Archive for the ‘X-pert’ Category

Photo: Ayeni the Great

Exterior view of the ICC Photo: HHW

Personally, I’m a bit tired of this Hip-Hop World Awards business but as work requires, something has to be documented. People crying foul all over the place, like they want blood! Well, what else did they expect from A Prize to Die For, eh? Don’t cry for me Maradonna. Dribbling @$$ muthafuhgedaboudit!

Pah!

Let me start by taking my hat off to the organizers for throwing together this awards package for the fourth consecutive year. Their commitment and dedication to honoring hard work (or their friends and personal favorites, as has been alleged) has to be lauded.

Now that that’s out the way, let’s get into this thing real proper-like (word to Hammer) so I can get back to more important things like ESPN.com. People have been screaming blue murder (what the heck does that mean, anyhow?) since the award ceremony held at Abuja’s International Conference Center on May 16. (View some of the feedback here). My thing is, doesn’t this happen after EVERY award ceremony? The truth of the matter is that everybody cannot be pleased all the time. The individualistic nature of human beings ensures that we agree to disagree. Opinions are like @$$ holes and EVERYBODY farts. With that in mind, I’m quite constipated!

Let’s start with the title; Hip-Hop World Awards. Hip-Hop World. At first glance, heck, 100th through millionth glance, what that says is that these are the awards for the world of Hip-Hop. Fantastic! So the question is… what are lounge singers (notice singers not lyricists, in case anyone has any Lyricist Lounge quip to throw in) and their songs doing in Hip-Hop’s world? I beg your pardon (like you’d really execute me) but that’s an intrusion… OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!

Don’t get me wrong, some of this music is fantastic, it just doesn’t belong! Why should Klingons get nominated at the Human World Awards? Heck, Mr. Worf’s people is taking it too far, do you think Mufasa would get a nod at the Worlds? And we all know how much of a great king he was! The general consensus (unless, of course, you belong to this particular Hip-Hop World) is that the title is misleading. There is no problem with the categories (well, most of them but we’ll get there) really, the problem is with the name. As the Hip-Hop World Awards, let’s stick to Hip-Hop, please? If the genre’s pop and R&B cousins are making appearances, then let’s have a different title, no? Hip-Hop World speaks on its credibility and importance, so heck, call it the Credible & Important Awards for all I care but don’t throw a genre into the title that will end up confusing people! (A member of the team actually tried to use the Grammys as an example… You will behave!)

That’s the ‘title’ beef out the window, so let’s keep it moving. Since we have the categorical ‘defect’ in place, we have to work with it. Now let’s get into an award by award analysis. The major sticking points that have surfaced are Banky W’s ‘Best Vocal Performance (Male)’ win over Darey, ID Cabasa’s ‘Producer of the Year’ nod over Don Jazzy Again!!!, Etcetera’s ‘Recording of the Year’ win and D’banj’s award snub. Worry not. Inspector Doc will get to the bottom of this. (All the winners are in bold)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Photo: Ayeni the Great

9ice looks like he's got 'headie' on his mind. Photo: HHW

Unstoppable – 2face Idibia

The Entertainer – D’banj

Gongo Aso – 9ice

Talk About it – M.I.

