The 1995 Source Awards will go down as perhaps the most infamous night in hip-hop history. The MSG Theater was jam-packed with talent during a period of time considered by many fans as the height of hip-hop.
Every NY borough was out representing their set and tension was thick. Initially, the pride between the boroughs was the main source of this tension, but when Suge Knight got on stage and said his piece about Death Row Records, New York unified behind their city.
Suge sent shots at Diddy literally right in front of the Bad Boy head in his own city.
Then a young Snoop Dogg took the mic, asking if “the East Coast don’t love Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg?”
The crowd let Snoop know that they did not have much love, but Snoop was able to diffuse the tension.
While that clip of Snoop has been repackaged as sending more shots at the East Coast and New York, it actually did the exact opposite. Snoop, in his own way, let New York know that “we know where we at, East Coast in the motherf*ckin’ house.”
Although Snoop was able to keep that night from getting violent, Suge Knight had taken the East Coast/West Coast beef to a whole new level.
More wildness went down that night too. Outkast was booed mercilessly after winning New Artist of the Year, but Andre 3000 got on the mic and let the whole hip-hop world that “the South got something to say.” That was essentially the beginning of Southern hip-hop being taken seriously, which is hard to imagine now as Atlanta is the epicenter of modern hip-hop.
The 1995 Source Awards will always be remembered for beef and controversy, but just a glimpse at the award winners from that night shows how wild the talent was at the time.
Here’s a full list:
Artist of the Year, Solo: Snoop Doggy Dogg
Artist of the Year, Group: Wu-Tang Clan
New Artist of the Year, Solo: Notorious B.I.G.
New Artist of the Year, Group: Outkast
Single of the Year: “Flava In Ya Ear” – Craig Mack
Album of the Year: Ready To Die – Notorious B.I.G.
Lyricist of the Year: Notorious B.I.G.
Producer of the Year: Dr. Dre
R&B Artist of the Year: Mary J. Blige
Reggae/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: Mad Lion
Video of the Year: “Murder Was The Case” – Snoop Doggy Dogg
Live Performer of the Year: Notorious B.I.G.
Soundtrack of the Year: “Above the Rim”
Best Acting Performance: Ice Cube – “Higher Learning”
Lifetime Achievement Award: Eazy-E
Pioneer Award: Run DMC