NEW YORK Fugees singer and solo star Lauryn Hill continued
her winning ways Thursday (Sept. 9) by snatching up four moonman statues
during the first-half of the MTV Video Music Awards.
Hill took home the Best Female Video and Best R&B Video trophies to add
to the two preshow nods for her song "Doo Wop (That Thing)"
excerpt). The song earned statues for Best R&B Video and Best
Art Direction in awards announced prior to the ceremony.
Hill's 1999 roll has also seen her take home five Grammys, four Soul
Train Awards and, most recently, Three Lady of Soul awards for her
multiplatinum solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Early on, the 16th annual awards show otherwise belonged to outrageous
rap performances, the mothers of slain hip-hoppers, a virtual sea of
white outfits and a string of risqué jokes from host comedian
Chris Rock, who targeted Latin singer Jennifer Lopez's rear end and
Ricky Martin's ubiquitous hit "Livin' la Vida Loca" (RealAudio
Rapper Jay-Z, who won Best Rap Video for "Can I Get A ..." dedicated his
award to late rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. "It's nice to be appreciated while
we're still here," Jay-Z said, "B.I.G., Tupac forever, hip-hop music."
Rapper Kid Rock opened the show, held at the ornate Metropolitan Opera
House, with an over-the-top performance that featured cameos from hip-hop
legends Run-D.M.C. The New York hip-hop trio teamed with Kid Rock and old
friends Aerosmith for a version of the 1986 Run-D.M.C./Aerosmith version
of the Boston rock band's hit "Walk This Way."
The early proceedings also featured a cathartic live performance from
techno-rockers Nine Inch Nails, who performed a brooding song under
swinging cranes with flashing lights. Frontman Trent Reznor, looking
buff in a sleeveless gray vest, repeated the phrase "I won't let you
fall apart" over the accompaniment of his backing band, which included
menacing guitars and a string section.
For many of the artists, white seemed to be the fashion choice of the
Martin sported a white shirt during his performance of "Livin' la Vida
Loca" and Korn leader Jonathan Davis was decked out in an all-white
sweat suit and hat when his band won the Best Rock Video award for "Freak
on a Leash" (RealAudio
excerpt), Korn's second award of the night.
Both Bush singer Gavin Rossdale and host Chris Rock sported head-to-toe
white outfits. House DJ Moby mixed it up by wearing a gold lamé
suit and The Artist did his best to buck convention by taking the stage
as a presenter in a skintight electric-blue vinyl outfit and Coolio-like
After presenting an award, Fugees leader Wyclef Jean said, "In a hundred
years I want to be like [famed R&B producer] Quincy Jones. I have 99
years left. I love to be behind the scenes and love to sing."
Rap artist Will Smith introduced the mothers of slain hip-hop stars Tupac
Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., Afeni Shakur and Voletta Wallace,
respectively, prior to presenting the Best Rap Video award to Jay-Z. The
pair praised the legacy of their sons' contributions to rap.
Wallace said backstage that she wanted her son to be remembered for "his
honesty and the love that he showed you all." Afeni Shakur expressed
hope that her son would be remembered for his heart and integrity.
"We're here because we're mothers and because we're never alone and
because we're united with other mothers in the same situation, and because
of all the love that has showered us, we've been able to stand firm and
go on with our lives," Wallace said.
Other early winners included rapper Eminem, who took home the Best New
Artist in a Video award for "My Name Is" (RealAudio
excerpt). The platinum-haired rapper, wearing a Hawaiian shirt
and cracking his chewing gum, took the opportunity to plug the upcoming
album by his mentor, rapper/producer Dr. Dre, Chronic 2001.
For a list of winners at MTV Online, click
(SonicNet is a division of MTV Interactive.)