Irv Gotti, Nelly,
Ja-Rule and The Neptunes were big winners at last night's BMI Awards, which
took place at the Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami.
The awards honored
the top R&B, rap and hip-hop songwriters, producers and publishers.
Irv Gotti took
home his second Urban Songwriter of the Year award, Nelly's "Hot in Herre"
snagged Song of the Year and production duo The Neptunes earned Urban Producers
of the Year.
a lot. It's good to be honored amongst other muscians," Chad Hugo, the
seldom seen second half of The Neptunes told AllHipHop.com. "It also involves
a lot of people who normally don't get exposed a lot, down to the people who
write the lyrics on a sheet of paper."
Hugo said that
Pharrell couldn't make it to the awards because he was on a promotional tour,
hyping the duo's upcoming compilation, The Neptunes Present: Clones.
of the evening was the honoring of R&B legend Isaac Hayes, who received
the B|MI Icon Award.
Hayes, who composed
and produced such albums as Black Moses and the soundtrack to Shaft, has been
sampled countless times by various hip-hop and R&B artists.
is the motherf*ckin man," said Ja Rule, who took home six awards of his
own. "I grew up listening to Isaac Hayes, my mother listened to him. What
more can you say about him? We've sampled enough of his music, he should be
honored as an Icon."
and Anthony Hamilton sang a medley of tunes that Oscar and Grammy Award winning
Hayes has composed.
"To be honored with this award is really special," Hayes told AllHipHop.com.
"I have been in the music business for over four decades and I plan to
keep going. To receive this honor from other musicians and to know that my work
has touched so many people from so many walks of life is really amazing."
The BMI Urban
Awards 2003 is the kick-off event to the 4th Annual Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop
Conference and Awards, taking place in Miami Beach August 6-8.