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Rapper Drake earns 8 nominations, Snoop Dogg returns as host for BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta

Rapper Drake appears at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jordan Strauss/Invision

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Rapper Drake appears at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jordan Strauss/Invision

ATLANTA - For the first time, Drake tops nominees for the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

In a statement to The Associated Press, BET said Thursday that Drake received the most nominations with eight for the ninth annual awards show. It airs Oct. 14. Last year, the Canadian rapper and singer took home four awards, including the People's Champ Award.

Drake's 2013 chart-topping album, "Nothing Was the Same" had several hits from "Hold On, We're Going Home" with Majid Jordan to "Started from the Bottom."

Rap veteran Snoop Dogg returns as host and is expected to perform during the show, which will be taped Sept. 20 at the Boisfeuillet (BOH'-fihl-ay) Jones Atlanta Civic Center.

Jay Z, Pharrell and Future each scored six nominations. Nicki Minaj, Rich Homie Quan and YG earned five nods apiece.

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Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. at http://www.twitter.com/mrlandrum31 .

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