The 3rd Annual D.C. Maryland Virginia Entertainment & Music Awards was advertised as the event of the year for underground artists in the area. With scandal and controversy surrounding the event and its sponsors, the event left many artists upset.
Despite the built up buzz, and a pre-event nominee party hosted by Target Squad at the largest nightclub in D.C. — Sunday’s awards show was a hot mess. With a feeble attempt at a red carpet, unorganized seating, and a slew of production hiccups, the show ran about as smooth as kindergarten Christmas pageant.
Hosted by Onix from VH1’s “I Love New York”, and “I Love Money: Season 2,” the highly anticipated pre-show event left much to be desired. Aside from Mya, Lil’ Mo, Mambo Sauce, and Jon Boy from “The White Rapper Show”, the crowd showed little excitement for the other artists who walked the 10 foot long “gold” carpet.
Inside the Hampton Conference Center, VIP tables were decorated nicely; however it didn’t take long to turn that into a mess as well. Within the hour, the tables were covered with business cards, demos, and flyers. All the pre-show self-promotion helped push back the show by nearly two hours.
After a never-ending video montage of the nominees played on the large side screens, the audience was then treated to an offbeat, sloppy dance routine by the dance troupe Dynamic. One of the dancers from Dynamic admitted backstage that he had just learned the steps to the dance the night before, and it showed.
The show then hit another bump when a poor audience reaction to the hosts, DJ Rico and Lil’ Mo, inspired the pair to turn around and do-over their entrance, only this time directing the audience to “make some noise.”
The first three awards of the night went to DJ Heat of WPGC, for Most Supportive Radio Personality, Media Person, and DJ. A brief chant from the general admission seating area to “play us on the radio” erupted immediately after the awards were presented.
DJ Kash Monee, CEO of WKSH, adamantly rejected the idea of DJ Heat winning the awards.
“DJ Heat doesn’t even play or support underground artists in the DMV,” he said. DJ Kash Monee, whose three radio stations reach over a million listeners daily, is a previous two-time DMV EMA winner and A&R for Warner Music Group.
In an attempt to “kash” in on the DJ’s popularity, the awards show’s producer, Mahogany Jones, tried to pressure Monee into “donating” over three thousand dollars to broadcast the event live.
DJ Kash Monee said in a post-show interview that he would never agree to “pay for his right to freedom of the press.” Monee also put a station wide ban on any coverage of the DMV EMAs.
The DMV Entertainment &Music Awards, founded by Brother Maniac, is intended to honor and recognize outstanding artists who maintain residency in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. However, when local artists realized that many of the sponsors, like Brother Maniac and Mahogany Jones, were nominated and/or won, they spoke out against it.
Pre-show host, Onix, said that “the underground hip hop community here in the DMV needs to take a lesson from the rock music community; they need to start legitimately supporting each other.”
Jazzy B, CEO of Battle Music Group also said, “Sponsors should absolutely not be nominated.”
Jazzy B, who was nominated for Best Manager, said that an award loses its legitimacy when people think it has been bought.
Producer of the year nominee, Text Sosa disagreed, saying that many of the artists who are nominated have the funds to sponsor the event because “they grind harder than everyone else.” Sosa said that just because a nominee is a sponsor, that does not mean they don’t deserve to win.
On the other hand, several non-sponsoring artists, like Shy Thoro, La Vie, and Dre all day in the paint, were loudly applauded and supported as they accepted their awards.
Best Producer of the year, X-Quiz, received an especially large applause. Having had supplied many in the room with beats last year, X-Quiz was clearly a fan favorite.
“He makes some of the hottest beats in the DMV” said Prhyme, a well known female MC and Detroit Native. After touring for the last year, Prhyme said she looks forward to releasing new singles produced by X-Quiz this summer.
Around 1:00 am, the last of the awards were handed out, and while the event provided an opportunity for underground artists to meet-and-greet prominent industry figures in the area, the usefulness of the event amounted to little more than a reunion for most.