Just when you thought you had seen all there was to see of the BET Awards' performances, suddenly Kendrick Lamar makes a surprise appearance during Future's "Mask Off" performance, and the internet lost their minds. There's nothing that makes a performance better than Kendrick showing up during it, as far as I'm concerned. Even the room seemed to hush and then freak out when he strolled down those stairs like he was walking a red carpet, then performing his verse from the "Mask Off" remix, adding his signature, intense style to the otherwise laid back Future track. The rapper clearly knew the audience would go absolutely wild at his entrance, because he was not scheduled to appear at the awards this year.
In 2016, Kendrick Lamar made another cameo appearance at the BET Awards alongside Beyoncé's opening performance of an impressive Lemonade medley that ended with a climactic performance of "Freedom." And that of course followed the 2015 BET Awards, when Lamar opened the show with a performance of his own song, "Alright." And while the "Mask Off" performance didn't quite reach the heights of "Freedom" or "Alright," in a year without Beyoncé, or any performances from Kendrick's new album, DAMN., a Future-Kendrick collaboration was the next best thing.
But even if Kendrick Lamar hadn't dropped in for a surprise cameo, "Mask Off" was still an early standout performances at the BET Awards. It's a song that's already created one social media craze — the Mask Off Challenge — so it was no surprise to see fans were thrilled at the chance to see the single performed live.