Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Riccashay, MC Flow, Kevin Hellman, CityBeat, and the San Diego Music Awards
I always check the Reader. Especially the Blurt section inside the music section. Only to kind of see what other people are keeping up on...
Thats when I saw a little Blurt featuring my boy Riccashay(Pictured above). Ken Leighton wrote this little blurt voicing Ric's opinion on the San Diego Music Awards, and the winner of the Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist MC Flow.
Ric was miffed that MC Flow won the award, because he felt that she did not represent Hip-Hop. To his credit he said "MC Flow is good at what she does, but what she does is not Hip-Hop". He also mentions Hip-Hop is about paying dues, and he hadn't seen her pay any dues. While MC Flow is not what I would consider to be the best Hip-Hop group in Daygo, she is trying to do her thing as an artist. I can see that. Whether you like MC Flow or not is pure opinion. Yet I have to agree with him, in questioning how MC Flow is the best representation of Hip-Hop that San Diego has.
Lets look at the nominees:
Addiquit is a newcomer to the game, and after seeing her live I couldn't say she is the best representation of San Diego Hip-Hop. While her style is different than any other MC I've heard, I couldn't have given her the award. A Master constantly fine tunes his/her craft before its Mastery.Addiquit's Myspace Page
Blame One. What can I say about Blame One. You really have to hear him do his thing to realize that he is one of the top contenders on the list. Blame's delivery is wicked, and definitely versatile. His content ranges from highly intelligent, to pure braggadocio. Blame has also been slaying folks lyrically for over a decade. When I first met him, he was beautifying a box car. He is deserving of an award. Blame's Myspace Page
Celio Skilz is another veteran out here with a dope style, and solid delivery. He has been in the game out here awhile. Celio is making waves outside of Daygo as well. If he had won, I would not have been mad. Celio's Myspace Page
Deep Rooted has already well proven themselves. Solid production, and alot of talent. Mr. Brady, Johaz, and DJ Artistic have both been putting in ALOT of work over the years. Very good candidate for Best in SD. Deep Rooted's Myspace Page
Lil Al. I have to admit, while I try to seem like an authority, I haven't seen Lil Al live. I do know that his music represents San Diego, with the definitive West Coast sound. He has a strong delivery, and street oriented content. Al also has strong support from the Latino community out here, which is big. If he would have won, I could have lived with that. Lil Al also hosts a radio show on Z90. Lil Al's Myspace Page
MC Flow. I just heard word of MC Flow this year. Her delivery is old school, very comparable to the new trend of JJ Fad-esque flowing. Her "Flow" is not phenom in the least, but more cute. I guess that's what I would call it. Cute. MC Flow's Myspace Page
Miki Vale has gone through a couple Hip-Hop incarnations over the years. While Miki has a soft side, her delivery can be more deadly than an envelope full of SARS. Alot of people are making a big deal about Female MCs, but Miki Vale transcends that label to just Dope MC. If she would have won, I would have been in agreement.Miki's Myspace Page
Riccashay. What can you say about Riccashay, that hasn't already been said about The Witch Creek Fire. (I hope he's reading this). Honestly, I've seen Ric tear rappers apart, rock a solid show, and make people react with his verses. Ric is a professional. He deserves an award. Riccashay's Myspace Page
The way the winner is chosen is by way of internet. And if you had enough people in your circle working at it, you could vote once a day. Once a day? WTF? If the winner is supposed to be people's choice, then why would they let you vote more than once?
The result is not who is the best artist, but which artist can gather the best team to beat the voting system? Sounds like bullshit to me.
Not really a big suprise to me. The Bullshit part. CityBeat is the quasi-authority on local music, and it's editor is Kevin Hellman, who is also the brains behind SDMA (San Diego Music Awards). Before CityBeat, it was called SLAMM. They would NEVER cover Hip-Hop. After people kept complaining, they slowly integrated some Hip-Hop into their mag. CityBeat now covers everything local that has to do with music.
Kevin Hellman made a comment in the Reader that there is no Hip-Hop scene in San Diego, save for 4-5 groups who rarely play. This comment is from the guy who is the head of San Diego's Music Authority? He obviously knows very little about whats going on. I saw 5 groups last week alone. There is also a Hip-Hop TV show, The Grimmie Wreck Show that features numerous Local Hip-Hop groups every episode. Earthboundradio.com is a local internet radio station that features local Hip-Hop DJs, and features artists weekly. There is a couple of pure Hip-Hop shops that cater solely to the Hip-Hop scene that doesn't exist out, and they are both thriving. One being The Armory which has a store located in Downtown, and one in Pacific Beach. and Access Hip-Hop Shop is another Hip-Hop shop in Pacific Beach. Both of these stores specialize in Hip-Hop culture and feature numnerous local artists' product. House Of Rep is party that features live Hip-Hop acts, both Local and National, very frequently. You can find more events here.
Kevin Hellman not only showed he is not afraid to speak something he doesn't know shit about, but his obvious distaste for local Hip-Hop Artists, and the community in general.
I am not going to list the numerous groups in San Diego frequently performing out here. I shouldn't need to for CityBeat's sake. They should already know all of this already.
I noticed one of CityBeat's contributors, Troy Johnson, must have taken a fancy to both MC Flow, and Addiquit. I do not think either of them deserve the nomination over other very active local groups, who have a quality product and an entertaining stage show. They both have a certain appeal to them that I can respect. That same appeal beckons 91X to play Hip-Hop by groups they deem palatable to their market. Whether or not their act will hold up to the critical ears of Hip-Hop purists is still yet to be seen. As Riccashay noted, their presence at Local Hip-Hop shows is rare, if at all.
Riccashay. I had a chance to briefly discuss the Reader write up with him. The author asked Ric if his opinion on MC Flow's Hip-Hop status was based on the fact that she was White, Jewish, and Female. Talk about trying to build a story. Riccashay stood strongly by his comment, which I admittedlyhold the same opinion as well.
To MC Flow and Addiquit: One thing I've learned about expressing yourself on a Hip-Hop platform, is you are asking to be ridiculed in some of the most vicious, and absurd manners you can think of. If you are true to your art, you will keep doing what you love and take critics with stride. If you are indeed truly Hip-Hop MCs, you already know how to handle this situation, and if you have yet to battle anyone, then good luck.
To the other artists in the competition, I award you all Hugh Knight's Music Award for Best Local Hip-Hop/Rap artist/group. We are all paying attention, and we know whats wrong with this picture.
To Riccashay: Thanks for keeping it real. You and I both know that SDMA is a sham anyways.
Former San Diego Music Award Winner