nominees BEST R&B ARTIST (MALE)
Originally written off as an R Kelly Jr., Trey Songz created his own lane and brought a breath of fresh air to R&B.
BEST RAP GROUP
The raw emotions in his voice catapulted him to near iconic status in today’s climate of soulless music.
Boyz N Da Hood
This former Mista front man went from Organizing Noize to Disturbing Tha Peace and created a sound hit in the process.
A collective comprised of two underground rap vets and two flashy newcomers, Boyz N Da Hood took the South by storm, drawing comparisons to the legendary gangsta rap group N.W.A.
This smooth teen catapulted to the top of the charts virtually overnight.
After penning hit records for Mario and others, Ne-Yo stepped out into his own limelight.
Love them, hate them, or hate them a lot, ATL foursome D4L ignored the dissenters and made an undeniable run for the top.
Dem Franchize Boyz
Right when you thought they got worn out, Dem Franchize Boyz dusted off the “White Tees” and reminded us why we like them.
A little raunchy for your mother’s liking, but Pretty Ricky snuck their way into the hearts of teenage girls everywhere. Their “Grind” finally paid off.
Three 6 Mafia
BEST R&B ARTIST (FEMALE)
Ying Yang Twins
With his seamless songwriting abilities, this Rappa Ternt Sanga made it seem classy to fall in love with a stripper.
Although born in New Jersey, this talented singer spends a lot of time in the Dirty Dirty these days, collaborating with Young Jeezy, Lil Jon, and Miami production duo Cool & Dre.
They held up a mirror and forced hip-hop to take a good look at itself with their critically acclaimed major debut The Minstrel Show. It’s a little easier out here for a pimp now that Memphis legends Three 6 Mafia have received their mainstream respect. Best known for their strip club anthems, this Atlanta duo expanded their horizons into grown-man territory with United State of Atlanta - and still managed a few “HANH?!?”s in the process.
This overnight celebrity dropped an album and had a run that proves she will be here for many moons. Houston’s angels bid farewell, but did so in grand fashion.
Even though he’s reppin’ the Screwed and Chopped state of Texas, Cham’s flows and lyrics are anything but slow.
George Clinton, Big Gipp, Bun B and Pastor Troy can vouch for her. She is the Queen of the Underground.
Swiftly becoming the Mary J. Blige of her generation, Ms. Cole got hyphy with the fellas but still represented for the ladies.
Showing that there is indeed life after Beyonce, Luckett crept in with the Houston wave and found her niche.
BEST ALBUM - R&B Anthony Hamilton - Ain’t Nobody Worryin’
His second studio album clearly indicated that he was not a flash in the pan.
Lyfe Jennings - Lyfe 268-192
If every convicted felon had a soulful voice and songwriting skills like the ones displayed on Lyfe’s autobiographical debut, we wouldn’t see many repeat offenders. Fuck a license plate – give them a guitar!
Ne-Yo - In My Own Words
R&B’s new man of the hour scored big with “So Sick” and his debut album.
T-Pain - Rappa Ternt Sanga
Shaky release dates and a shelved album almost deaded his name, but Killa Kill managed to stay alive with the amazing freestyles and lyrical dexterity of The Killer mixtape and the Got Purp? compilation.
Lil Wayne finally gained nationwide respect for being the talented emcee that he has been since his pre-teen years.
For well over a decade Scarface has proven why he is one of the most revered voices in all of hip-hop. In 2006 he continued to add to his legendary status with his group The Product.
He talks cash shit and he’s money on the mic, but T.I. still spits like he struggling in the trap.
BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST Mike Jones
He may not have picked up his phone when you called, but Mike Jones saw his career go from off the radar to off the hook.
Tallahassee’s multi-talented son dropped an album laced with his trademark singing and production style, and produced two massive hits in the process. Not bad for a rapper.
Trey Songz - I Gotta Make It
The South ain’t got lyrics, huh? Tell that to Bun B. There’s a reason why he’s been featured alongside virtually every rapper you’ve ever heard of.
On top of single-handedly birthing (and soon killing) our fascination with Grillz, Paul Wall went from being a local Chick Magnet to The People’s Champ.
Hustlin’ every day (for years) led Miami’s Rick Ross to a major label bidding war and a multi-million dollar Def Jam deal.
ozone 14 awards
Ozone Awards 2006 special edition