MIAMI BEACH, Florida The mayhem, disorder and downright chaos at Monday's Source Awards where Nelly and Outkast each picked up a pair of wins were restricted to the production end of the show's six-hour taping at the Jackie Gleason Theater.
Unlike last year's violence-tarnished program, members of the hip-hop community mainly showed love and support for one another here. They knew the world would be watching to see if there would be any more assaults (see "Source Awards Gives Hip-Hop's Reputation Another Blow").
"We hope things go right, we hope everybody chills out," Outkast's Dre said as he entered the venue.
The mood was chill backstage, too.
"Nobody wants to take it there," said Mobb Deep's Prodigy, who exclaimed "f--- Jay-Z!" after presenting the Artist of the Year/Group award to Outkast.
"It doesn't make any sense to mess up something that's ours," added his partner, Havoc.
Before the show, several MCs recognized rapper L.L. Cool J's importance and influence.
"I knew if I stayed hotter than him, I'd be good," said DMX. "I always compared myself to him."
"It's about time [he's honored]" Lil' Kim said. "I don't know a female who didn't find L.L. attractive."
"It's real humbling for me," L.L. said. "I've been doing this 17 years and for them to be giving me this award at such a late date ... So few of my peers who came up with me have an opportunity to really mean something in this new era of hip-hop."
If an artist can sell 7 million records and still be a dark horse, Nelly was it. The St. Louis rapper's Country Grammar bested records by Jay-Z, Outkast, Snoop Dogg, M.O.P. and heavy favorite Eminem in the Album of the Year category. Nelly was also deemed New Artist of the Year over Ludacris, Lil' Bow Wow, Trina and Shyne.
Nelly campaigned for the honors as he walked into the theater, telling people on the red carpet, "C'mon, I need you to clap it up for me. We need to get that."
Outkast who, like Eminem, had five nominations were the night's other multiple winners, taking home the Artist of the Year/Group and Live Performer of the Year awards. Jay-Z won Artist of the Year/Solo, while Scarface was a surprise winner for Lyricist of the Year over Eminem, Jay-Z, Prodigy and Talib Kweli.
Other artists commented on the love movement sweeping through the hip-hop community.
"We took the responsibility in our own hands tonight," Busta Rhymes said after the show.
"The positive vibe here tonight was the highlight for me," said Treach. "It was truly beautiful."
The evening's fashion highlight had to be Ghostface Killah, who wore a giant golden eagle bracelet with the bird's wings shaped in a giant W to represent the Wu-Tang Clan.
Among the performances that will be seen when the Source Awards are broadcast August 28 on UPN are Ja Rule's version of his new single, "Livin' It Up," with Case. Ja Rule won the Single of the Year award for "Put It On Me."
DMX, Nelly and M.O.P. also performed Monday night. The broadcast will include additional performances, taped earlier, by P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, Nate Dogg, D12 and others.
(MTVi's parent company, Viacom, also owns UPN.)
The 2001 Source Awards winners:
Album of the Year
Nelly, Country Grammar
Artist of the Year/Solo
New Artist of the Year
Single of the Year
Ja Rule featuring Lil' Mo and Vita, "Put It on Me"
Artist of the Year/Group
Producer of the Year
R&B Artist of the Year
Live Performer of the Year
Video of the Year
Lyricist of the Year
(This story was updated at 12:34 p.m. ET Wednesday, August 22, 2001.)