Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

VH1's Hip Hop Honors

Well last night VH1 unfurled and hurled at us one of their most notorious, most popular and probably most successful shows, their "VH1's Hip Hop Honors." It was something that I was actually looking forward to especially after not participating or attending one of the many events held in NYC in conjunction with this highly feted event.

I heard that Dougie Fresh performed at Plumm last Thursday night. On Friday there was some panel with the unfortunate, lame as$, oh so tired title "Does Hip Hop Hate Women" (hip hop is a culture first of all; and can we stop just looking at rap and look at our communities, at education, at family life... shoot the more interesting topic would be does the public educational system hate black children or does US Healthcare hate Black women and if so how do these dilemmas affect the shape and contours of Black (self) love). This panel was produced ironically by this hip organization with the crazy cool name Black Girls Rock! that on the following night, kicked it up 50 notches with an awards ceremony that honored women of color in the hip hop game like Missy Elliott, music industry prez Sylvia Rhone and designer Tracy Reese. If the weather wasn't so dang amazing this past weekend I would've love to have attended the awards ceremony, which I think is an absolutely wonderful and most needed exercise in these days when sisters are still overlooked for their many accomplishments. I was also invited to my very first 'gifting lounge' like the kind they have at the Oscars but alas the ocean was calling my name and I couldn't resist Her sweet whisper and so I headed to Sag where I went swimming, sunning and even attempted to fish with a rickety rod. I was totally, incredibly blissed out!

So last night back in the city I wanted to get my taste of Hip Hop Honors and see what I had missed. These are my thoughts. Please tell me what you thought:

The Best:
The tributes to Tribe and Wild Style (seeing Grandmaster Caz, KRS-One and Busy Bee, backed by Grandwizard Theodore on one stage gave me goosebumps) were top-notch but the best moment of the night for me was seeing Whodini on stage. They looked like they were having fun and when the guys started battle dancing and freestyling it instantly took me back to the days when rap music was pure fun and brothas used to dance and act silly all the while keepin it funky fresh. The fact they ended their set by literally pulling Grandmaster Dee of of the turntables was also special because everyone knows hip hop, back in the day, was all about the dj and so that was a very symbolic end to a hot performance.

The Worse:
There's nothing more excruciating than T-Pain w/o his vocoder or voice synthesizer. He can't sing a lick and tarnished the entire New Jack swing set. I know Andre Harrell was pissed!

The Most Inexplicable Guest:
Harvey Keitel

The Least Recognizable Guest:
Phife - man has he aged but he's been sick struggling with diabetes and from I've heard needs a kidney transplant so that I guess would also explain the bloating

Pepa – what's up with her Latoya Jackson nose job. And you can tell she obviously had the surgery after her VH1 loot came through because in previews of her and Salt's show she's got, what Paul Mooney would call, her Black nose. She unlike Phife has NO excuse!

Most Fun Moments:

Hearing the honorees talk about their genesis and evolution especially Snoop, Andre & Whodini!

Dead Air:
After awhile Tracy Morgan's taxi hip hop escapades got a bit redundant and stupid.

Overall it was cool. I am a big fan of Tribe and Snoop; I've had Wild Style on VHS since the early 90's; used to sweat out my press & curl dancing to Whodini's Friends and The Freaks Come out at Night; and I still have my Teddy Riley – Marley Marl 'New Jack Swing' mix tape that I recorded straight off the radio waaaay back in the day.

I'm not sure how it is that Missy who I LOVE got inducted before Queen Latifah. I just don't feel like she has the history or is a legend like that quite yet. Her all grrrl tribute though was nice and I must say I was most impressed by Nelly Furtado. Her tone, cadence and inflection of melody is stupid fresh never mind that fly Black dress she rocked. Does anyone know if she wrote her verse in the remix to Get Ur Freak ON? Yo she may need to start rhyming and if she can flow as tightly in Spanish and sing.. she could really do some damage.
It was good to see Tweet although I couldn't really see her for the mop on her head but you know what I mean. And after last night performance I look forward to finally hearing Tip's solo record. Has anyone seen him on tour with Common? It seems like he still has a lot of fire up in those bones and his vocal chords are still nice and chiseled with that quirky uniquely cute voice of his. What did you think of the show?

And what is up with women in hip hop? We weren't well represented last night but then again half of the ladies are going to jail or just got out-- Foxy, Remy, Lil Kim and Eve. A couple are alleged looney tunes Lauryn Hill and Da Brat. And the rest are simply MIA—Rage, Miss Melody, Rah Digga, Yo-Yo.

What other women in hip hop could/ should VH1 honor? Check out one of my faves> And someone please tell me where I can get a Wild Style t-shirt? Holllaaaa!

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Blogger Joan said...

Hi Nicole,
Actually I was surprised you weren't there. I wish you had the chance to attend our panel, the awards ceremony and the afterparty where most of us seemed not to make it home from before 4:30am. Blame that on what madness happens when Bev Bond, Cassidy and Idris Elba bless the wheels of steel. I think I can speak safely for my fellow BGR Board Members when I say it was a magical 48 hours. Had you attended you would have known in less than 5 minutes that title of the filled to capacity lecture was meant to be tongue in cheek. My colleagues Tracy Sharpley Whiting, Mark Anthony Neal, Bakari Kitwana, M-1 were simply brilliant. Wish you were there, especially if you intended to write about it.
It would have been nice to see you.

10/13/2007 4:59 PM

Blogger Hot Grrrl said...

Yeah I really wanted to go to the awards ceremony but I didn't find out about it until two days before and I had already made plans to go out to the Hamptons. Next year I'ma be down! Hope to see you tonight at the Studio Museum. Meanwhile can you put me on your mailing list because I seem to always be out of th eloop as far as BGR events go? Thanks!

10/19/2007 1:22 PM


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