Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

B.E.T. recently held its annual party at Hook’s (formerly Lola’s) in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. The evening was illuminated by a starlit sky, and the spirits and energy of those in attendance were shining just as bright.

The event held several surprises. Hip-hop icons and legends Salt n Pepa and Doug E. Fresh were not only in attendance but performed hits from their heyday.

Salt n Pepa, the female rap duo who pioneered female emceeing, took the stage with enthusiasm and great presence. Determined and eager to connect with the standing room-only crowd, Salt n Pepa performed as if they had something to prove. Performing their smash hit Push It, which sounded just as fresh when it topped Billboard’s Top 100 charts more than 30 years ago, they held the crowd in the palm of their hand as the audience gyrated and mimicked each lyric as the duo performed. Other hits, Shoop and I’ll Take Your Man, were performed and delivered with the same verve as Push It.

Once Salt n Pepa departed the stage, hip-hop’s other superhero took flight. Doug E. Fresh, a mainstay at the B.E.T. event, is hip-hop’s ultimate hype man. He kept the crowd’s energy and attention at peak as he led a sing-along. Also known as the human beat-box entertainer, he commanded: “All the ladies sing along and make the Island hear us.”

To which a rousing rendition of Beyonce’s 2012 hit, Love On Top nearly raised the rafters on the roof. Perfect unison and harmony bellowed from Hook’s as the audience sang line for line,”Honey, honey, I can see the stars shining way from here.”

As the stars were shining, people milled about and mingled outside as waiters scurried around to serve refreshing melon kebobs, shrimp the size of hockey pucks and delicious beef sliders. Sponsor Grey Goose was available for those who chose to drink.

As the night wound down, many took photos against the B.E.T. photo screen, gushed about the evening’s highlights, the great food and meeting folks from everywhere around the U.S.

Each year Oak Bluffs has a popular statement or saying printed on T-shirts sold everywhere on the Island. This year’s slogan was “I’m Bluffin.”

A good time and fun was had by all, and that’s no bluffin.

Harold Gomes Jr., New Bedford