*Whenever you say the words Hip-Hop, you know right away it’s going to be a deviation from the norm and when you add the word female in front of those words, that’s taking it up a notch because it’s going to be more than just hundreds of gold chains around a brotha’s neck.
We’re talking rad manicures, rad pedicures, rad fills and nail extensions, rad hair, rad shoes, rad makeup, raw, bold and on fire…think Lil Kim and shazaam. Well, that’s the image I see.
However, when I arrived (downtown LA) at the Radisson Hotel at Exposition and Figueroa from the outside everything couldn’t have been tamer than valium time at the convalescent home. Until … I hit the red carpet on the second floor. Surprise!!! One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.!
Good lords of mercy, there was an impressive media line, but begeesh, there were video media outlets mixed in with photogs, photogs and then reporters, not the traditional red carpet line, with print media first, followed by electronic press as in traditional red carpets. Okay, now, we’re talking hip-hop. Gottz to be a little helter skelter.
I was on double duty escorting bad girl of comedy Luenell (host for the event) on the red carpet and then reporting for media coverage inside. Paps were all over Missy Lu and her beautiful daughter Da’Nelle. Getting through the red carpet traffic though was like driving your car on a Parisian street.
Trust me the French are worst than the Mexicanos in TJ, driving diagonal, straight and all kinds of zig zag directions in their Peugeots and Citroens. Once inside the ballroom area, there was seating for about 500 but attendance was sparse. The host was awaiting directions. There was last minute positioning of the podium for Luenell.
People don’t understand that artists are often much smaller than their larger than life screen images. Lu barely stands 4’11” and the podium was just two inches short of that, but leave it to Lu Lu girl to make funny out of grizzly. She dragged her personal podium along with her.
No, it was too, too laugh out loud hysterical.. Luenell is such a seasoned comic, it doesn’t matter what the circumstance is, she knows how to roll with it and make it work and that was so evident on this night.
There was a wonderful pre-show dinner menu of tossed salad, wheat dinner rolls, stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes and asparagus and triple chocolate cake for dessert. But, the orange drink became the subject of Luenell’s die-laughing routine. It’s true, we couldn’t figure out the orange drink that looked like Kool Aid. What was it? I came to my own conclusion that it was colored water. But…but I’m not slamming now, it was quite refreshing, interesting and subject of conversation.
Once on stage, I gotta say, Luenell pulled the show together by giving some stage directions to the production crew. She made light and funny about everything. She really earned her money that night. She worked, the stage and worked the audience into a laughing frenzy (she took over the room), not to mention her ongoing conversation with P. Diddy on her cell skit. At this point it was a picture of the convalescent homies meeting the compadres at Camarillo meeting the characters in Pen II all on xenadrine shakes. If you ever wanted to lose yourself, this was the place to do it.
Performances were exceptional. I applaud all the performers for a superb and enlivening show.
Among the outstanding artists included Sparky D who also gave her testimony of having been a drug user now happily clean and sober. She made sure to give God honor and glory. Rapper Monay, Ms. Toi, Asia Lynn, Suzana Samone and squeaky speaking Michel’Le were all superb. How Michel’Le she can sing so boldly and switch to her mousy voice is just unbelievable. You may recall her mega hit “No More Lies” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IvtYAp7rVY
The big treat of the night was Cyndarella Couture fashion show by Big Chang. This was a not to be missed presentation by some of the most beautiful ladies of color representing all shades of black and brown and beige hues. The designs were super sexy hip-hot. The paps in the room did backward flips to get the photos. One photographer decided to lie flat on his back and shoot in an upward angle on to the stage but he was quickly reprimanded by security. Videographers made sure their lenses zoomed in on these statuesque goddesses. I was watching one video operator who looked like his eye was looking through a peephole. What outfits (!!!) One in particular that caught my eye was a turquoise fishnet skin tight body suit, and a neon green flashy futuristic one piece jump suit with cutouts in strategic places. The show was PHENOMENAL!!!! By the time I left at 11:45PM, the place was packed. I wanted to stay for the after party and hear the names of the winners for the album of the year, but alas, midnight rapper, Lily White was softly chanting my name in my right ear, calling me to her silky sheets and welcoming down pillows.
The event, orange drink and all was crunkin’! It was like a Fanaka experience, representin’ hip-hop as it should be. In the press release issued by the event, it states, “…the 2010 Annual Female Hip Hop Honors is an award show that breaks all of the rules of conventionalism…” and that my friends it did.
Awardees: Female artist and Author Queen Pen (domestic violence survivor)
Kimberly Rivers Roberts (humanitarian and Academy Award nominee). Pink Dollaz received “Breakout Artists of the year.” Congrats to all
For complete names of winners, honorees and information log on to www.undergroundgirlsofhiphop.com (sponsor)
Shout out to Shylise and Ernest for keepin’ in real.
I look forward to next year!!!! – Kleo out.
Eugenia Wright is a former actress turned syndicated columnist/publicist. You may write to her at [email protected]