In continuance of their colossal expansion, Complex Media is
inexplicably re-launching the Source Awards—without Source Magazine
being involved. Apparently, Source Magazine LLC’s 2007 bankruptcy
included a relinquishing of the “Source Awards” trademark, which
Complex swooped in and purchased.
Controversy has arisen on social media after details of the
October Awards show—to be aired on E!–were revealed.
Critics were puzzled that the outlet would have the gall to co-opt the name of an awards show from a publication that still exists. They were also furious that the award for the best lyricist was being
called “The Get Down Award” and will be given before the
televised show starts. The category nominees are Big Sean, J.Cole,
Kendrick Lamar and Royce Da 5’9.
Twitter user SyrupyWaters spoke for many when he tweeted: “the irony of being named Complex when you’re basic as s**t.“
In response to the controversy, Complex Associate Editor Holly
Bettercrumb noted in an Instagram post that “Hip-Hop isn’t always about
beats and rhymes. Sometimes it’s just about what’s lit.” She also
noted that fans should be “lucky the award committee could stay
awake long enough to qualify the nominees.”
The marquee award for the ceremony appears to be the “Most Lit”
award. Nominees include hipster favorites such as Young Thug, Lil
Yachty, and Lil Uzi Vert. The award will be given at the end of the
show, and also includes a $250,000 gift certificate to the high-end fashion store of their choice.
Other award categories include: Best Rock Star, Best Drake
Ghostwriter, Best Young Thug Snippet, Best Ad Libs, and a Viewer’s Choice award for who
sounded the highest on a record.
Chief Keef is being given a lifetime achievement award, but given
that the show is in Chicago—where he has numerous outstanding
warrants—many doubt he’ll be present to accept the honor.
Bettercrumb–a self-described feminist–caused controversy when she tweeted that she hopes Keef
doesn’t “p*ssy out” of potential jail time for the chance to be
“validated” by her staff.
Source Award Director John Snow notes, “appropriator has apropos in the root.“
Many on social media are also criticizing Complex for not only
inviting artists that have documented issues with each other, but
having them sit in close proximity. A mock up of the seating
arrangement was leaked, and it appears MMG records, G-Unit records,
and YMCMB records will be put in a “beef alley” in the middle of
Hip-Hop fans familiar with the quarrels between Drake, Meek Mill,
Rick Ross, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Birdman believe it’s a recipe for
disaster. Many are also speculating what will happen onstage when
Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka come together to present the “Androgyne
Icon” award to Young Thug.
When pressed on the potential for violence during a recent
Breakfast Club interview, Source Awards director Louis Snow said,
“the spirit of the Source Awards is that you put a bunch of
egotistical Black people in the room and watch what happens. It’s
like a safari with hollowpoint ammunition involved.”
Snow agreed with Breakfast Club host Charlamagne that “gangsta
rappers should do gangsta things,” but hopes no one gets killed
because it would be difficult to secure the venue next year.