Eminem is still the best rap show in town, winning a well-deserved best rap album award for his third major-label release, "The Eminem Show." The spirited collection demonstrated the Detroit native's artistic growth and his increasingly intriguing exploration of his famously volatile relationships with his family and the media.
On a lighter note, all is well in Nellyville. Nelly, the hugely popular party rapper, won in the best male rap solo performance category for the sensuous "Hot in Herre" and in best rap/sung collaboration with Kelly Rowland for "Dilemma," their paradoxically charming ode to infidelity. The St. Louis rhymer's catchy beats, memorable choruses and good-natured demeanor have proven that rap doesn't need a bad attitude to connect with fans.
OutKast featuring Killer Mike's victory for "The Whole World" was a pleasant surprise for best rap performance by a duo or group. The friendlier "Pass the Courvoisier Part II" by Busta Rhymes featuring P. Diddy and Pharrell seemed like a lock, but the voters wisely chose substance over style, a welcome change in the rap categories.