The takes Best Magazine/ E-Zine Website
a true story by Werner Von Wallenrod

Ok, so TRUNKS (what up, TRUNKS?) and I made the big, mondo mistake of turning up at Tramp's early. I believe my intention was that we could hob-nob with the other webmasters who'd gotten there early as well, but no one was really around. Anywho, we went to the guy at the door, and he told us we weren't on the list. "So much for that, then," we figured, "We're going home." But, fortunately or un, Steve of SOHH spotted us and pointed out that there was a separate list of nominees which we were indeed on. So, we left, and walked back at eight. We then commenced to wait on line #2, the "VIP line." "VIP" my ass, we stood outside there for ages; the line didn't move. Everyone was getting edgy. All the people from The Source kept telling us, "Don't forget to thank Dave Mays." A couple of the cooler Source staffers left after about an hour and went to a bar. I started fantasizing about running off to McDonald's myself, but, since we were the actual nominees, we stuck around. Finally, some of the other Source staffers (The Source rolled deep back then) got us past the line and in. I believe some nominees were still waiting on line when the event ended, and may well be right now.

So, we made our way inside, got the full-cavity search (unfortunately, only one per ticket), and we were officially at the show. Some kid was on-stage, making constant references to blood and being possessed by demons to a Necro beat (Chris from LOUD asked me who it was; I didn't know. I was kind of curt to him, which I regret, but TRUNKS and I were feeling rather put out. Sorry, Chris, didn't mean to blow you off.) there was a booth selling SOHH T-shirts, and a cash bar at the back. I desperately wanted to sit down, but I keep getting chased up by ominous guys dressed in black with flashlights. I thought, "If we were still outside, I could sit." The sound quality made everything sound like the same, continuous bass-line ... including the vocals. About ninety minutes after it was supposed to, the show actually started.

So, pretty early in the show, four awards were announced. Grandmaster Flash, Prince Paul, and The Source's own Tracii McGregor read two of them. Things were going well (the crowd really dug Paul), until Funkmaster Flex won for Best Website Dedicated to the Art of Turntablism/Djing (according to their site, this is "[a]warded to the website that most creatively and thoroughly represents the art of Turntablism/Djing"), which didn't go over too well. Tracii sensed the crowd's dissatisfaction and decided to defend Flex, but just managed to further antagonize the audience and they responded by booing pretty heavily. Anyone who says they saw me booing is a dirty, rotten liar.  ;)

Well, actually, there were some nice performances. The Mountain Brothers were f'ing great, Naughty By Nature put on an impressive performance, and Chuck D gave a cool speech ("I'm 40 years old, and I have to be in bed by 1 am."). King Sun went all-out with a band and the whole nine, and Rubberroom's DJ wore a funky gas-mask with light-up eyes. The big problem was the 15 to 20 minute pauses that occurred between nearly every set. And, even then, they played records ridiculously loud, so hob-nobbing was out.

After the first four awards, no more got announced, and pretty soon TRUNKS and I were the only Source staffers left around (except for Tracii who was apparently milling about backstage. She turned up around 1AM asking if we'd won, not realizing the awards still hadn't been announced). Every person to touch the mic gave a tribute to Freaky Tah, which was appropriate once, and annoying as Hell by about the 15th time. Also the crowd clearly preferred Big L, so they started making some concessions and shouted him out a few times, too. During the show, there was a projection of various, lame Flash animations (the mouse arrow was onscreen the whole time)... I remember TRUNKS was going back and forth all over the place, trying to find an angle for a photo of Canibus without them in the background. During most of the show, in fact, they were actually projecting a Desktop Window behind the performers (Couldn't they've at least stuck the lens cap on?).

Apparently, the artists were getting annoyed, too. Jeru commented on it (but did a good set, including his new tracks), and they actually turned the mics off on The Arsonists... The Arsonists responded by throwing a little fit until Felicia of SOHH got on stage, repeatedly saying, "This is hip-hop," (in case we were wondering why Shana Twain didn't turn up) and finally conceded. The Arsonists did another song. After that, no one took the time limitations seriously, and when Skeme Team asked the crowd (of about 25 people ... everybody else had left) if they wanted them to keep on even though there time was up, all I could think was, "Stop! You're only encouraging them!" I just wanted to get to the awards and go home, because I still had to go back to Jersey afterwards. About this time, I noticed Chris from LOUD Records giving SOHH's Steve (who, for the record, is a good guy) a hard time, and soon after, around 1:30, they started announcing the other awards. Essentially giving the message that the webmasters we were "there to honor" weren't important at all, and we had to hurry before their next act got upset.

When they announced The for some award (we found out later it was for Best Magazine/E-zine Website), the security guard wouldn't let us on stage to accept it, saying something like, "Where's your stamps?" When we shouted out Steve's name (he heard us because, as I said, there wasn't really any audience left), he indicated his watch and then ignored us. I took this to mean they weren't letting anyone get on stage to accept their awards due to time constraints, but when LOUD Records won for Best Record Label Site immediately after, Chris went up and gave a speech (not that anyone was still listening). After the other awards were hurriedly announced (all I heard was that Triple-Bypass won for Outstanding Graphic Design), we tried to collect our award, but were again refuted. The Last Emperor went up to perform, and he was dope, but even I stopped listening. TRUNKS drew the line and walked out. I stuck around and eventually was able to hunt down our nice, inscribed Lucite award. Delightfully, the box I was given read, "Congratulations Funk masterFlex." I then walked to Penn station, where I stayed the night (having missed the last train, naturally), taking the first train going my way in the morning.