Kidd Kenn Makes History at the BET Hip Hop Awards

Kidd Kenn Makes History at the BET Hip Hop Awards

Story by Justin Moran / Photography by Johntavis Mclean

Chicago rapper Kidd Kenn has officially made BET history, appearing as the first out gay male rapper in the BET Hip Hop Awards Rap Cypher. The 18-year-old phenom, who recently dropped his solo single "Get Lit" and Problem Child EP, performed live in Atlanta alongside artists DJ Hed, Toosii, Lakeyah and Symba.

"When my community sees me in the Cypher they're going to gag," Kenn tells PAPER. "They're going to be so excited because I know they've been waiting for me to literally do what I have to do for the community and that's all I came to do: to represent and do the best I can do. I really feel like I was born for this. No pressure at all."

The BET red carpet also marked a significant first for Kenn, debuting with sculpted, electric blue hair and a shimmering jacket and trouser set (sewn in just 72 hours by designer Stan R). He got ready beforehand with fellow rapper and friend Delli Boe, who also wore Stan R, and Lakeyah.

"I really feel like I was born for this."

"They need something like this — something fresh, something cute," Kenn says of his look. "Look at me! This is my first major red carpet and I couldn't have asked for a better stage than BET. I'm a rapper, so being part of the Hip Hop Awards Cypher is huge. I want people to hear me rap."

PAPER followed Kenn and co. getting glam before the BET 2021 Hip Hop Awards, which airs tonight at 9/8c on BET.

Photography: Johntavis Mclean
Design and styling: Stan R
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