Paradigm Shift – ModeNine

This is one award many felt should have gone to D’banj. While I’d say I agree, 9ice winning this award isn’t sacrilege. While 9ice’s album featured the hits “Gongo Aso,” “Party Rider,” “Street Credibility” and “Photocopy,” there is a serious argument that D’banj’s The Entertainer had Mo’ Hits. 🙂 Of its ten tracks, seven are bona fide hits, “Kimon” didn’t get enough of a push to make it the eight monster and while “Celebrate” and “If You Dey Crase” are decent tracks, they don’t quite match up to the other songs on the disc. Where 9ice may have an edge over the Koko Master is that his tracks are both thought provoking and entertaining, while D’banj explosively channels the latter. However, on “The Entertainer,” D’banj put paid to that argument by clearly spelling out who he is: ‘For those of you that think I cannot sing/…/that one na for your pocket/you don’t really have to sing anything at all/you know the good thing about being an entertainer?/haa! you can entertain them, let them move their body/you don’t have to make sense/…/I’m serious, you think I’m joking?/okay, watch this/skibbeedeebeedeebeedeebee sada pay da cha/who? Sami jana Fujikama Princess Anna-Vous/ha! Hooda machanabe brrrr dat sangabe brrrr get yo bullsh!t (gibberish)/microphone, psycho-phone, hooruweeeeee, psychopath/shee ree wee wee wit dat wee ree ree wee ree microstat/ha maka wack/hee niggeeree yak/hee ya (skkk kkk kkk).’ With that in mind, even though I see how 9ice could be awarded in this category, D’banj is my pick. No long t’in!

ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

D’banj

PSquare

Timaya

9ice

Once again, the Koko Master’s subjects feel their master was hard done by. Again, I can see why Alapomeji’s favorite son was bestowed with the honor. As powerful as PSquare’s shine is, this category was really a two horse race. I will take my argument back to the ‘Album of the Year.’ These two were everywhere but I feel D’banj was more prevalent in the ‘year in review.’ (We can’t forget there was the coming out party for his Mo’ Hits All Stars as well). Two great, deserving artists, unfortunately, just one award.

SONG OF THE YEAR

“Fall in Love” – D’banj

“In Case You Never Know” – 2 Shotz featuring Timaya

Gongo Aso” – 9ice

“Good or Bad” – J Martins featuring Timaya & PSquare

There can really be no complaints about this one. Well, there are a few but this was the jam! While “Fall in Love” became the new Wedding anthem, toddlers to geriatrics (the Benjamin Button variety included) were all up on “Gongo Aso.” Heck, there’s even that popular youtube clip of some Greek dude zoning out on his guitar!

RECORDING OF THE YEAR

“Street Credibility” – 9ice featuring 2face Idibia

“Not the Girl” – Darey

Michelle” – Etcetera

“Can’t Do Without U” – 2face Idibia featuring Melissa Briggs

My question is… WTF is the point of this category, exactly? ‘Song of the Year’ don’t cut it? Uh… okay (head scratch). Anyway, “Michelle” is a really good song, sorry, recording but the argument is that it was recorded outside the ‘year in review.’ If that is true, then “Street Credibility” is easily a better song than the others in the category. Snap! I did it again. I apologize. Let’s try that one again… “Street Credibility” is easily a better recording than the others in this category. Now that’s better. Otherwise, Etcetera is indeed deserving.

(PS – Is it just me or is it sad that not one Hip-Hop song… AAARGGGGH! RECORDING, RECORDING!!! was nominated at the Hip-Hop World Awards? Just saying…)

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Tee-Y Mix – “Kini Big Deal”

Don Jazzy – “Fall in Love”

ID Cabasa – “Gongo Aso”

Terry G – “In Case You Never Know”

Jesse Jagz – “Short Black Boy”

First of all, why are songs being attached to the ‘Producer of the Year’ category? It’s misleading time again! The rationale reads:

“The individual responsible for producing the most acclaimed album in the year under review. His CV for the year includes top notch tracks and production credits no one can fault.”

Okay. Not everybody is Don Baba J who monopolizes the production of his artists’ work, so that criterion is dodge. The CV criterion makes sense but the inclusion of single tracks on the nomination list is anothe head scratch. Anyway, let’s not dwell on these head scratches (unless you have craw-craw). Moving on. If Gongo Aso is indeed the ‘Album of the Year’ then it makes sense that its main beatsmith should win this award. However, the other nominees have pretty good catalogues too.

