Snoop Dogg said he was proud to become "Uncle Snoop" and "not some old, bitter rapper" during his heartfelt "I Am Hip-Hop Award" acceptance speech at Tuesday's 2016 BET Hip-Hop Awards. "Y'all know I ain't really one to be sentimental or whatnot, but this is real sentimental right now for me to see all of my peers, all of my people in hip-hop give me the respect I didn't strive for," he said. "I just strived to make music and to make people feel good and get [out] my expression."
Kendrick Lamar introduced his West coast mentor, praising the rapper as "my big Unc, my OG." Snoop celebrated his position in the rap game and where the music has evolved in the decades since he started out.
"Hip-hop was created many years ago," he said. "And it's grown, and it's taken people so many places. You've gotta understand as a young MC, as a young artist, you've gotta always be who you are because at the end of the day, you've gotta live with who you are."
BET celebrated Snoop's long, varied career with a highlight reel spanning his accomplishments in and out of hip-hop – from his 17 Grammy Award nominations to his work with the Snoop Youth Football League.
"He has what we call the 'it' factor: that thing ... you can't explain, but you could just feel it and understand it when you hear it and see it," said collaborator Dr. Dre. "Snoop's voice just really made you want to understand what the West coast was all about," added Pharrell Williams. "He was just an incredible storyteller."
The BET event's award winners included Drake (Best Hip-Hop Video for "Hotline Bling," Album of the Year for Views), Kendrick Lamar (Lyricist of the Year, Best Live Performer), Metro Boomin (Producer of the Year) and Chance the Rapper (Best New Hip-Hop Artist).