While the rest of the Crew was at A3C, I stayed in the N.O. to enjoy the second annual NOLA Underground Hip-Hop Awards. Last year’s show was a huge success, but the sequel took things to a new level.
The 2K11 version featured lifetime achievement awards and appearances from legends Mia X, UNLV and Mannie Fresh while the city’s future took the stage to perform some local favorites. We also had a special appearance from muthaf*ckin’ 8Ball. I had the honor of presenting the Lyricist of the Year award, and the fact that I was on stage while Mia X was looking at me had me as nervous as I can ever remember. Meeting young rappers never makes me starstruck because we’re somewhat peers, but being in the same room as Mia X and Mannie Fresh? That’s something different. Their music helped shape my teenage years. All of the legends, including pioneers like Gregory D, were treated like the pioneers they are and given lifetime achievement awards as well. C-Murder sent in an MP3 thank you for his award as well.
Last year, Magnolia Shorty won an award and delivered a touching, tearful acceptance speech. Sadly, she was gunned down just two months later. As one of the bounce music greats, her loss was profound. The community gave a fitting tribute to her during the show.
While the legends were definitely given their respect, the night belonged to the new blood. I can’t even tell you how many acts took the stage, but it was like N.O.’s own A3C. People point to Chicago, New York or Atlanta for their burgeoning rap scenes, but I’d put the New Orleans crop of talent against any other in the country. Overall, the show allowed us to appreciate the people that built the city’s music scene while setting the stage for the a group of MCs ready to bring about the reemergence of New Orleans Hip-Hop on the national scene.
I can’t end without giving all props I can muster to the man behind the awards. Law, promoter, producer and owner of Traffic Boutique, has been able to unite the New Orleans music and constantly give avenues for the musicians to showcase their talents. He is the brainchild behing the awards and his hustle is damn near unmatched. Shiny Green hosted the show and always shouts TSS out when we’re in the building. Finally, congrats to all of the winners, including Lyrikill, who took home the much-deserved Album of the Year award. I swear, if you’re not listening to More Hear, More Sole, you’re not doing your musical palette justice. Also, Dee-1, the city’s newest national phenomenon, took home a handful of awards as well. Next year, if this doesn’t fall on the same weekend as A3C, I do hope you take a weekend trip down to the Big Easy and see what the city has to offer.
Now, onto the visuals.
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