June 26 (UPI) -- The 2017 BET Awards was a chance for redemption, aspiration and humility for the evening's winners.
Rapper Remy Ma redeemed herself when she beat Nicki Minaj for best female hip hop artist, ending Minaj's 7-year reign in that category.
"I wanna thank God first and foremost," Ma said. "You can make mistakes and come back."
Ma, born Reminisence Smith, was convicted of intentional assault in 2008 for shooting Makeda Barnes Joseph in a dispute over $3,000. She served six years in prison before getting released in 2014.
Since her release, Ma has been busy putting out music, including a collaborative album with Fat joe titled, "Playa o Plomo." She also put out "Shether," a diss track that insults Minaj.
Ma previously won the award in 2005.
Kendrick Lamar took home the best male hip hop artist award, beating out J. Cole, Drake, Future, Chance the Rapper, and Big Sean.
Although Chance the Rapper missed out on winning best male hip hop artist, he was still a big winner Sunday night. The 24-year-old won best new artist and also was honored with a BET humanitarian award for his work to improve Chicago public schools.
Former first lady Michelle Obama, a fellow Chicagoan, in a pre-recorded speech, praised Chance for his work.
"Chance, you are an outstanding role model, and an inspiration to all of us who care about our next generation. Because of you, countless young people will grow up believing in themselves, fulfilling their God-given potential and then reaching back and lifting up other people along the way," she said.
"It feels a little early to get something like this, but my God doesn't make mistakes, and I like to think that he's putting this enormous pressure on me to see how I react," Chance said in his acceptance speech. "And I had plans originally to try and tell the world and everybody watching how to make it a better place. To tell everybody in this government that y'all need to let everybody out of jail for selling weed before you start making it legal for people to sell it and make capital off of it."
He went on to criticize the Chicago public school system and the lack of convictions in police shooting cases before vowing to spend more time with loved ones.
I'm a good man, and I'm gonna become a better man," he said.