosts appearing on the show, the only other celebrities who made an appearance were Keyshia Cole, Wale, Jin, and Blind Fury. Jin and Blind Fury‘s freestyles on the finale was one of my favorite segments. When Blind Fury (it’s not just a name, he is blind) rapped the line, “Free come over here and let me see that bubble,” the audience went nuts! What a classic line!

106 & Park’s Freestyle Friday battles are probably what I will miss the most. The infamous battle rap competition became an evolution in music. The battles gave freestyle competitors an opportunity to showcase their talents to the world. The finale aired video shout outs from 50 Cent, Ciara, Jamie Foxx, Lil Boosie, Omarion, and others. 106 & Park was not only a place for music, it was where entertainment called home.

Some of entertainment’s biggest stars graced the 106 & Park set, including Denzel Washington, Destiny’s Child, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and so many other celebrities. During the finale, 106 & Park touched on the issues the show dealt with during its 14 year run; including the deaths of Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, and also the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. 106 & Park was more than an entertainment show, it was also socially and politically conscious. I had an emotional moment during the video montage of celebrities, music videos, and musical performances from over the years.

In the most fitting fashion, the last music video to ever air on 106 & Park was Chris Brown’s Deuces. The show closed with a performance by Bow Wow, officially named “Mr. 106 & Park.” The legacy of 106 & Park will forever live on. Thank you BET!