Giveon Explains His BET Awards Performance, J. Cole's Influence & More

By Tony M. Centeno

July 6, 2022

Despite the excessive amount of criticism he received online, Giveon isn't too bothered by the technical difficulties he experienced during his set at the 2022 BET Awards. The Long Beach, Calif. native says he's not taking all the blame for his recent off-key performance.

During an interview with Angie Martinez on Tuesday, July 5, Giveon tells his version of what happened before and during his BET Awards performance. In an effort to make it easier for the musically-inclined to understand, the singer simply said that he was given the wrong microphone. The settings on the mic he was given didn't match the proper key of his song "Heartbreak Anniversary."

"I think it was a technical difficulty and it's kind of hard to explain if you don't understand the concept of effects," Giveon explains. "The song that I was singing is in the key of 'B' and the mic that was given to me was in the key of 'G'. I guess my mic had the wrong settings, something got shifted up. So instead of me having my reverb that adds that haunting Giveon sound essentially, they gave me a mic that someone had set for the key of 'G'. So even if I'm singing the entire song in 'B', which I was and which the song was in, it's going to come out as 'G'. So singing a song in 'G' while the song's in B, while you're singing in 'B,' while on live TV is a disaster waiting to happen."

Giveon acknowledges that he sounded "not human" and "robotic." He tells Angie he noticed the mistake seconds into his set but pushed through it because he figured that everyone else would understand that it was a technical difficulty. It wasn't long before he became aware of the discourse that erupted online. The singer says he didn't see all the viral comments but the worst he saw was that he "missed a note," and that didn't phase him much.

Early on in their conversation, Angie got to know Giveon better by finding out more about his early beginnings in Long Beach. The singer told her about attending the same high school as Snoop Dogg and his love for watching interviews, including hers. He reveals the reason why Angie's interview with J. Cole impacted him for life.

"[J. Cole] said something in there that really changed my life," Giveon says. "He said he obviously writes stories from him, his perspective but sometimes he pulls from other people's stories so that way he never runs out of stories to tell. And that just helped me tell stories. Just that concept."

Watch Angie Martinez's entire interview with Giveon above.

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