Back in 1995, it wasn’t the Grammys, The Oscars or The Billboard Awards that the culture wanted to attend—everyone wanted a ticket to the coveted Source Awards. The newly established event started a trend of realizing we can reward, honor and OWN the rewards of our talents. We can also dedicate a show to our own genre of music without having to settle for less.

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The Source Awards, also known as the Hip-Hop Awards, was an annual awards show that honored the best in hip-hop music and culture. The 1995 Source Awards featured several iconic moments that have become part of hip-hop history.

One of the most iconic moments at the 1995 Source Awards was the feud between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records. Death Row Records, led by CEO Suge Knight and artists Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, were based in Los Angeles and had been dominant in the West Coast hip-hop scene. Bad Boy Records, led by CEO Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and artists The Notorious B.I.G. and Craig Mack, was based in New York City and had been making waves in the East Coast hip-hop scene.


When Death Row Records won the award for Best Label of the Year, Suge Knight used his acceptance speech to take shots at Bad Boy Records, saying “Any artist out there that want to be an artist and stay a star, and don’t have to worry about the executive producer trying to be all in the videos, all on the records, dancing…come to Death Row!” The tension in the room between the two labels was thick, and the feud would continue to play out in the media and in hip-hop music for years to come. Tragically the beef ended in the slaying of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

Another iconic moment at the 1995 Source Awards was the performance by Outkast. The duo, made up of Andre 3000 and Big Boi, had burst onto the scene with their debut album “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” the previous year. At the Source Awards, they performed their hit song “Player’s Ball” and brought the house down with their high-energy performance and unique Southern style. The performance helped stamp Outkast as one of the most exciting and innovative acts in hip-hop at the time.

Despite the drama, the 1995 Source Awards helped to solidify hip-hop as a cultural force. The event was covered extensively in the media, and it brought the genre to a wider audience. The Source Magazine’s commitment to honoring hip hop artists and giving artists a platform to showcase their talent was a significant step in the mainstream acceptance of the genre.

The 1995 Source Awards was a landmark event in hip-hop history, featuring several iconic moments that have become part of the culture. From the feud between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records, to the electrifying performances by Outkast, and Tupac Shakur, The Source Awards of 1995 will always be remembered as a pivotal moment in the evolution of hip-hop.

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Lifestyle Editor

Hip Hop Historian. I talk it 'cause I lived it.

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