Big awards season may be over, but that didn’t stop some of the biggest names in the hip-hop industry from being honored at the fifth annual “Innovators and Leaders” Culture Makers Awards this week.
The ceremony, presented in association with YouTube, celebrates leaders in the creative community who are committed to diversity.
This year, hip-hop artist Swizz beatz , who has added many titles to his resume, including art collector, philanthropist, and most of all, co-founder of VERZUZ, accepted the Icon award from his son and actor, Nasir Dean, aka Note Marcato. His acceptance of the honor was followed by a cultural talk involving the attendees, moderated by DeMarco Morgan.
The event not only highlighted the accomplishments of opinion leaders, but also honored philanthropists, executives, entertainers, artists, and other pillars of African-American culture in an intimate setting among key players. For several years, it has been one of the most requested and influential events after BET Awards Weekend.
Swizz Beats wasn’t the only big name to be honored. Actor and comedian Royale Watkins introduced Derrick “D-NiceJones with the Innovator of the Year award, while D-Nice gave the crowd some inspiring words. Describing the idea of becoming an “overnight hit.” D-Nice proclaimed, “I’ve been in this business for 35 years, this is the longest night in history. “
Guests were also able to enjoy electrifying performances by Jenson McRae and Yung Baby Tate.
In addition to YouTube, the event welcomed corporate partners such as CÎROC, Procter & Gamble, Coin Cloud, Lexus, and Ellis Isle Tea Company.
The entire event can be seen here.