Cabasa also lent his skills to Lord of Ajasa amongst others, while Don Jazzy has his Mo’ Hits catalogue plus smash hit “Wind Am Well” and Tee-Y Mix was all over the place too from Naeto to Ikechukwu to Darey. Terry G had his personal work, tracks for Kemistry, Illbliss, 2 Shotz and others, while young Jesse is still building his catalogue. It’s a tossup really but I’ll lean towards Tee-Y for his cross genre versatility.

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

“Bosi Gbangba” – eLDee (Alfonso Dormun) (view)

“Roll it” – PSquare (Jude Okoye) (view)

“Pere” – D’banj & the Mo’ Hits All Stars (DJ Tee) (view)

“9ja Boyz” – IGHO (IGHO) (view)

Not one of these videos is anything spectacular. They are all well shot but pretty basic. While “Bosi Gbangba,” “Roll it” and “Naija Boy” all employ a combination of posing and dancing in different incarnations, “Pere” wins for me for at least having a plot.

(PS – This needs to be renamed the ‘Jude Okoye Award’ as this is his third win in four tries. Was he nominated last year?)

BEST REGGAE/DANCEHALL ALBUM

Gift & Grace – Timaya

Me, Musiq & I – BlackFace

Ichiban – Chakka da Souljah

My Shine – Black Solo

Uh… whatever you say homey!

BEST R&B/POP ALBUM

The Entertainer – D’banj

Unstoppable – 2face Idibia

Etcetera – Etcetera

Gongo Aso – 9ice

Mr. Capable – Banky W.

See ‘Album of the Year.’

(PS – Maybe Etcetera didn’t record the rest of the album like he did “Michelle,” eh?)

BEST RAP ALBUM

M.I. with one of two 'headies' on the night Photo: werunthings.net

M.I. concentrating on 'headie' Photo: werunthings.net

Talk About it – M.I.

Paradigm Shift – ModeNine

Second Turning by the Right – Lord of Ajasa

You Know My P – Naeto C

Definitely the best of the lot, although in fairness to Lord of Ajasa, I haven’t had an in depth listen to his album yet 😦

BEST COLLABO

“Street Credibility” – 9ice featuring 2face Idibia

“Le Fenu So” – Lord of Ajasa featuring 9ice

“Good or Bad” – J Martins featuring Timaya & PSquare

“E Fi Mi Le” – YQ featuring Da Grin

“Bush Meat” – Sound Sultan featuring 2face Idibia & W4

To be completely honest, any of these songs could have won this award.

BEST RAP SINGLE

“Safe” – M.I. featuring Djinee

“Talking to You” – ModeNine featuring Banky W

“Waa Wa Alright” – Kel

“Kini Big Deal” – Naeto C

Even though this category seems to be a foregone conclusion, it is the toughest so far. “Safe” has a simple, soulful beat that is relaxing and enjoyable. Couple that with Mr. Incredible’s witticism and it’s a hot song. “Talking to You” has a hard hitting beat and Mr. Capable’s ad libs and flow on the hook really lift this battle anthem. “Waa Wa Alright” is an impressive Hip-Hop anthem. The raucous chorus and old school flow employed by Ms. Kel make this one to wait for in the clubs. While these three songs are hot, the winner is fire! Every dance floor, regardless of location, is literally lit up by this banger. The ‘P’ is heavy on this one, Wallahi Tallahi!

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (MALE)

Banky W. poses with his 'headie' and co-host, Kemi Adetiba Photo: HHW

Banky W. trying to get 'headie' from co-host, Kemi Adetiba Photo: HHW

“Not the Girl” – Darey

“Don’t Break My Heart” – Banky W.

