Junos Failed to Represent

When the nominations for tonight’s Juno Awards were announced way back in February, I was very excited to see how well hip-hop had been represented. I looked forward to a great show.

Now that the closing credits have rolled, I feel the need to vent my frustrations. The Junos didn’t live up to their incredible potential. They talked the talk but failed to walk the walk.

My biggest frustration was that the rap award was not televized. I have never seen such an impressive list of nominees since the rap category was added back in 1991. D-sisive, Drake, Eternia and Moss, Ghettosocks, and Shad were all up for the award.

I was really pulling for Eternia. I would have loved to see her receive some Juno love. She deserves it! I was tweeting about that yesterday when it was announced that the award had already been handed out.

It’s a shame that the rap category was left off of the television broadcast. We should have seen that a woman was actually up for the rap award, whether or not she won. We should have seen D-sisive, who has been dropping amazing records at a breakneck pace for the past few years. We should have seen underground sensation Ghettosocks. We should have seen the amazingly talented Shad. If any of these artists had won, I would have been happy. But it would have been even better to see them all recognized on national television.

It turns out that Shad won but he was given the award at a small gathering the day before the actual award ceremony. Didn’t we learn anything from 1998? That was the year the Rascalz refused to accept their award due to the lack of public acknowledgement of rap music and hip-hop culture from the Canadian Academy of Recorded Arts and Sciences.

The show did have a few nods to hip-hop but it really wasn’t enough. Drake tried his best to represent hip-hop culture every time he took to the stage for his hosting duties, which was nice to see.

A montage was aired a few times that showed Maestro Fresh Wes, the very first recipient of the rap award. He also introduced a performance with fellow rapper Classified but it was a rock performance and not a rap one. A tiny video clip featured a few seconds of Michie Mee as well.

I was impressed to see K’Naan win single of the year for the great rendition of his song “Waving Flag” that included a who’s who of Canadian talent billed as Young Artists for Haiti. The song is absolutely beautiful.

I watch the Juno Awards every single year and I appreciate the celebration of Canadian Music. I always pay special attention to the amazing talent we have in this country.

I also understand that some awards need to be handed out prior to the broadcast, otherwise the show would go on until everyone had to start work in the morning. But I find it completely unacceptable that rap music is often swept aside.

Hip-hop should have received a special tribute on this 40th edition of the Juno Awards. After all hip-hop is nearly that old itself and has a rich history in this country. We should have seen a medley of rap hits like the one put together for the folk and rock songs of the 1970s.

I hope more people will be this vocal about this lack of hip-hop at the Junos. I hope this never happens again.