6th Annual Madison Hip Hop Awards 2015

Mad City Hip Hop is a fucking mess. Government officials force heavy sanctions onto local Hip Hop events and employ other scare tactics to discourage people from the genre. Frank Productions, who books all performance spaces in town, banned local acts from their venues a while back. They told me this when I tried to book a show with them in 2013. The production company refuses to make a stand on the issue, yet they continue to roll in the cash, booking industry artists to prey on minority culture without supporting it on the front end. As far as radio, 105.9 used to play some rap shit. JAMZ is more selective, as they’re also currently only accepting submissions from generic white pop artists that like to party. The University of Wisconsin will let rappers perform as long as they’re white or a member of First Wave – an exclusive program available to a select few students who grew up out of town. We need a Renaissance to pop.

Enter The Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN). Founders Shah and DJ Pain 1 are good fucking people. Tefman has been heavily involved with MHHA as well. The three have put on for the city for many years and UCAN has done some incredible things for the community. The group offers opportunities to those interested in Hip Hop, even without the city’s help. I’ve seen em pay homage to Tony Robinson on The Square, set up beat battles in community centers and plan seminars at Madison Media Institute (MMI). This past weekend, UCAN put on the “6th Annual Madison Hip Hop Awards” and everyone’s talking about it (November 7, 2015).

Mad City Cypher - Madison Hip Hop Awards 2015

Watch DLO The Iceman, RED, Rickaby, Rob Dz, P Swagger Take On “Mad City Cypher”

While the org has done immeasurable good for the city, many people don’t respect their awards show and I’m gonna tell you why. The MHHA voting system does not work. A public online voting system might play down the road, when people are more acclimated to the genre as a city – but not now. The “Madison Hip Hop Awards” site is 10 years outdated and the voting system is easily manipulated. The platform needs to be updated and a selection committee chosen to represent different sides of the scene.

Listen, Trend N Topic won “Group of the Year”, “Rookie of the Year”, “R&B Artist of the Year” and “Hip Hop Dancers of the Year”. WHO THE FUCK IS THAT? Here’s the song that won them all of these awards. Trend N Topic delivers an ambitious message on “What Would Martin Say”. Yes, we need a change. With the violence, segregation and drugs in the area, it’s good to see artists preaching for the positive side of things. Trend N Topic quotes MLK on their award winning record, saying “Hate can’t drive out hate, only love can.” I’m a huge fan of the man’s work and I hope everyone reading this is intelligent enough to realize I’m not hating. No one wants Madison Hip Hop to succeed more than me – no one.

These girls can’t rap or sing, though. The audio quality is bad and the video is tragic at best. This is embarrassing. Has Lil B won a Grammy for his outstanding contributions to Hip Hop? No, because regardless of the fact that Lil B would win (or would’ve won) a public vote, he is an unskilled emcee and his strong social media backing is nothing more than a tool for him to showcase basic bitch shit. These are smart girls, but if this event is to be the “Madison Hip Hop Awards,” if we want people from…. anywhere to take this seriously, the winners have to be mindblowing. I mean, I’d never even heard of DJ Sixteen until this event. That should never happen.

The “Collab of the Year” sounds similar to the type of songs I used to mix for the “Sunday Night Slow Jamz” on 93.1. But while this comparison is normally a good thing, it ain’t in this scenario. For those that don’t know, “Forward” thinking Madison has a metro population of over 500,000 people, yet “Madtown’s #1 For Hip Hop” won’t spin any local music. This dated R&B joint perfectly exemplifies a Madisonian’s futile attempt to assimilate an unreachable sound. Amy Alida has an incredible voice. The deejay probably woulda spun “Like Mine” all night back in the day. But this ain’t 2006 – this is 2015 – and this song offers little nuance to the culture. The radio sets its own city up for failure. Instead of embracing the local sound, local radio pulls artists away from their own culture and into this hokey void.

Without city support, artists have to not only blow the minds of their peers in the scene but also the minds of tastemakers from all over Wisconsin, The Midwest and the greater United States. Does this song impress me? No. Will this song impress the overcritical hipster writers from giant cities that have diverse, flourishing scenes? No. Would this record impress country folks from small Wisconsin towns – where Hip Hop doesn’t exist – where people are more reliant on vocal talent and overall sound than the lyrical message? No.

Let me put it this way: Giving away awards aimlessly like this discredits both the artistry of the city and the hard work that UCAN puts in. Chicago and Milwaukee laugh at us for this type of shit. In a segregated city, we need unity like the kind The Civil Rights Movement had with The Labor Movement. Look at the “2015 Radio Milwaukee Hip Hop Awards” lineup. Now look at ours. We need to hone our scene, not only on the communal scale, but also on the production side. Presentation is everything when the numbers are smaller. Madison has to keep it tight, and If there’s someone at the top slacking for their own benefit, we’ll soon wave this newfound wave away as soon as I sparked it.

