Jim Jones & Snoop Dogg Asks Critics To Look Past Rap Image At HSAN Awards

The stars came out for the 5th Annual Hip Hop Summit Action Awards celebration earlier this week. Jim Jones, Ciara and Snoop Dogg were among the honorees on Monday (Feb. 25) for their positive community contributions. "A lot of you know me for things [that are] not politically correct ... but I have a family and a child," Jones said as he accepted his award, according to New York's Daily News. "I don't do [those things] unless I'm trying to get that dollar. You shouldn't judge a book by its cover; treat it like a novel and read it. It may be a best seller."

Ciara read her acceptance speech from a BlackBerry. "I'm short on sleep, so I'm not going to rely on this memory stick," the singer said, tapping the side of her head. Instead she whipped out her phone. "I'm going to use this one!"

Super producer Pharrell introduced Snoop Dogg and defended the rapper against his recent legal troubles.

"People criticize Snoop," he said. "The next time they start attacking a legend, even if it's because he smokes, I say, 'So what?' Willie Nelson smokes a lot of pot, and people only talk about the good he does, like Farm Aid. When they come down on Snoop [for drugs], remind everyone about all the positive things he does."

When Snoop took the stage, he joked, "I don't have a BlackBerry, so I used paper. I woulda wrote mine on a Zig-Zag [rolling paper], but I have too much to say."

The rapper talked about his inner-city youth footbal program saying he's enrolled 2,500 kids.

"It's a better alternative than gangs, because it's the right kind of aggression these kids are working out." He went on to say, "My No. 1 mission when I made it was to always keep one foot in the 'hood. When you fall, you always fall back to the 'hood, so if you keep one foot planted there, you don't fall that far."

The Hip Hop Summit Action Network is headed by Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis. Other recipients at this year's awards were Doug E. Fresh, Chris Lighty and Capital Management president Mellody Hobson.