I remember reaching the age where I was overthinking things by 2003, pondering whether we’d ever be nostalgic for what seemed like a really trashy, overexposed time for popular culture. Besides D-Block, Hov, 50, Kanye, State Property, DavidBannerDavidBannerDavidBanner and Dipset, plus expectations for the likes of Saigon, I don’t recall sensing that I’d ever look back at that era’s heavily marketed output with any real fondness. It seemed to be all XXL garms, giant fitteds and white leather shoes with gleaming silver accents. Watching 2003 and 2004’s Source Awards in their entirety (as far as I recall, this was the last of the event, with the BET Awards taking on in 2005). But looking back, via Brendan Evans’ YouTube channel, you can tell that loose throwbacks, acres of baggy twill overalls, do-rags and flat brims will be the subject of much editorial/clickbait scrutiny regarding appropriation when they become fashionable again in 2019 after we get the 1990s out of our collective systems (can you imagine the legal/social media over Onyx firing blanks(?) at the ceiling for that 1994 Source Awards Throw Ya Gunz performance?). We’ve seen the Lil Wayne, D-Block and that Dipset performance before, but it’s more fun when you see it as part of the entire show — a time when Eve couldn’t be bothered to reach the venue, Kurtis Blow told you that Kurtis Blow Jr was the future and Bonecrusher was taking awards. In fact, the last 15 minutes of the 2003 ceremony feel like a statement of intent for the south, which with all that larger than life crunk juice swigging, still felt like a novelty — today’s snaking queues for a Gucci Mane tee proved otherwise. 12 years feels like some kind of analogue, optimistic, exaggerated sketch of what the future would be. Despite trying as hard as I could to fight the feeling, I’m nostalgic for it.

One thought on “SOURCE AWARDS

  1. Nice piece, as always, Gary. I have to say that, unlike your good self, nostalgia for the Noughties hasn’t hit me. Speaking, of course, in broad brush terms, the music, from Nelly to Nelly Futardo, seemed -and still seems- so anodyne to me, with the fashion following suit. Akademiks and Enyce XXL velour sweatsuits and Darius Miles Swingman jerseys never did it for me, and it was during this period that all the exciting hip-hop clothing brands of the previous decade (your Eckos, Phat Farms and Nick Cannon-acquired PNB Nations) teetered too far into the Macys mainstream. As for the clothing brands that came up in this decade, I remember finding L-R-G’s print ads (particularly the early De La Soul ones but even later ones with Clinton Portis and Digable Planets) a lot more seductive than the garms themselves.

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