I have worked with a few of this year’s winners – DJ Pain 1, Niko Money and DJ Victory – all beasts with this shit. Congrats. That said, there’s no reason in hell that 3rd Dimension, B. Ortiz, Chaos New Money, Soldier Click, Ted Park, Trapo and myself aren’t all over this card below. We are the new sound. Most of Mad City’s coldest weren’t even nominated. If this is going to happen we need to get real and get together.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels inevitability. Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle, the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

2015 Madison Hip Hop Awards Winners

18

18 thoughts on “Madison Hip Hop Needs Renaissance To Pop

  1. Madisonian 2 years ago

    u from deforest nigga keep my city name out ur mouth like u from here what high school u go to not east not lafollete

    1. Beef 2 years ago

      Thank you for your input Madisonian! I actually am from Madison – 53718. My parents, however, elected to send me to Deforest High School.

  2. Lisa Johnson 2 years ago

    Clearly you are not as good as you say you are because your fans would have come out and voted for you and the others that you state should have won the awards. However I listened to all the artist work and half of the people you said should have won can’t rap and have no message in the songs and that’s why Trend N Topic got my vote. My question to you is where were your fans during the voting process or do you not have any and that’s why the votes didn’t fall in your favor.

    1. Madisonian 2 years ago

      he dont even live in our city, any grown man who spend his time picking on young females to make his point isnt worth ur time we know who deserves respect and he not one of them

    2. Beef 2 years ago

      Lisa – you sound pretty confident about that. What are your credentials? What gives you the juice to make the statements you’re making?

  3. Madisonian 2 years ago

    can u address why u try to sound black in all your songs thank you

    1. Beef 2 years ago

      I’m actually unfamiliar with the sound that a skin pigmentation makes. I think, and this is just a guess, that it stems from me having a BIG COCK

  4. Lisa Johnson 2 years ago

    It’s really sad that you are bashing a group of teenagers for their positive work. These youth could be in the streets doing Lord knows what but singing and spreading a positive message for their peers is what they chose to do. Sound too me like you’re pissed because you nor your friends walked away with an award. You can’t be hating on them because their fans got out and voted. Looks like these young ladies have a strong fan club and the came out on top. Take your Lost and move the fuck on. HATER!!!!!!!!

    1. Beef 2 years ago

      Thank you for your input Lisa! I’m actually not bashing a group of teenagers, or girls for that matter. I’m critiquing the “Group of the Year,” a category that had no age restrictions the last time I checked. Anyways, like I said, Trend N Topic can’t sing and they can’t rap. If these are going to be MUSIC awards, they have to be judged based off musical talent over anything else.

      Please re-read paragraph 4: “Trend N Topic delivers an ambitious message on “What Would Martin Say”. Yes, we need a change. With the violence, segregation and drugs in the area, it’s good to see artists preaching for the positive side of things. Trend N Topic quotes MLK on their award winning record, saying “Hate can’t drive out hate, only love can.” I’m a huge fan of the man’s work and I hope everyone reading this is intelligent enough to realize I’m not hating. No one wants Madison Hip Hop to succeed more than me – no one.”

      Bless

  5. evaridae 2 years ago

    “Most of Mad City’s coldest weren’t even nominated” – do you understand how the voting process works for these awards? You nominate yourself. You’re slow if you expect someone else to nominate you. The Broadjam website is GARBAGE and unfortunately MHHA for some reason continues to partner with them. They absolutely need a better voting system and new website exclusively for the MHHA’s.

    1. Beef 2 years ago

      Thank ya for ya input. I do understand how the process works, and I’m not slow, as you can probably tell by how much better a writer I am than you. I taught myself how to read and write. Did you know that? They call that an autodidact.

      Anyways, the problem is that the most talented artists are not winning the awards that are supposed to be awarded to the most talented artists. The talent is there in Madison – lit – and so are their fans. There’s a disconnect between MHHA and those audiences though, a disconnect large enough to make this story one of the most viewed stories in the history of Basement Made.

      Please see paragraph 5: “Has Lil B won a Grammy for his outstanding contributions to Hip Hop? No, because regardless of the fact that Lil B would win (or would’ve won) a public vote, he is an unskilled emcee and his strong social media backing is nothing more than a tool for him to showcase basic bitch shit. These are smart girls, but this event is to be the “Madison Hip Hop Awards,” if we want people from… anywhere to take this seriously, the winners have to be mindblowing.”

