Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Your Black World: VH1 Hip-Hop Honors: A Farce & A Scam

By: Tolu Olorunda

Staff Writer - YourBlackWorld.com

The corporate hacks at Vh1 are at it again. Yesterday, as I'm told, Vh1 aired its annual Hip-Hop ceremony, Vh1 Hip-Hop Honors. For those unaware, "Hip-Honors" is described as a yearly celebration of Hip-Hop pioneers and its many Godfathers/Godmothers. If Vh1 had its way - as it seem to do - Snoop Dogg, Eazy E, Ice Cube, Missy Elliot, Russell Simmons and the Wu Tang clan would fit that mold. It would come as a shock if Lil' Wayne is not honored next year. This annual exercise of miseducation is a farce at best. The categorization of “New Schoolers” as Hip-Hop pioneers notwithstanding, more insulting is the level of mistreatment rendered to actual Hip-Hop pioneers, at such events. In 2006, following that year’s "Honors," a group of venerated Hip-Hop scholars and historians broke their silence in calling out the bosses at Vh1 who, through the help of their subsidiaries, have conducted a whitewash of Hip-Hop history and denigrated its true inventors.

In a report published on the Hip-Hop online magazine, HipHopGame.com, DJs Jazzy Jay, Tony Tone and Disco Wiz described inexplicable instances where Vh1, in favor of granting VIP passes to the most prominent rappers at the time, treated Hip-Hop heavy weights such as Kurtis Blow and Tracy 168 like "bums and party crashers." The report furthermore noted that Vh1 had the unimpeachable gull to limit the number of guests Afrika Bambaataa (Hip-Hop's Grandfather) could invite. If this is true, as I believe it to be, it should come as no surprise that Vh1 executives have attempted to attribute the '90s to be the "Golden Age" of Hip-Hop, and ultimately, the age of its inception.

This year, the irony couldn't be starker. Whilst Vh1 was busy expressing great delight in "honoring" their distorted version of Hip-Hop's pioneers, the landmark of Hip-Hop creation, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, was being auctioned to a real estate developer for $ 7 million. Neither Vh1 nor its uncertified group of Hip-Hop advisors displayed the most minuscule amount of regret over it.

As a true Hip-Hop pioneer once noted, "The moral of the story is that these people don't know shit."

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