MIAMI — Rain or ... hurricane, the show must go on — even if that means toughing out some not-so-ideal travel scenarios to get to Miami, the site of Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards.
With Katrina and her 100 mph winds temporarily shutting down Miami International Airport (see "VMAs Weather The Storm As Hurricane Katrina Heads West"), artists were forced to either miss pre-parties and rehearsals (like Houston rappers Mike Jones, Paul Wall and Slim Thug) or get creative.
"Many flights and a lot of driving later, it was 24 hours of traveling," Christina Milian said Friday. "I flew from L.A. to D.C. to Orlando and then drove from there, but it's all worth it for the VMAs."
Joining Milian on the same route was Compton rapper the Game. "I definitely don't play with Mother Nature," he said. "So what I did was come up with a strategic plan to fly into Orlando and had me a tour bus there drive me down. I don't fly into the eye of the storm."
Fall Out Boy and R. Kelly also opted to drive from up north — way north. Both made the trek from their home city of Chicago.
Will.I.Am, on the other hand, proved it pays to have friends in high places — literally. When his flight out of Los Angeles was canceled, he hopped in Interscope head Jimmy Iovine's private plane.
Not all artists had to find alternate routes to Miami though. There are, of course, many who already live here. And for them, it was just another day in South Florida.
"It was only a Category 1 [hurricane], even though it came in like a Category 2," Miami native Pitbull said. "All we had was the power off. Thank God it was, as we say, a blow over. A bunch have been coming through here, so you get used to it."
"My lights went out for the first time, so I'm experiencing no light," added "Lean Back" producer Cool of Cool and Dre. "It's all good though; this is what we do."
For Fat Joe, who has called South Beach home for a few years, it was only his second hurricane — and he was hardly as nonchalant about it as his fellow Miamians.
"It was really scary," he said. "Coming from the Bronx, we have snowstorms, but we've never seen hurricanes. Whenever you hear those walls humming, it feels like a motorcycle inside the house. I've got the impact-proof windows. Thank God they work!"