Some of hip-hop’s biggest names had yet to make their way to the Jackie Gleason Theater a few hours before the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards show was to begin taping late Monday afternoon (August 20).
Others had dropped out entirely. Snoop Dogg was scheduled to perform but pulled out at the last minute for undisclosed reasons, and multiple nominee Jay-Z also decided to skip the event.
P. Diddy and the Bad Boy Family, like Eminem and D-12, won’t be at Monday’s show but will still be a part of the program, which will air August 28 on UPN. They pre-taped their performances over the weekend along with Trick Daddy, Ludacris and Nate Dogg, and Jadakiss and the Lox.
The Source kicked off the weekend Friday by transforming Watson Island into tropical “Source Island.” Off camera, the setting looked anything but a remote getaway inasmuch as the grounds were cluttered with the four Bs: Benzes, Bentleys, (motor) bikes and (tour) buses.
Before taping his spot Friday, P. Diddy stalked the stage in his Sean John gear and designer flip-flops. Giant lights spelled out “Bad Boy” behind him. Things almost got ugly when P. Diddy finally took the stage to rehearse. A noticeably peeved Diddy tried to maintain his composure despite his dissatisfaction with the set. “I want to be fully blown,” he bellowed. “I want the Michael Jackson lights!”
Diddy will be shooting videos for “That’s Crazy” and “Blast Off” in Los Angeles the day of the Source awards. Eminem and D-12 will miss the event for the same reason and hoped to be done with their taping here by midnight in order to catch a plane. No problem, right?
Wrong. All the other acts combined took half as much time as Diddy to rehearse and tape their performances.
Trick Daddy sat in his trailer, getting irked. However, the dozens of kids he brought with him to perform “I’m a Thug” didn’t seem to mind that they’d be up way past their bedtimes. They clamored around Method Man for autographs and pictures. Meth’s co-hosts for the taping, Redman and Keith Murray, passed the time cracking jokes.
“Its all love to have everybody together like this,” said Ludacris in front of his trailer. “This my first Source nomination. We ’bout to get onstage and act a complete monkey.”
After more than two hours, Diddy was ready to perform. He started with “Ride With Me,” featuring Eightball and MJG, then brought on the Bad Boy Family for “Bad Boy for Life,” complete with a little kid doing the Harlem Shake.
But wait: he wants another take.
“Puff’s a perfectionist,” explained Eightball after the performance. Eightball was grateful for the weekend’s festivities. “It’s love to be a part of it,” he said. “I just hope that don’t nobody bring none of the street sh- to the show this year because this is one of the biggest celebrations of hip-hop we have.”
Last year’s awards ceremony in Pasadena, California, was marred by a fight that forced organizers to stop the show; the missing parts were taped for the TV broadcast of the event. Organizers have promised new security procedures this year.
Em and D-12 eventually got onstage at 2:18 a.m. for “Purple Hills” – although the guys must have forgot this was for TV, since they performed the explicit lyrics of the song’s album version, “Purple Pills.”
“Guys, could you please not say f
, sh- or pills?,” a crew member requested.
Jadakiss, who performed “Knock Yourself Out” and “We Gon’ Make It,” was last up and got the short end of the stick. Not only did he not get to rehearse, but fireworks accompanied only one of his two takes, the fire marshal having declared them over for the evening.
Many artists spent Saturday shooting videos. Hype Williams got Ludacris, Murray and L.L. Cool J animated and sexy for the clip to accompany their joint musical venture, “Fatty Girl.” Across town, the Ruff Ryders brought their snarls and grimaces to the camera for their “We Gon’ Make It” remix directed by J. Jesses Smith.
Sunday night, while Mary J. Blige and the So So Def family geared up for late-night tapings of their respective performances, Russell Simmons co-hosted the Hip-Hop Image Awards, a dinner and fund-raiser for the Source Youth Foundation.
Among those honored for their contributions to the hip-hop community were Master P, Shaquille O’Neal, Rap-A-Lot records CEO James Prince and the Fubu clothing company. Lil’ Romeo and Case performed, and Jesse Jackson delivered the keynote address.
Jackson urged the audience – which included DMX, Scarface, boxer Roy Jones Jr. and NBA star Jalen Rose – to “save our children” and “keep hope alive.”
“This is exciting, watching this thing unfold,” Simmons said before the fund-raiser. “We’re all anticipating a big success. There’s not gonna be no incidents. The hip-hop community has always had camaraderie, but that’s not written about. The negative stuff is reported.”
Ja Rule and Case have been added to Monday’s program and will perform “Livin’ It Up” from Ja’s upcoming album, Pain Is Love. Busta Rhymes and Vivica Fox will host the Source awards Monday evening.