Diddy, Kanye, R. Kelly, Usher Burning Up Miami With Pre-VMA Parties

Jamie Foxx, Black Eyed Peas also making appearances as pre-show bashes kick off.

MIAMIDiddy has said the VMAs are going to be the biggest party Miami has ever seen, and he's making a strong case for it along with Kanye West, Usher, R. Kelly, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Alba, Pamela Anderson and the Black Eyed Peas.

Early Wednesday, Sean Combs helped kick off Hotel MTV — which has essentially taken over the city's Surfcomber Hotel — in grand fashion by hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony and addressing a flock of fans and revelers who sat poolside. Later in the afternoon, Diddy's acts Boyz N Da Hood and Young City (a.k.a. Chopper from Da Band) took to the stage and performed some of their records. As the evening progressed, Combs could be spotted at the Dolphin Mall courtyard hosting another event, this one for his Sean John Elite footwear collection.

But when nighttime hit in Miami, so did the rain. A hurricane warning was put into effect because of the approaching Tropical Storm Katrina, and people ran down the usually crowded Ocean Drive strip to seek shelter from the heavy flow of H2O. Clubs like Mansion did stay busy, but Hotel MTV may have been the most popping spot in the vicinity. You could hear Sway's voice all the way on Collins Avenue as he hyped the dance-floor crowd along to the sounds of "And Then What" and "So Seductive."

Sway had actually been hosting a "My Block: Miami" viewing, but wound up staying to get down with the locals and out-of-towners. There was also a listening session for Kanye West's new LP, Late Registration (see "Kanye Brings His Revolutionary Streak To Late Registration").

Due to the threat of a hurricane, functions at Hotel MTV for Thursday and Friday have been canceled. But while some businesses have also shut down, many parties are still going strong. Diddy is hosting a Mansion party and has almost a half dozen more functions set for the weekend. Kanye — who is due to appear at various MTV events along with Usher, R. Kelly, Jamie Foxx, the Black Eyed Peas and many others — also has two parties planned.

Check out all of our VMA news for everything you need to know about the biggest winners, hottest fashions, hippest parties, and most outrageous moments onstage, backstage and throughout Miami.