MIAMI — It’s the only awards show where you’ll see more stars wearing name brands like Dickies and Timberland than Louis Vuitton and Armani.
The sixth annual Source Awards took place Monday night with the absent 50 Cent leading the pack with two major nods.
Despite his on-wax beef with The Source’s co-owner Ray Benzino, the voters couldn’t deny 50, giving his Get Rich or Die Tryin’ Album of the Year honors while his “In Da Club” took home Single of the Year – Male.
The other big winners of the night were Nelly, who won Artist of the Year – Male, and the Neptunes, who took home the prize for Producer of the Year. Lil’ Kim came away from the ceremony as the night’s top lady, grabbing Artist of the Year – Female.
“This has been a great weekend, I been in Miami partying my ass off,” Kim, who was up for five awards, said on the red carpet. “Then after tonight I’m gonna party my ass off again. The Source Awards, that’s way big. That was the first time I ever performed on live TV. We did the first Source Awards with Biggie, and we ripped.”
“We didn’t know,” Nelly said backstage about taking home the Artist of the Year Award. “We was nominated for four awards, you think you win then you don’t. You think you won’t, then you win. We just came to have a good time.”
Nelly did know that he was going to receive a Source Foundation Image Award for his work in the community. He, along with LL Cool J, Rock Steady Crew member Crazy Legs and Roy Jones Jr. were given those honors.
“[To get] an Image Award for giving back, that’s saying that people do notice,” Nelly said. “Not that we do it because of that, but this is letting us know that certain people appreciate what you do.”
“Being onstage with them is a lot of fun,” LL said about getting his Image Award. “It’s nice to just see different phases of the culture. Different times. How people blend with the good energy and good vibes. It always feels good to get included.”
Beyond the awards, the highlight of the night was the Dirty South medley, when Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz, David Banner, Bone Crusher, Lil’ Flip and the Ying Yang Twins hit the stage. The artists kept things crunk not only with their rowdy tunes, but by having strippers as backup dancers. The ladies flashed their bare breasts, showed their butt cheeks and gyrated on poles.
“Actually [the idea for the performance] came about when we was in L.A. and we happened to run into one of the guys that was setting up The Source thing,” Lil Jon explained. “I gave my idea on the spot. Everybody’s idea of the South, the first thing they think about is going to the strip clubs. Then in the ‘Get Low’ video we in the strip clubs. Our song ‘Get Low’ and David Banner’s song ‘Like a Pimp’ is songs for women to dance to. So they ran with the idea of everybody rocking on the set. We tried to upstage Madonna [and Britney Spears at the MTV Video Music Awards] with the [women] kissing.
“It’s just our time right now,” Jon added about the props the Southerners received at the show. “All of the South artists did they thing tonight. Bone Crusher got an award, Killer Mike, T.I. The South has never got this much love from something like The Source. Hip-hop is considered to be something that comes from the North and the Northern artists get most of the respect, but the Southern artists got some respect tonight.”
Ja Rule didn’t fare as well during his performance of “The Crown” and “Clap Back.” Although he had people on their feet, he received some boos when he finished his set. That was the second time during the night he heard it from the crowd — earlier, the fans dissed him when he won R&B/Rap Collaboration of the Year for “Thug Lovin’ ” with Bobby Brown. Rule didn’t go onstage to accept his award.
The rapper’s spokesperson said his absence was not due to the crowd’s reaction, but rather because he was backstage and was not aware that his category was being presented. To Rule’s defense, there was some confusion at the ceremony, as it ran well into the night, going past 1 a.m.
“This is history,” Benzino said on the red carpet, shortly before the show commenced. “Ain’t nothing like this ever been nowhere. This is hip-hop at its purest form. [You'll see] people that a lot of other awards shows just don’t acknowledge. We represent hip-hop in its purest form and the people involved with it. The Source magazine’s been the number-one imprint of hip-hop for a long time. This shows that. We got the support of every artist out here.”
Other winners included the Clipse for Single of the Year – Group with “Grindin’ ” and Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz for Artist of the Year – Group and Video of the Year for “I Don’t Give a F—.” A spokesperson for the event said additional winners will be announced later.
The Source Awards will air November 11 on BET.
2003 Source Awards winners:
Album of the Year: 50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Tryin’
Artist of the Year – Male: Nelly
Artist of the Year – Female: Lil’ Kim
Artist of the Year – Group: Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz
Single of the Year – Male: 50 Cent, “In Da Club”
Single of the Year – Group: Clipse, “Grindin’ ”
Single of the Year – Collaboration: Bone Crusher
featuring T.I. and Killer Mike, “Never Scared”
R&B/Rap Collaboration of the Year: Ja Rule featuring Bobby Brown, “Thug Lovin’ ”
Video of the Year: Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz featuring Mystikal and Krayzie Bone, “I Don’t Give a F—”
Producer of the Year: The Neptunes
Dancehall Reggae Album of the Year: Sean Paul, Dutty Rock
International Album of the Year: K-Os, Exit