One week ago, the 4th Annual Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference went down in Cleveland, Ohio. There were pre-parties on Friday, and a brunch with world renowned poet Nikki Giovanni on Sunday, but the main event took place on Saturday evening in the Music Hall of the Cleveland Convention Center. The red carpet was in full effect as many of the nominees and presenters made their way to the entrance of the place, granting interviews and taking advantage of any photo opportunity that came their way. Among the MANY attendees on the red carpet were Machine Gun Kelly, Beat Gang, The 3rd, Da Kreek, B. Wills, Jimmy Pynk, Chevy Blue, Young Mook, Boss Magazine, Ozone Magazine, and JWork Limited.
After a brief delay, things finally got underway. The show itself was hosted by Cleveland's Latin Assassin and Cincinnati's DJ Dimepiece and featured performances by Young Ray, Machine Gun Kelly, R.O.B., Mz. Moone, Grind Time Central, Khadijah, Nessacary, Chevy Blue, Flame Gang, Mz. Nikki, T.G.P, Da Kreek, Crazyy Tee, Young Dunny, Paper Chase, Tucept, D.O.C. Showstopperz, Jay Rush, Mz. Skittles, Young Shank, Fly Union, and Notice. Out of those performances, I'd say that Machine Gun Kelly, Jay Rush, and T.G.P. were the best performances of the evening. Over the course of the weekend, forty awards were handed out, and Latin Assassin threatened to shoot anyone who tried to pull a Kanye West with a bleach filled water gun. Among the winners were Yonny for Best Producer, Khadijah for Lyricist of the Year, Grind Time Central for Best Group, B. Wills for Best New Artist, and Machine Gun Kelly for Best Live Performer. The entire list of winners can be viewed at the link below.
Other highlights of the night included Nikki Giovanni being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, an extensive exhibition of breakdancing that got the crowd quite amped, and a Michael Jackson tribute--complete with the dancing impersonator.
The premise of the OHIO Hip Hop Awards is to unify the artists throughout the state, a maxim that was repeated by many of the award recipients. A not-so-bright spot of the night came in the form of Columbus being (which I would assume of being accidentally) omitted during a roll call of cities in the house. It caused an immediate uproar in the crowd and even more of a backlash on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. I have my own thoughts on the matter, but that's a discussion for another place and time.
Overall, I feel the show was a relative success. Being able to bring a large group together with many dynamic elements at work, and executing them without major incident is a success within itself. The organizers, D.Lorand Jackson, Quincy Taylor, Garbs Infinite, and Derrick "Majestic" Mackenzie have been working hard to make the show bigger and better every year, and I'm sure that it will be an even grander event next time around.
Complete OHHA Winners List
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