"You have to be who you are,” he said in his speech.

By Annie Reuter

Snoop Dogg took home the coveted I Am Hip-Hop award Saturday night (Sept. 17) at the 11th annual BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. In a ceremony held at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Kendrick Lamar introduced the hip-hop legend saying that he “paved a way into many hearts” with his music.

Related: Snoop Dogg Talks Weed, Martha Stewart, Police Brutality

During his acceptance speech Snoop Dogg said he felt misunderstood at the beginning of his career, reports Billboard. He added that his goal was to always make original, entertaining music.

“To all the young rappers in the game, a lot of people don’t understand you,” he said. “Y’all are misunderstood. I was misunderstood at the beginning. So you got to keep pushing, be original and diverse. Hip Hop was created many years ago and it’s taken people so many places. You have to be who you are.”

Lamar took home the Lyricist of the Year award while Fat Joe and Remy Ma won the Track of the Year award for “All the Way Up.” Hustler of the Year went to DJ Khaled and Best New Hip-Hop Artist was given to Chance the Rapper.

Performances included T.I. with “We Will Not.” During his set, people holding “Black Lives Matter” signs filled the stage. Gucci Mane’s performed four songs, “First Day Out” and “First Day Out Tha Feds” and DJ Khaled’s “Holy Key” with soul singer Betty Wright and a backing choir.

The 11th annual BET Hip-Hop Awards will air on October 4.

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