R&B and hip-hop’s biggest stars gathered tonight at The Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles for ASCAP’s signature urban music event, the 31st annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The A-list crowd joined the organization in recognizing the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs of 2017 as well as two special ASCAP honorees: iconic R&B group XSCAPE, who received the ASCAP Golden Note Award, and chart-topping rappers Migos, who accepted the ASCAP Vanguard Award.
Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Jermaine Dupri gave touching remarks about XSCAPE’s early career and presented the ASCAP Golden Note Award to the four original members of the group, LaTocha and Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss, and Tameka “Tiny” Harris. The ASCAP Golden Note Award recognizes iconic songwriters, composers and artists who have reached extraordinary career milestones. Previous recipients include: Usher, Lauryn Hill, Ne-Yo, Mary Mary, A Tribe Called Quest, Alicia Keys, New Edition, Lionel Richie, Jermaine Dupri, LL Cool J, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z and many more.
Offset, Quavo & Takeoff — the rap trio known as Migos — were on hand to receive the ASCAP Vanguard Award for expanding hip-hop’s sonic palette with their boundary-breaking creativity. The Vanguard Award is presented in recognition of the impact of new and developing musical genres, which help shape the future of music. Previous recipients include Kendrick Lamar, Beastie Boys, Taio Cruz, Diplo, Janelle Monáe, Santigold, Dua Lipa, St. Vincent, The Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Beck and Bjork.
The ASCAP members behind the biggest chart-topping hits of the past year were also recognized. ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Songwriter of the Year was a tie between Gucci Mane (“Black Beatles,” Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane; “Both,” Gucci Mane ft. Drake, more) and Quavo (“Bad and Boujee,” Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert; “Good Drank,” 2 Chainz x Gucci Mane x Quavo, more). Publisher of the Year went to Warner/Chappell Music.
The Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song was “That’s What I Like” written by ASCAP members Christopher “Brody” Brown, James Fauntleroy and Jeremy “Jerm Beats” Reeves and Ray “Ra Charm” McCullough of The Stereotypes; Top Rap Song went to “HUMBLE.” written by Kendrick Lamar and Mike WiLL Made-IT; and Top Gospel Song was awarded to “You Deserve It,” written by Cortez Vaughn and JJ Hairston. The latter was a songwriter guest presenter along with Dupri and BJ the Chicago Kid.
The A-list audience of celebrities included 2 Chainz, Timbaland, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, PartyNextDoor, Jeremih, Brittany “Starrah” Hazzard, Meek Mill, Mark “Sounwave” Spears, Yo Gotti, Priscilla Renea, Dej Loaf, Erica Campbell, Supa Dups, Bryan Popin, Amber “Sevyn” Streeter, Christian “Hitmaka” Ward and Kevin Gates, among others.