So, 10 years of grime music, Jamaica's 50th year of independence and the year which saw Afrobeats experience crossover chart success, some mainstream coverage and a lot of underground black club scene love, MOBO Awards have ignored all of these opportunities to celebrate. Something to celebrate in my opinion, cos you know, it's only majority of the UK's black population that comes from Africa and Caribbean.
Who do they give the Lifetime Achievement to? Dionne Warwick? And outstanding acievement to TLC. No disrespect to either of them, but once again they couldn't find anyone British/Jamaican/African to celebrate?
Remember when UK funky had the club scene going wild and they had Gracious K perform by the tables? Or when Gyptian had one of the biggest songs of the year was in attendance to collect his Best Reggae Award, but no performance?
This seems to be another one of those. I know for a fact that D'Banj would have been an outstanding performance on the night and actually represented what MOBO's were about when they started. I don't know if there's a schedule conflict. I really hope that is the reason. What about Wizkid? P Square? Ice Prince? They could have filled the gap. I mean, even BET had Sarkodie in their Hip Hop Awards cypher.
Despite what anyone says, like Black History Month, MOBOs are still necessary. Both platforms have the potential to be credible, relevant and worthy of their time. However, they insist on pandering to those that don't really care or ignore our own achievements in favour of Americans. As much as we enjoy and are exposed to American culture, it's a bit much of a much. We see it at every other awards show. This is the only time we have something to showcase us, and, well, like every time before it's the same old story. Guess that's what happens when the organiser started out putting on Jazz and Soul nights. Definitely representative of the great black British tradition.
What can't we pay respects to Omar, Maxi Priest, Gabrielle, Fela Kuti, Lucky Dube, Gregory Isaacs... You know, the people no one else pays attention to? Yeah, the same reason the awards were created, no?
But hey, at least we had ends-representative and self-appointed youth speaker Adam Deacon co-hosting with über, urban diva Miquita Oliver. And why do JLS keep winning awards? They aren't MOBO. If pop-r&b group Blue who had songs produced by Stargate (Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Rihanna etc.) weren't MOBO, nor were S Club 7 (they had black boy Brandon), why are JLS?
MOBO's mentality of bum America and forget about where black people in this country come from is something common amongst urban outlets; be it blogs, magazines, newspapers, TV or radio stations. It's all the same. Most would rather report on Justin Bieber's r&b-attempts and Rihanna's pop-dance records than something authentic from Jamaica/Caribbean, Africa and many times UK. It's all about the money and hype over building something respectable and representing in addition to getting money and hype.
This is why I say it's pointless afrobeats fans fight against bashment fans over who has the more popular music when neither of us are represented on basic levels where they should be.
I can't lie and say the performers of current scene aren't the right ones, big up. Not like they had much choice on booking those they have who managed to get somewhere without MOBOs. Nominations weren't stupid this year either. But show some love the foundations of the B without hopping on a plane to America all the time.