“Michelle” – Etcetera

“Taboo” – Wande Coal

Ah! The main bone of contention. It is a touchy subject but I think the ‘Hip-Hop Peoples’ got this non-Hip-Hop category correct. Singing on similar subjects, Banky comes off as more sincere emotionally. While Darey gives a very energetic performance that commands your attention, the more laidback, scared and pleading Banky W. wins out in the vulnerability sweepstakes. While “Michelle” was well recorded, I guess the vocals didn’t quite match up, eh? Seriously though, the verses didn’t quite match the chorus’ intensity, so that lets him down. Wande Coal on the other hand is the human Auto-Tune. What he does with his voice is madness but this is not the song that will bring him vocal recognition.

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)

Omawumi accepting her 'headie' from Ego Photo: HHW

Omawumi receiving 'headie' from Ego Photo: HHW

“In the Music” – Omawumi

“Never Felt this Way Before” – Nikki Laoye

“Somewhere” – Waje

A decent little girl fight this is. All are competent singers but with Omawumi channeling 80s Whitney Houston and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, plus her Idols pedigree, she gets the ever-so-slight edge.

NEXT RATED

Omawumi wins a car key Photo: HHW

First, 'headie' now a GIANT vibrator??? Photo: HHW

YQ – “E Fi Mi Le”

MP – “Pasa Pasa”

Kel – “Waa Wa Alright”

Djinee – “Lade”

Omawumi – “In the Music”

Like the ‘Producer of the Year’ category before it, did this one really require song accompaniment? Anyway, Djinee is an agbaya for being in this category. Yes, he’s officially unreleased (as per award criterion) but, still… Agbaya! Moving on, at first glance, Kel & MP have impressed me most in this category. However, all I’ve had is a glance, so the outcome of this one is up in the air really.

HIP-HOP WORLD REVELATION

WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING!!!

(If only that were the case, pah!)

M.I. flanked by Mama & Papa Abaga Photo: werunthings.net

M.I. tries not to think of 'headie' as he's flanked by Mama & Papa Abaga Photo: werunthings.net

M.I. – Talk About it

Banky W – Mr. Capable

Naeto C – You Know My P

Nikki Laoye – Angel for Life

Okay, now we’re abandoning the songs for albums? Ah well. If the ‘year under review’ (I can’t believe I had it wrong all this time. Maybe that voids everything else I’ve said, eh?) is the basis for this award, then of these nominees, this is Naeto C’s award. I say this because the ‘year under review” is December 2007 to December 2008. M.I. really started assaulting the airwaves in late 08 into 09. Last year, Naeto C had the whole nation asking, “What’s the P?”

AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Buffalo – “Bubble Your Bumz”

Tinny – “I Dey Kolo”

Dogg – “Can You Feel it”

Witness – “Zero”

Besides Tinny, I’m not familiar with any of these artists. I don’t know who should have won. Apparently, neither did Hip-Hop World.

(PS – Did you notice the song thing again? These guys sure are stuck in their ways)

LYRICIST ON THE ROLL

ModeNine – “Nine”

M.I. “Talk About it”

Lord of Ajasa – “Esa Lo Bade”

Da Grin – “Pon Pon Pon”

Ah! It’s the accompanying song again. I give up! Anyway, before I go into this, someone needs to answer a very baffling question for me… WHERE THE HECK ARE THEY ROLLING TO? Or from for that matter? Oh, I get it. Somebody was feeling lyrical. Ah! Tcheeew! ‘Best Lyricist’ or ‘Lyricist of the Year’ just wouldn’t cut it, yeah? Shame.

Anyway, Hip-Hop World should just get it over and done with and rename this the ‘ModeNine D!©k Riding Award.’ It’s a perfect four out of four for ModeNine at the Hip-Hop World Awards. Disturbingly, there’s no information on past winners or nominees on the official web site, so I can’t really weigh in on past nominees but on this shortlist, the ‘Short Black Boy’ takes the cake. Or should that be bread roll?

BEST STREET HOP

Chairman of Bobbee FC getting 'headie' Photo: HHW

Chairman of Bobbee FC loves 'headie' Photo: HHW

“Esa Lo Bade” – Lord of Ajasa

“Pon Pon Pon” – Da Grin

“04kasibe” – Zeez

“E Fi Mi Le” – YQ

“Collabo” – DeeBee

Help!!! Anybody???