    2. Lisa Johnson 2 years ago

      Beef if they are not winning the awards they the supposed tt it’s their own damn fought for not getting their fans to vote so how could you be mad because these young ladies marketed themselves and the their fans voted. You are sounding really goofy right about now. Clearly their fans don’t feel the same way because the didn’t get the votes in of topic leave these young ladies alone and find something else tondo with your time. Hi build up you fan club and maybe by this time next year you will the vote you need to win a award or two until take your Lost with motivation. To work and harder and do better for next year. Are you mad or Nah?

    3. Beef 2 years ago

      Ay der Lisa. I’m not mad at all, thanks for asking. Actually, I didn’t nominate myself for the awards this year because they aren’t based on merit. MHHA are not based on critiques of vocal ability, flow, lyricism, cultural relevance and/or nuance. You’re talking about a “People’s Choice” award winner, not the next people to ink record deals. So really, you’re the one sounding goofy – ranting and name calling like a child, telling me to “leave these young ladies alone.” You don’t even have your own ideals in line Lisa, much less anything constructive to say. And please read paragraph 5 carefully this time. God bless your soul

  6. Holmes 2 years ago

    Next time you decide to go on rant, maybe talk to the people involved first. This is such an inaccurate view of what’s happening right now. You know NOTHING about what is currently happening at 93.1 Jamz nor can you speak for us. I never heard of you until today and most likely wont wont hear of you after today. I certainly didnt meet you at the awards show because YOU WERENT THERE. Hope you enjoyed your two seconds of attention.

    1. Beef 2 years ago

      Hello Holmes, thanks for your input. To handle your first concern, as a citizen of the United States, I am allowed to write whatever the fuck I want. In fact, one could say I’m encouraged to write personal accounts like this one here.

      I worked at 93.1 JAMZ for a couple years, so I got to know corporate’s taste in Hip Hop. They fired Big Mike, “The Voice of Madtown,” and the last shred of hope left with JD Garfield – which is why I chose to part ways as well. My nationally covered record “Teach Me How To Bucky” was also the longest running #1 song on 93.1 JAMZ for a while. Is it still?

      I couldn’t make the show, unfortunately. I recently made the move to Hollywood to find ways around people like yourself, who have stood in the way for no other reason than their own comfort. You are not from anywhere near Madison. You are not a part of our scene. You are from Tampa, Florida and don’t know the first thing about Mad City. Like most of the others criticizing this article, you are in a position of power and can’t handle your inadequacies.

      I will continue to be great, thank you. I came from the bottom to get to where I’m at. I’m an 9-time scholarship recipient who worked his way through UW-Madison for a double major. I did it with bipolar disorder, on probation, addicted to alcohol and prescription pills. I’ve been shot at but never shot. I’ve written, recorded and produced records that created national dialogue. I’ve created music videos that are now part of the UW curriculum. I performed on a private passenger plane 10,000 feet in the air. I’ve won Madison Area Music Awards and a Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award Nomination. Oh, and I just turned 26.

      I am now in LA living out my dreams as an industry connected, but fully independent emcee, writer, producer and occasional background actor. I’m a fully recovered addict, who has broken bread with people’s off all races and religions, and who has now founded a platform that clearly exists so underrepresented artists can fight back. I think the real question here is: “Who are you?”

    2. Lisa Johnson 2 years ago

      Amen I agree

    3. Holmes 2 years ago

      Your ego is so laughable. You don’t give a damn about Madison or it’s scene. It’s all about you and only you. All you talk about is you, half of which are lies. I did my homework on you. Your biography is full of so much bullshit I dont even have time to cover it all. No one at Jamz remembers you nor does the city ever reference Big Mike as the “Voice” of anything. The fact is you dont live here, we dont want you here, you found your dreams elsewhere and we are a better city for that. “No one wants Madison Hip Hop to succeed more than me” is just more lip service from an obnoxiously ego-driven narcissist who has actually achieved next to nothing. Good luck here with your little blog. I encourage you to continue your rant. I plan to use it as a teaching tool to up and coming artists on how not to handle themselves.

    4. Beef 2 years ago

      Calm down little guy. Thank you for making an example out of 93.1 JAMZ, though. I hope everyone who checks this story out sees how much better I could do your job than you and your station. You should definitely know who I am. Everyone is my city has heard my music. I have brought more attention to Madison and Madison Hip Hop than you will your entire life. You don’t know me, you don’t know who the #1 DJ was before you, you don’t know shit.

      Yes, I do have a big ego, because I am more talented and harder working than you. Sadly for you, I’m not lying and that is why you haven’t been able to site a single thing I’m lying about. You are a fraud and a toxic parasite for my hometown. Once again, you are from a vacation destination, not Madison, WI. You clearly don’t know the first thing about our scene. No one respects you. They might listen, but they don’t respect you Holmes. I’m sorry to be the one to tell ya. God bless your soul