Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
10/13/2003 11:33:23 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Eminem, Benzino, 50 Cent, Ja Rule and P. Diddy.
The Source magazine, the hip-hop publication with the history of being the news as well as reporting it, startled the pop world Monday night by making rapper 50 Cent the biggest winner of The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards, at Miami Arena.
50 Cent, the evening's big multiple-award winner, won three trophies for his bestselling debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', despite being in a bitter war of words with The Source and being the subject of an unflattering cover story and exposé in the October issue. The rapper and Eminem protégé was not there to accept his honor for single, album and breakthrough artist of the year.
But the show began in a spirit of reconciliation as Haitian-American singer Wyclef Jean made a plea for peace. ''Black on black crime needs to stop,'' he said, singing a song from his forthcoming album that envisions a world in which Source-affiliated executive and rapper Raymond Scott, aka Benzino, ''shook hands with Eminem,'' and the members of Jean's old group, The Fugees, are friends again.
Source CEO David Mays and Scott came on stage to introduce the Source Image Award, given to LL Cool J, Nelly, dancer Crazy Legs and Afeni Shakur, Tupac Shakur's mother. ''The integrity of our coverage has earned us our respect,'' Mays said.
Presenter Ja Rule, friends with The Source, even accepted the male artist award on the behalf of 50 Cent.
Still, there was chaos and tension on the floor where the entourages of artists vied for seats. The producers, with the help of the Fruit of Islam (the security force of the Nation of Islam) and the Miami Fire-Rescue Department helped keep the aisles clear and the show moving. But it ran hours behind schedule.
In the upper seats, the atmosphere was festive. One woman entertained the restless crowd by taking her clothes off. The show was marked by informality and hip-hop flavor. The winners names weren't read from envelopes but from pagers. Roy Jones Jr., Mike Tyson and Layla Ali presented the first award, to Lil' Kim for female artist of the year, and Tyson challenged Jones to a future fight. Jones accepted.
Fans and audience members Wilkine Brutus and David Castro came down from West Palm Beach to see their favorite ''crunk boys from the South'': Lil Jon, David Banner and Lil Flip. ''The show is good, just too many postponed moments,'' Castro said.
And it was crunk -- the name for the sound of the so-called ''Dirty South'' -- that got one of the big receptions of the night. Though performers included Nelly with P. Diddy and Trina, and Wyclef Jean was the only one who used musical instruments, not backing tracks, it was Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz who brought the house down. They represented the South with a giant, onstage party including topless, big-bellied men, gyrating, scantily-clad women and men dressed as pimps. Joined by the Ying-Yang Twins, they did a medley of crunk anthems.
The choice for Miami as the home of the Source Awards for the second time -- they were first here in 2001 and not held last year -- was hardly accidental.
''Miami's history is always important because of bass [music] and [Luther Campbell], and it's important to be anchored in the South because Southern hip-hop is so hot,'' said Stephen Hill, senior vice president of music and entertainment programming and talent for BET, which is televising the awards Nov. 11. ``Miami is important to the past and the future of hip-hop.''
Nominations for the awards are determined by the magazine's editorial staff. Source subscribers and a council of DJs then vote.
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