lilD: Ohio Hip-Hop Awards receive mixed reviewsWritten by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but these words will hurt your feelings.
Many natives of Toledo call the Ohio Hip-Hop Awards the “Cleveland Awards,” since the show is held there, and it seems that Cleveland artists win the majority of the awards. But to their credit, several Cincinnati artists won awards as well this year.
The Awards were held the weekend of Sept. 17-19, with the actual award show Sept. 18 at Club Dream. Yes, a club. There were no chairs, tables, or stools for any spectator to sit. Unless you were media, a nominee, or presenter, you’d better have brought some comfortable shoes.
The attendance was overwhelming; each major city in Ohio was represented with nominees and supporters squeezing into the insufficiently-prepared building to cheer on their hometown heroes.
Other than the lack of seating or room to breathe, the ceremony itself was pretty decent. Toledo’s own DJ One 1x TyMe was the house DJ, and Hot 97-3’s Big Eddie Bauer co-hosted, along with Robyn Simone, a Cleveland radio personality.
Toledo music legend DJ Lyte-N-Rod was also present; he said he’ll be at the Awards every year “because [he] feels like Midwest is next up.” Rod moved to Nashville last year because he felt like he had “done all [he] could in Toledo, and needed to be challenged.” He won the Lifetime Achievement Award, so his efforts are definitely not going unrecognized.
Speaking of recognition, the Ohio Hip-Hop Awards couldn’t leave out Toledo crooner Jay Rush. No longer only known as the little brother of Lyfe Jennings, Rush is a star in his own right. Having traveled the country with Ohio legends, platinum-selling rap group Bone Thugs N Harmony, and telling me “the [record] deal is coming up,” Jay Rush won in both categories in which he was nominated, Best Male Vocalist, and Best Collaboration for a song he did with Bizzy Bone, who made a special appearance. Jay Rush said it meant a lot to him “for someone to actually sit on a computer and vote.”
Cleveland’s radio station WENZ beat the other stations in Ohio to earn the award for Best Radio Station. No one even seemed surprised by this, which was odd, because the Cincinnati nominee has higher ratings.
Toledo Hip-Hop group The 419ers were also present, and though they didn’t win Best New Artist, they have huge plans in the works. They’re planning a class-reunion-like concert with all of the popular Toledo artists from 1998-2006 to throw a concert for the city. They’ll definitely be the best new artists in Toledo if they pull that off.
There was a special appearance by Lady Rerun, star of the Safe Auto commercials, and daughter of the late Fred Berry, who played the character “Rerun” from the hit ’70s show “What’s Happenin’?”
Tracy may not have won the award, but we all know he had the best album. And he made strong connections and a lasting impression while there, so the plaque didn’t matter.
Perhaps the biggest winner from Toledo was the Master of Ceremonies, rapper and show host Cuntry. He won Best Host, and won a plaque, but he also won the performance showcase and won a three-day trip to Atlanta to record. For all the Toledoans who think the Awards are rigged, Cuntry won the showcase in Cleveland, by a unanimous decision. Perhaps you rappers should take note instead of complaining.
The Ohio Hip-Hop Awards may have been slightly unorganized, warm and uncomfortable, but they’re doing something that other people just talk about: recognizing the people of their state. So instead of complaining about their faults, embrace their assets.