Urban Music Awards, July 31
It seemed particularly appropriate that last Thursday's Urban X-Posure event to give props to the finest in the country's hiphop, reggae, R&B, soul and other communities that fall under the hollow designation of "urban" coincided with the kickoff of Caribana, although the St. Lawrence Centre affair was less costumes and dancehall jump-up than streamlined professionalism. Since the annual Urban Music Awards were born just five years ago, they've gone from a shakily organized low-budget nightclub affair to a swank Tele-prompted shindig complete with odd abstract set decor and a sweet CBC-TV deal. This year's version went off with barely a hitch, although hosts Janice Moffatt-Findlay (aka Shine TV producer and gospel goddess JEM ) and stand-up comic/Fluff E. Bunny alter-ego Jean Paul stumbled over the hackneyed script that was scrolling over a huge monitor dead centre in the St. Lawrence Centre auditorium.
Local hiphop crew BrassMunk scored a best-songwriter award, best music video went to K-OS for his dope Superstarr Pt. Zero clip. There were some killer dance routines by Dainty Crimes and Rukus , and a remarkably emotional special achievement presentation to Michie Mee . It fell upon ragga-rapper Snow to provide some lighter entertainment.
After Snow almost missed his chance to pick up NOW Magazine 's Readers Choice Award because he was outside smoking a spliff (maybe someone didn't "inform" the Informer he was up), the well-baked roughneck tried to improvise his way through presenting local reggae pioneer Winston Hewitt with a lifetime achievement trophy. Snow's spontaneous stream of incoherent toaster babble proved unintentionally hilarious.