San Diego Music Awards: Hip-hop blog launches write-in campaign for Mitchy Slick
Polls opened for the San Diego Music Awards yesterday. (To vote, click here. Voting ends Aug. 20.) As local artists send entreaties to their fans, hip-hop blog SDRaps.com is encouraging readers to vote for Mitchy Slick, a well-known gangsta rapper from Southeast San Diego, as a write-in candidate in the best hip-hop category.
It’s the latest development in an interesting debate over the hip-hop nominations, which some observers have criticized as out of touch with the local scene. As SDRaps.com founder Quan Vu (and CityBeat contributor) wrote last week, lesbian rapper MC Flow (who he dismisses as a “bad rapper”) is still in the running for best hip-hop artist, even though she hasn’t released a record in two years. Meanwhile, rappers from Southeast San Diego who have released records this year–including old-school gangsta rapper Black Mikey and Mitchy Slick, who released the well-received record The Yellow Tape–didn’t get nominated.
I think MC Flow said it best in the comments section: “Although I respect your opinion, I don’t think energy should be placed on criticizing artists and nominees —the REAL focus should be placed on the system and the fact that UNTIL the SDMAs put someone on the board from Access Hip-Hop or Armory or one of the local hip-hop stations that support local artists, the nominees will continue to reflect artists who play and crossover into the rock scene.”
In a later comment, she encourages disgruntled MCs to take matters into their own hands:
1. Start a write-in campaign for Mitchy Slick, encouraging all local fans to vote for him. The SDMAs includes write-ins for a reason; if you get enough votes, you will win.
2. Create an online petition demanding that you or someone else from the local scene (hopefully more than one person) be added to the committee. Get everyone you know to sign it and present it to the SDMA committee.
3. Picket outside the SDMA’s with some sort of visible message that hip-hop is not included/respected as it should be at the awards.
4. Create an additional petition that PERFORMERS at the SDMAs reflect the hip-hop community as well ( have you seen the performers for this year? LAME!)
With his announcement today, Quan Vu evidently took to heart MC Flow’s call to arms. The only problem I see is that those participating in the write-in campaign will be entered to win a free mp3 player–a bit of pay-for-play that I don’t think any election observer would stand behind. I’m not sure how the San Diego Music Foundation, which organizes the SDMAs, would feel about that.
Then again, I don’t know if the foundation has done much to stamp out the unseemly tradition of online ballot stuffing, which at least one artist has encouraged this year.
Update: Kevin Hellman, SDMF president and CityBeat publisher, tells me in an e-mail that getting an mp3 player “as a bonus for voting compromises things big time, unless its directly from the artist.”