The HPMA Results' Implications For Local Hip-Hop
That was the text that we received when they announced the winner for the Best Latin Hip-Hop category Wednesday night at the Houston Press Music Awards, or as President Obama has been referring to them, "The Grammys, Only More Important."
For the things that Chingo Bling does well - though a substantial portion of his songs are Latino-themed ha-ha parodies that lose much of their luster after the initial listen, which has the effect of ostracizing him from hip-hop critics who aren't swayed by his hyperbolized nature, when he applies his wit to thoughtfully addressing issues such as immigration, he can be fairly effective - he was not the Best Latin Hip-Hop artist this past year.
The other two hip-hop categories - Best Mainstream Hip-Hop and Best Underground Hip-Hop - both had results that lead to more than a few emails/texts being shot our way, which led to several key discussions on the future of local hip-hop.
Hit the jump to see who won what, why they shouldn't have won, and who should take their places, as well as the effects that the results will have on the coming year in local hip-hop.
Best Latin Hip-Hop: Chingo Bling
Why He Won: Because he is, hands down, the best, smartest, most insightful marketer in Latino hip-hop. They count the number of votes when tallying the winners, yaknow.
Why He Shouldn't Have Won: Because he was only the third best rapper in that category, and maybe even the fourth (you can take your pick between him and Lucky for third place; we'll take Chingo). Both Coast and Preemo are several paces ahead of Chingo in all of the facets that you typically measure a rapper's worth in: General musicianship, lyricism, earnest intention.
To say that neither of them walking away with a trophy in this category is "only unfortunate" is like saying setting your penis on fire would be "only mildly irksome." Point to a Chingo song more impactful than Coast's "I Can't Complain" or more innovative than Preemo's "New Pistol" (a genuine Song of the Year contender), and we'll take it all back.
What Will Happen Now: Not much. Maybe Coast writes a brilliant song because his feelings were hurt that he didn't win, or maybe Preemo doesn't dick around as much and promotes his next album a bit harder. But that's about it. Chingo will continue to be the most popular Latino rapper in Houston and Justin Bieber will continue to be the most popular artist on the planet.
Best Mainstream Hip-Hop: Bun B
Why He Won: Because he featured on a ton of music this year -sometimes to great effect, sometimes because maybe he didn't have anything better to do that day - and released a hearty mixtape* that was very enjoyable. Also, a bunch of people that signed up solely to vote for Wild Mocassins or Skeleton Dick clicked his name because they recognized it.
*Trill OG likely didn't have much impact in the results, as it was released near the tail end of the voting process.
Why He Shouldn't Have Won: Because Devin's Suite 420 was slightly better than Bun's No Mixtape, and Z-Ro's Cocaine was far better than both. Ro whiffed hardcore on Heroin, so maybe that had something to do with him not winning?
What Will Happen Now: Well, as much as we'd like to think otherwise, the only one from the category group who probably really wanted to win was the Krunkquistadors, so not much will change for the other guys. Cham will continue to be purposefully aloof, Slim will continue to say inappropriate things on Twitter, Devin will finish filming the black-people version of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle he's been working on, Bun B will spend the next year defending all five of those Source microphones and Ro will continue flying into infants' rooms at night and grabbing them by their legs and whipping them out of their windows into trees. Same 'ol, same 'ol.
Why He Should Have Won: Because you can legitimately argue that he was the best, most complete rapper in the field of nominees.
Why He Shouldn't Have Won: Because he did not release very much new music this past year, while nearly all of the other acts did. Highlights include B L A C K I E's swarming Spred Luv EP, Hollywood F.L.O.S.S.'s House of Dreams and Kyle Hubbard's "New School Slang" that he snapped on and absolutely nobody talked about.
What Will Happen Now: Lots, hopefully, because there's one thing that we've learned covering this segment of Houston hip-hop: The guys in it are competitive like a motherfucker.
Our guesses as to what will happen in the coming year:
- First, because he's pulled off the ultra-rare three-peat, the Best Underground Hip-Hop award gets its name unofficially changed to either The Fat Tony or The Obi. We're leaning towards The Obi, because it sounds like an actual award; "And this year's Obi goes to..." See.
- Also, Tony gets all kinds of new nicknames, like "Mr. Three Times" or Mr. "3rd (a)Ward" or "Three-Time Tony" or whatever. Those are all pretty shitty, but whatev. We're working on it.
- Hollywood F.L.O.S.S. will be an absolute monster this year. When he was nominated last year in the same category, he was still just a pup. Fat Tony had him by a mile. This year though, F.L.O.S.S. could've walked out with the trophy and nobody would've been able to successfully argue why it was an upset. Though he probably won't say it, we're guessing that he was pissed that he didn't win, and will use that as motivation to go bonkers musically.
- He'll be in full-on "You Guys Totally Fucked Me Last Year So I'm Going To Wreck All Kinds Of Shit" mode for the next 11 months. He'll be like Jean-Claude Van Damme in Lionheart when the black guy told him that he bet all of their money on the other guy to win. To wit, the day after the HPMAs, a new song from F.L.O.S.S. popped up on the Rappers I Know site called "When The World's Against You." Consider that a good sign.
- hasHBrown, who somehow didn't get a nomination this year, will have his fingerprints all over a bunch of good music in 2010-2011 as well.
- As will The Niceguys.
- As will ATW.
- As will Hubbard.
- As will GFC.
- As will B L A C K I E.
- As will all of the guys more famous than the underground dudes but less famous than the mainstream ones. (Yung Redd, Scooby, Jay'Ton, J-Dawg, etc.)
- As will Preemo. And Coast. Speaking of, hopefully the Best Latin Hip-Hop award gets done away with and absorbed into this one. Or maybe make it to where you can only qualify for inclusion if all of your music is in Spanish. It just seems weird to be like, "Oh, you're Mexican? Well then you go in the Best Latin Hip-Hop category, little fella. Here, enjoy these chips and salsa while you're here." It's not like there's a Best Caucasian Hip-Hop category, yaknow?
- By the way, if there was a Best Caucasian Hip-Hop category, know that Kyle Hubbard would run that shit.
Are we missing any other predictions?