HIP-HOP WORLD HALL OF FAME

Grand Master Lee and Phillip Trimnell

Uh… congratulations guys.

MISSING IN ACTION

In the “From the Jury” section of the Hip-Hop World Awards ’09 Special Invitation packet, four criteria are put down explaining the nomination process.

Criterion number four states thus:

“We also excluded songs that glorify scam, alcohol abuse, narcotics and promote wanton sex from this year’s Awards. These songs would have made the list if they had clean or edited radio versions and censored videos; hence, excluding them from our nominees’ list is our own contribution towards the development of a socially responsible music industry and the society at large.”

While this is very commendable, the final decision – based on some nominations – on which songs exactly fit this profile, is rather blurry. A monster hit from last year, Ikechukwu’s “Wind Am Well” was visibly absent. It should have received nominations for ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Rap Single.’ (I would have said ‘Recording of the Year’ but I don’t know how well it was recorded). What exactly was so off-base about this song? Does it really differ from Mo’ Hits’ “Pere” or eLDee’s “Bosi Gbangba?” And what is Zeez’s “04kasibe” really talking about? That ‘four cardinal points’ story is a load of croc! And ‘my head, my heart, my thing dey go diggy diggy diggy diggy dong dong dong dong’ from MP’s “Pasa Pasa” (what the hell is that, anyway?) is PC compared to Killz’s ode to dancing honeys? Oh well! This especially sucks for Kelly Hansome, whose “Maga Don Pay” was musical napalm.

There are even more head scratches. 2 Shotz’s “In Case U Never Know” was nominated for ‘Song of the Year’ but didn’t even get a look in the ‘Best Rap Single’ category. How does that work??? And the eventual ‘Best Rap Single,’ “Kini Big Deal,” definitely, definitely had to at least be nominated for ‘Song of the Year,’ as well as the ever-so-spiritual ‘Recording of the Year.’ Why didn’t any of Darey’s videos get a ‘Best Video’ nod? “Carry Dey Go” (view) is too sexual, eh? Or just not good enough? “Not the Girl” (view) not the video? There are other loopholes in there but you have fun finding them yourselves.

Well, that’s it in a nutshell. A big @$$ nutshell but a nutshell all the same. My rant is through. There are those that will agree with me, those that will call me an utter twat and even those that will come after me. Been there. Done that. Own the Theme Park.

If nothing else, the 2009 Hip-Hop World Awards has opened the floodgates for serious, comical and unimportant discourse. I hope that the aftermath of 2010 is even more mad.

The definition of Hip-Hop is up in the air, really. I mean, Sisqo’s “Thong Song” took home the ‘Best Hip-Hop Video’ award at the 2000 MTV VMAs and 9ice also won the ‘Best Hip-Hop Act’ award at the 2008 MAMA with ZAIN (ahead of Lil Wayne and The Game no less). Go figure! Even our dear Hip-Hop World addressed this in their latest magazine. In the ‘Dead Curious’ section of the magazine, there were three 9ice entries to this effect:

· After picking the Best Hip-Hop artist of the year at, MAMA, shouldn’t 9ice hit the studio to record the rap version of his hit single Gon Gon Aso?

· How did 9ice beat American act Lil Wayne and The Game in the Best Hip-Hop category of the MTV African Music Awards?

· And come to think of it, how did he get nominated in the Hip-Hop category in the first place?

(All of a sudden, I have a really bad cough. I wonder why).

While our darling Hip-Hop is open to varied interpretations, she’s definitely “Not the Girl” Darey sang about. It’s a discussion ya’ll, so let’s Talk About it. This has been a presentation of A Prize to Cry For, so ‘here’s a tissue/stop your blood clot crying.’

Word to BIG.

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