Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ozone Awards Recap and Why I Like Family, Lakes and Rivers Better

I know, I know, I know, I know I promised to blog about the Ozone Awards whilst in Amsterdam, but I mean, you know, hash doobs > Ozone Awards Recap.

Today I had three people tell me that they were disappointed that I didn't write anything about the Ozone Awards. They wanted to know my take on it, as if my take would be any different from anyone elses take in the house. It was horrible, utterly horrible.

I love Julia Beverly and I love Ozone Magazine. I love what they give to the south and really to hip hop in general. I don't care about all the politics of the business, I'm down for the girl and the little magazine that could. Julia has proven over and over again that she can do it and that she cares and that she is down for the south.

So it pains me to write something that would more than likely be insulting to her and her staff.

But real talk, the Ozone Awards this year were an affront to art and artistry the world over. It made no sense. It was worse than most bad events, it was worse than last years event. In fact, it may have been the most shoddy event I have ever attended in my life.

Do we blame the organizers? Certainly partially. From my vantage point, which really wasn't too close to the scene, but still wasn't too far, I'd say for the most part, egomanical, disrespectful artists and their entourages were at least partly to blame. Which is why I personally don't deal with almost any of these major label shits.

I don't.

But that being said, maybe all these artists were called down there to do something but were never totally informed of what was realy going on or what they were supposed to do. I have no idea, but I wouldn't doubt if more than a few of them would say that they really didn't know where to be, so they weren't. I have been in that situation before.

Also, maybe you shouldn't shoot for such an A-List cadre of artists in your third year running. I understand wanting to do it big, and seriously, all the big names were definitely in the vicinity, if not on stage. But real talk, lets say for example you've got like, Young Jeezy and TI scheduled to present an award together, but neither are there when they are supposed to be. You bump an award or two up, wait for the dudes, but they still aren't there after 30 minutes. Well why not go grab like, Poppy from the Grit Boys and Trae or some shit to give the award? Why wait forever? The show must go on. Fuck it. Do something. Entertain me.

Which reminds me of a show I booked up in Pennsylvania in December, 1989. I already lived in Houston but was going home for Christmas and decided to book like 5 bands 2 nights after the holiday. Day of show I get a call from the owner of the venue to tell me that the pipes had burst, the toilets had all over run and there was not only shit on the floor in the running toilet water, but parts of the water was icing up on the floor of the club and there was no way we could have the show.

I had bands driving in from three other cities in the snow, we couldn't cancel day of. So I ran down there and we chopped ice off the floor, cleaned the water, and the shit, and got as much of it up as possible and roped the area off with caution tape and said fuck it. We had a security guard at the tape, and if a woman really had to go, he'd let her, but the dudes had to go outside. Fuck it. The show had to go on.

We also had to clean the womens room again after the show. Someone went #2. Toilet was still and had ice in it too.

But whatever. The show happened. It went on time. I made money for real. Everyone made money. And fuck it, we conquered the shit and the ice and the haters and the issues and the show went on.

All that being said, here is my rundown. This report will be fair and balanced as I am only reporting what I saw.

First of all, we were told that the doors would open at 6 p.m. and close at 7 p.m. so the people could all be in their seats before the awards started. So of course, being the paranoid freak who doesn't remember that 9 out of 10 of these type events don't start on time, I hustled past the 300 or so cops congregated outside to make sure I was inside early and didn't miss anything.

Well, It didn't start at 7 p.m. At like 8:30 Michael Watts started DJing. Which of course is always good, but this went on for like 30 minutes, while FLX (Dirty States of America FLX) yelled at the crowd to take their seats and show some respect.

O.K. fine, we will take our seats, but what are y'all gonna do??? Start the fucking show already. Then the host, Deray Davis came out and did a 30 minute monologue, off the top of the head, and basically spent 26 of those 30 minutes chastising hecklers. O.K. fine, that was at least slightly entertaining.

All of a sudden it looked like things were about to begin. B.O.B. came out on stage and sort of rapped the song "Haters" over his extremely loud vocals on the CD. Then someone else came out and did a song. It was some radio shit, so I honestly had no idea who it was.

Then Watts DJed for a while again.

Then the comedian chastised hecklers again.

Then it was time for the first award, but the presenters came out and after the nominations were read they declared that they didn't have an envelope and had no idea who won.

Then Watts DJed some more.

Then they went to give the "Trendsetter" Award and Pimp C was one of the nominees. Well, T-Pain ended up winning and as the crowd let out a loud stream of "boo's" one of T-Pains homeys came to the stage to accept the award for him. Not a good start.

I was sitting next to Nina James and I said to her "Look, when they do the Pimp C Tribute, I am gonna leave right after that." She just kind of looked at me and rolled her eyes as if she was ready to go right then.

