Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Too $hort A No-Show At Semi-Bammer BaMAs

Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 5:05 PM

BMAs%2007%20001.jpg --The Bigga Figga with Icon Perhaps not surprisingly for a first annual event, Sunday's Bay Area Black Music Awards didn't go completely smoothly. The show, held at Oakland's Scottish Rite Temple, started late. Several presenters didn't make it, due to various circumstances, ranging from delayed flights to pregnancy-related illness. Confusion was at times evident among the event's hosts. Yet even with all the missteps, the prevailing sentiment was more along the lines of "it's about time someone recognized local talent." Like the recent BARS Awards, the BMAs began with a celebrity-studded red carpet entrance -- which attracted plenty of black people dressed in their Sunday best while a marching band played an instrumental version of Mac Dre's "Thizzle Dance." Yet while the BARS event quickly disintegrated into a chaotic hyphy fest, the BMAs - which drew heavily from the religious contingent (no less than eight awards were given in the gospel category) were much more sedate. Churchgoing folk being more patient than the average hyphy-ite, they calmly waited for folks to present, perform or be given awards, and were rewarded with holy hip-hop from S.I.S.T.E.M., hot R&B from Jimmy Reign, and funky, soulful gospel from Pastor Alonzo Morris and the Inspired Catholic Voices -- a female a cappella trio who mixed Pointer sisters-like harmonies with Tina Turner-esque intensity. Interestingly, though, with such a strong Christian presence, the most powerful oratorical statement came from JT tha Bigga Figga, a Muslim, who urged middle-class backs not to turn their backs on inner-city youth. "The child you walk past could be the child who shoots your child," he said. Real talk. - Eric K. Arnold

R&B hottie Jimmy Reign BMAs%2007%20003.jpg

Pastor Alonzo Morris and choir BMAs%2007%20004.jpgn

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