The nominations for the 2006 Urban Music Awards have been announced, and as predicted, contain some very suspect choices. It's not all as disastrous as the pitiful MOBO Awards, but there's still some very iffy decisions. The strange thing is, it's claimed that the nominations are defined by public suggestion, but some things just don't add up.
For instance, Big Brovaz have been nominated as Most Inspiring Act of 2006 but haven't they disappeared since 2005, been dropped by their label and broken up as well as had trouble with the law? Surely nobody out there is inspired by this, or even remembers who they are!
Onto the Best Website category, where the high journalistic quality of ukhh.com, rwdmag.com and this site have been ignored whilst the sites of non urban corporate giants (youtube, myspace) and advert plagued US obsessed site everyurbanthing.com are in with a chance of the award. Surely one of the previously mentioned or Chantelle Fiddy's blog are far more deserving.
Dynamite MC's inclusion in the Best Hiphop category is another senseless decision. Yeah he's dropped a hiphop-ish mix CD, but that was very recent, and has been far from well received. Then there's the Best Radio Station category which doesn't see Rinse FM get a mention. That's right, the most representative street level radio broadcast which continually champions the heaviest in MC's, producers and DJs gets nada.
Finally, another black mark is the Garage category, which includes five acts that most probably would never at all consider the music they make to be of that old hat, 1996 pigeon hole terminology.
In conclusion and in light of the recent NOSHOWs, I mean MOBOs, it seems fair to say that UK urban music is far from the position at which it can pull off a worthwhile awards show.
Like the now defunct annual UK Hiphop Awards, organisers planning these yearly disasters should put a stop to their ideas and reconsider way down the line, when perhaps the music and understanding of it is of a high enough level for the scene as a whole to not get laughed at or misrepresented.
Until then, how about the wasted time and money be simply spent on an annual celebration of the UK's best black music, free of nominations and awards, and utterly focused on a strong line up of live performances? That way organisers wouldn't be hiring seat fillers (more on that another time) and sensible commentators wouldn't be using up energy on groans such as this.