Remember the last time you sat back and watched an episode of 106 & Park? Yeah, neither do I. So when it was announced recently that the countdown was coming to an end, it feel long overdue. BET issued an official statement on the decision over the weekend:
America’s No. 1 music variety show on cable television, 106 & PARK, will host its final daily on-air show on December 19, 2014, concluding its impressive 14-year run. The 106 & PARKbrand remains strong and will continue to produce various specials throughout the year, including its annual New Year’s Eve show, 106 & PARTY, along with live event experiences at the BET Awards and BET Experience. In 2015, 106 & PARK looks forward to continuing its reign as the hottest hangout on one of the coolest digital platforms, BET.com.
(Dang -has it really been 14 years?!) The show has been through many transitions over the years, but still never quite lived up to the it’s original appeal. During its heights, 106 & Park offered an alternative and happy medium to the MTV’s uber mainstream TRL and Big Tiger’s Rap City: Tha Basement. The show brought back the youthful edge of Teen Summit that had long been missing from the station, and the chemistry between AJ and Free was an added touch. It was the place where young up-and-comers like Chris Brown, Omarion, Ciara, and so many others got their break. I remember during my teeny bopper years, rushing to catch the show to see premieres from my favorite artists. I actually cared whether B2K’s “Gots To Be” made it to the number one spot. I was excited that time Free made an appearance in Beyonce’s “Fighting Temptation” video. I got amped for Freestyle Friday battles and had friends that auditioned in middle school. When Free and AJ announced their departure, it only seemed right that it would mark the end of the show.
But instead, host after host, came along to feel their shoes. There was the awkward pairing of Julissa and Big Tiger for a hot minute, then Terrance J. and Rosci revived the show slightly, and finally
Lil Bow Wow Shad Moss came along and desperately tried to bring the show back to the glory days that helped launch his career. The magic was never quite recaptured, and since the cancellation was announced, folks have been having a field day. Some even insist that Karrueche’s Blue Ivy joke is ultimately what got the plug pulled.
Jokes aside, like all good things, it had to come to an end. Long before BET announced the cancellation, it’s obvious the countdown’s popularity was on the decline. The reality is that people aren’t checking for televised video countdowns in general, so going digital is probably the best move. Even though the show lost it’s edge years ago, we have to give it credit for providing a platform to some of our favorite artists over the years.
What’s your favorite 106 & Park memory?