Anyway, thank the Lord in Heaven above that just a few minutes later they announced the Pimp C Tribute was about to begin. And it did. Hezeleo, 8Ball, David Banner, Big Boi, Boosie, Webbie, Billy Cook, and Too Short all came out doing Pimp C verses. Magical! Then Bun came out with a choir all dressed in white and did "Angel In The Sky." It was touching, beautiful, magnificent, important. It meant so much to me to see this all come together. I still think about Pimp C a lot. Not cuz he was a friend, but because he always meant so much to me and the whole south musically, and to think about that dude being gone, still fucks me the fuck up.

Anyway, as the song is ending Bun B brings out Mama Wes (Pimp C's Mom, whose own mom died just the day before! We love you Mama Wes. You should not have to go through all of this! No one should!) and Pimp C's children when all of a sudden this EXTREMELY LOUD announcement comes over the PA, it's the announcement for the next award. So while Bun is saying some touching shit, alongside Pimp's mom and son, this thing drowns out everything he said. But like an Olympic gymnast, Bun didn't let it phase him. He didn't miss a step, he just kept on with it and did what he was there to do, and left the stage.

Then Watts started DJing again.

And I said fuck all this and I left. I was genuinely sad at this point. The Pimp C Tribute was tarnished, there's no way that end part could air on TV. All I could think was "Man, I hope they can do this over." I have no idea how such an amazing moment could be tarnished like that. And obviously no one else could either cuz it took forever for them to cut off that sound.

I got a lot of texts about the Trae/Mike Jones scuffle. I don't really have a comment on that. I will say Trae > Mike Jones in a lot of ways all day, but I wish that shit would not have happened. Trae is my dude, and I think a lot of people feel what he said about Mike Jones, but fuck it, it didn't need to happen there.

Though those two are the only two people who got any press from this event. Hmmmm, maybe it was a good thing. No, actually it wasn't.

Anyway y'all, I walked out into the street and there were at least 100 cop cars lining the Avenida's De Las Americas. Cops were on horses. They were ready. For what? I don't know cuz the crowd was quite cool. I don't think there were really any other incidents, in fact the crowd was quite docile from what I saw. They barely even clapped for the little they got to see.

All I wanted was a beer and a sandwich, but alas and alak, the Hilton was already closing the bar and all restaurants for fear that a bunch of black people might come in and drink in them. Which sucked, cuz I really didn't want to try and drive my car through the legions of cop cars just to go get some food.

So I went to my room, rolled a couple of them thangs and talked with about 7-8 friends who stopped by to partake. Everyone said "Damn, I can't believe that shit was worse than last year." And I couldn't either. I am sorry to have to write all this negative shit, but it was beyond bad. Maybe next year Julia can hire the US Army to whoop some of these fuckers into line. I don't know. I don't know what happened but it was really sad.

I added captions below...

This dude tried to sell Magno and Ace a pizza. Where was he at 10 p.m. when the hotel shut the bar down? I neeeeeeded him!

Gerald G, Kyleon, Magno and Ace REPPIN'!

Lil Young

Lil Keke and 8Ball

DJ Grip needs to get me one of them shirts!

Rapido, Inc.

Don Juan ( MY MAN FROM KANSAS CITY!) and Paul Wall

Bun B and all the artists came in the same entrance as the fans, and waited like hell to get through security, with all the people. So weird.

Don Juan and Julia Beverly


Nina James, DJ Gloss, Free and Friend

Paul Wall, Aztek


Stubbalean, Doughski and Friend

Alvin and Mike Frost

Wendy Day and friends doing Wendy's signature pose

Yvonne and friend

Giselle and Michelle Frost

DJ Gloss and Nina James

Michelle Frost

Napoleon - Brother of LIBRA who just got kicked off of Big Brother last week. I love the girl Libra, and watched her 3 times a week on the show, but I have to say that I am not mad that she is off. Now I never have to watch that horse shit ever again. Ever.

But she was killin' em. That's why she was evicted. She was too bad for them.

Nina James, DJ Chill, Don Juan


Too Short on screen


David Banner

Billy Cook, Webbie, Lil Boosie

Bun B with the choir...

Anyway, before the Ozone Awards I went with the wife and kids to the Frio River.

Rivers > Music Biz



The fam

And before that we went to my hometown of Erie, PA to see my mom and extended family and chill at Lake Erie.

Lakes and Mom's > Music Biz shit

This group Beatrix Jar opened the Erie Blues and Jazz Festival and played music on casio keyboards and Speak N Spell things. It was crazy. They rewired all the shit to make new sounds, and even brought some kids up to help play the stuff. It was really nice. Crazy shit man.


And of course, Beautiful Sunsets (and sunrises) ALL THE TIME IS THE NEW MOVEMENT.

Get on the bus or get left behind people.

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