Last night I attended the AUMA’S (Atlanta underground music awards) on 14th street. It was lights, camera, and action for the Atlanta underground hip hop circuit. The media was there the and the stage was set to what I can only call a sub- standard failure. At the front of the door the red carpet equipped with media and cameras was a nice touch, but as there seem to be no organization to it. The security was great I did feel marginally safe at the event. But once the event started an hour and a half from the original start time… No surprise there, it immediately became to what I only compare as a mini ” show time at the Apollo”. The entourages we’re at full tilt as they constantly yelled over announcers, performing artist, and obnoxiously yelled at how bad the sound system was as if they were performing (sn: the sound system was actually awful) then as if on a timer the aroma of weed floated through the Air. While watching the musical performances a female group as I’m not even sure if they even have a name, got on stage and did their best magic city impression. While entertaining I don’t actually remember these lovely ladies performing a song. While the splits and booty shorts were extremely amusing and a great crowd pleaser i did not understand why they were on stage.
Through out the night there were many categories and many winners, but from what I could see most of the winners were not underground artist, nor were they in attendance. An of the hundred or so people that attended it seemed that the Same people won. The whispers of “fixed” began to escape people’s lips. At the end of they day all in all the promoter made their money and if your one of the 5 underground artist that actually won, it was a small win for the little guy. But to quote what I think was my favorite comment of the night “it was ok but their is no one here who can change my life”. Their right I came, I saw, and I went home with a bunch of CDs that I will never play and my clothes smelling like weed. Can’t wait till next year!!!
Beyond that I weep for the future of underground music. Maybe because I’m from a different generation of music and underground music. When I came up the underground artist wasn’t celebrated because there was nothing to celebrate. You grind, you network, and when your chance came if it came you grab on, hold tight, and don’t let go. My favorite radio host Calls this the wussifscation of America, and this is just another example to me. When did “almost making it” or mediocrity become a celebrated achievement. I can’t speak for anyone else but an award that tells me I’m “almost there is damn near offensive in this writer’s eyes. Yes, the Indy route is the new route to take, yes..you don’t need a major label behind you to get radio play these days, and yes.. it’s easier to have control of your career by not signing on the dotted line to a industry machine. But having an award show to show your at the half way point is aggregous to me. Or maybe I’m just old fashion