New Orleans Hip-Hop Awards to honor past local artists

New Orleans Hip-Hop Awards to honor past local artists

Colin Mahar, Staff Reporter

The annual New Orleans Hip-Hop awards will be presented 7 p.m. Friday at the Joy Theater on Canal Street. Lawrence Parker, a revered hip-hop producer and community activist, founded the New Orleans Hip-Hop Awards five years ago.

“I wanted to use an award ceremony as a tool to keep artists motivated,” Parker said. “[To] pay homage to our past artists that never received due for what they had created as far as hip-hop and bounce in this area.”

The event serves as a way for local community leaders to pay tribute to the hardworking local artists, as well as to celebrate their impact on the unique musical heritage of the city. Local personality Shiney Green will host the ceremony, and the panel of judges will be comprised of individuals working in the NOLA hip-hop community, such as Tony Skratchere and DJ Hektik, among many others.

The NOLA hip-hop awards are a means to connect artists of the present with artists of the past to create a unified musical culture. The event also serves as a way to bring together different hip-hop artists from the area in a spirit of cooperation and artistic teamwork.

“For years and years, it’s always been if you are from this area you can’t work with this artist and so on, and I’m trying to fight that,” Parker said. “This year I’m trying to get these artists to realize how valuable their word and content is … [because an artist] can’t just keep rapping about only violence. It has to be a balance.”

Parker said he is hopeful that if he and his associates continue with the NOLA hip-hop awards and with other similar programs and endeavors, it will help the local hip-hop scene flourish into one of worldwide prominence.

“You won’t find anyone like [New Orleans musicians] around the globe,” Parker said. “Our style of music is going to be unique, the way we produce music is going to be unique, the way we say our words, the way we dress, everything is totally just us. It’s not like we’re going to mimic someone else.”

Parker is confident that, with time, New Orleans hip-hop will become just as prominent as the city’s jazz scene in terms of scope and critical recognition. He suggests hip-hop fans look out for up-and-coming NOLA artists such as LG, Young Greatness, Daniel Heartless, Iris P and scores of other talented individuals who will be featured at this year’s awards ceremony.