The third annual 5280 Urban Music Awards went down last night at the Paramount Theatre, and while it took a second to get there, the vibe of the event was upbeat and enthusiastic. The place was crammed wall-to-wall with rappers, singers and people out to see and be seen. Kingdom was the host for the evening and did a solid job of keeping the crowd engaged and ushering the performers on and off the stage. The ceremony went off without a hitch -- although there was a minor scuffle or two in the lobby. Page down for the recap and the full list of winners.
After being hurried down the aisle like a politician by the event's organizers, a slightly tardy Kevin Kain opened the ceremony with light chatter and good-natured jokes before introducing Kingdom, who kicked off the evening's festivities. The organizers were determined to stay on schedule, so a number of the awards were announced even though some of the winners, including Mr. Midas, who won the award for Complete Project of the Year for Son of the Crack Era, hadn't arrived yet.
The evening included several performances, and as is typical with hip-hop, the stage was absolutely littered with rappers. At one point, there were so many members of No Half-Time on stage, it was hard to recognize anyone except Iman S and AP. They got down and warmed the crowd up, though, and the evening wore on.
The challenge last night seemed to be keeping the attendees engaged long enough to stay in their seats for the entire show. For most of the night, people were milling around in the lobby, greeting each other, being interviewed by SP Double and the cats from WKRP.com, who were streaming their Internet radio show live. Folks were basically doing everything except staying in one place.
Gang Green International's set grabbed their attention for a bit before a very pregnant D.Girl in sky-high heels took the stage and killed, and then Mr. Midas later vehemently declared that he runs shit with his city anthem, "Run My Town." Rockie, Bmore, AP and what seemed like a thousand others were enthusiastic, energetic and surprisingly organized on stage during their set.
Also worth mentioning is slightly unfamiliar face Lil Bad, whose early performance gave the show a much-needed boost of energy. Rap consortium 1600 ended the evening on a strong note with several wall-thumping bass lines, matching sweatshirts and disciplined chaos.
DJ Sinafold was behind the decks and gave an almost robotic go of his house DJ duties throughout the night. It could have been the sound, it could have been his music selection, but people appeared bored with his choices on several occasions. Of the award presentation itself, the highlight was definitely Pries's win celebrating his video success on YouTube and the young MC handing it over to a very humbled and surprised DJ Ktone.
2011 5280 Urban Music Awards Winners
Rookie of the Year: Lil Bad Complete Project of the Year: (Son of the Crack Era) Mr. Midas Song of the Year: L. Keys- "Coming Home With Me" Female Artist of the Year: D.Girl Video of the Year: Nyke Nitti- "Hustle Like Us" Calabo of the year: Cabby/Young Joc- "Left Lane" Air Play Award: Innerstate Ike - "Moolah Shuffle" Foundation Award: Zaboo True to Life Artist Award: Young Doe Big Beat Award: TC Crook Youtube Views: Pries Producer of the Year: TC Crook Mixtape of the Year: Listen to My Music (Young Tilt) Mean Machine Award: Hustle N Flow Town Reputable Award: Morning Star
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