Tuesday, September 28, 2010
2010 SMES REVIEW
You've been patiently waiting for this recap and probably are all waiting for me to bash the Summit because I didn't win. No, silly rabbit. Because for me, it was not about winning. It was about about recognition. So before I get into what went down over the SMES weekend in Myrtle Beach, let me clarify a few things...
I, along with Wet Set Productions was nominated with 3 other NC promoters. 4 out of SC and 4 out of VA. This was the 8th running year of the SMES. Not only did I make the cut out of the whole NC, but exposed as 1 out of 4 out of 3 states. My V.P and I, Shae Foote, have worked very hard since May 2009 to brand and exposure our names and the Wet Set name, which was originally formed in Summer 2007. I'll take any credited appreciation and recognition because it's proof of progression and that's winning to me. So, NO i was not disappointed to not get the trophy. The trophy STILL came to NC! Its kinda hard to be disappointed when you loose to a big time event promoter, which I also noticed shared heavy involvement in the SMES... as Ed Lover would say, "c'mon son". I knew it wouldve either been Duncan Hines or Jknow- im located outta Eastern NC lol compared to Charlotte and a dude from Detroit lol. Shouts to JKnow Truth, kuz this dude really do go hard in the paint with the events.
First off, crazy shit started happening from the very beginning. I didn't get to call car rental places until Thursday evening, we were late picking up the rental, we didn't get to money gram our room reservations in, THEN we didn't even realize Shae's car was on E, so soon as she crosses the Greenville Airport Gate, her car cut off!! Then my brolic ass ends up pushing her car like 20 feet into the National Armory Guard parking lot. This is within like the 1st hour before we got on the road! I didn't even know I could push a damn car and as long as Shae has had that car, why all of a sudden did it decided to run out of gas as much as she travels?!
Here's a tip: GPS sucks. GPS took us around for, it seemed, an extra hour just to get to US-17. Either way, I drove the way down for like three and a half hours enjoying double replays of Derty Den's "Tony Soprano", Hugg E. Bear's "Enjoy the Show" and a repeat of the "Everybody Workin" demo disc. Here's another tip; Myrtle Beach streets are fucked up. I conclude that Kings Highway takes you everywhere in that city. Fuck what GPS says if you ever go. Just keep straight, fuck a bypass. Notice all the cursing. I feel the frustration as I type.
We almost died looking for 14th Ave. I'm at a yield green light trying to turn left. Now, I swear I didn't see any cars coming and I will say that there was a line of 3 cars in the opposite side at the yield light so that probably blocked my view from seeing this speeding brown van. It had to swerve not to hit me and I had to slam on breaks not to hit it. All I remember was Shae yelling "Oh my Gosh!" and me biting my lip, pushing the brake and closing my eyes. We pulled into a gas station parking lot to breathe and pray then back on Kings Hwy we went. Why couldn't our fellow Moon Criketz just wait for us so we could follow them? We still got lost because the infamous Joon (Black Cak travel agent lol) gave us wrong address. I swear he gave us South Beach and we needed to find South Ocean Blvd. Oh yea, I almost hit a white boy on a bike too. That wouldn't have been good. lol.
As you can see, the Wet Set life is pretty hectic no matter what we do. When we finally got to the hotel the view was amazing. Hotel right on the beach and we got it for the L-O!!!
Friday Sept. 24... In the lobby is where we met up with Joon Demery (the travel agent lol), Derty Den and Hugg E Bear aka #TeamLightSkin (thats another article lol). Got our key to the 7th floor. We bumped into Sha'Linda Jeanine as well. Soon as we got to the room we ran straight to the balcony. View was great but the hotel was full of middle aged white people. In case you havent noticed about me yet, im one of those stereotype comedians so race is an open subject to me. Anyways, our floor was like the only floor with black people. Real talk. The first thing on agenda was to go register before 6. So we took a 6 block drive following DJ Ike Gda to the Holiday Inn. We were on Media Relation passes, got our bands and browsed the venue. We missed the artist showcase and 4 seminars about management, entertainment careers, production and publishing which we probably didn't need but i'm sure were very valuable in information. The current seminar was one with Kenny Burns, famously known as the Lifestyle Specialist residing from Atl. http://thekennyburnsshow.com We didn't stay for that so we went to a networking lunch with Dj Ike Gda and Lex Promotions of Miami. (http://lexpromotions.com
"SMES KING OF THE RING" was the event we attended after we went back to hotel and took shots of Jose, which by the way wasnt a sponsor but a Wet Set sponsored drink lol. It was hosted by JKnow Truth (c'mon son) along with Venom and Dj Skillz. We walked in a little late. The freestyle battle was going on between SMES Artist Bobby Baggumz and Flames (there are too many rappers named Flames). The 2 rounds i saw between the 2 artists should've been won by Flames in my opinion plus dude had mad fan base in the room but he didnt win. Judges chose the SMES Artist Bobby Baggumz. Next thing i know, a fat dude start going wild taking the thought out of my head "its rigged!" lol. Yea, i thought it was too. Sorry but im not gonna lie. I mean, the last round the artists had to use JKnow Truth name within their freestyle and Bobby did kill that round but I thought Flames actually won under the basic terms of "FREESTYLE BATTLE". Doesn't matter either way, I wasn't a judge. I just sat back and watched all these guys yell and jump around until JKnow called a special battle between Bobby and the audience member, which was an artist also who later performed a song at the Awards.
The Beat Battle was hosted by same hosts and was better than the freestyle battle. Like OMG Becky, this really made my Friday night. First match was between "P Rukus" and "Unison", they tied 2 rounds and Unison moved on. Second match was between "Precise" and "Smiles". Precise killed bout rounds, Smiles was good the last round but Precise won. Which lead to the next match between "G Wiz" and "Unison". G Wiz won and went on to battle Precise and even tho Precise was hot as hell, Precise had the extra touch to win the Beat Battle. My favorite was "Precise" from Myrtle Beach, this white boy got skills.
After some networking and "Happy Juice" promotions, we watch Four Loko sponsored producer "Speedy" make a video in Holiday Inn parking with the SMES Models, took pics with JKnow and some other random guys and left for the room.
Once at the room, my alcoholic ass just wanted SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! Moon Criketz celebrated the small vacation in and out of like 3 different rooms joking drinking and enjoying the view. We all have worked very hard and deserved the weekend break. We were most definitely prepared for the Awards Show the next night. Not a nervous vein in any of us. Afterparties were at the Afterdeck with Dj B.Lord or at The Tunnel with DJ Skillz and K. Michelle. Everything else that happened in Myrtle Beach, STAYS on Myrtle Beach... lol
Saturday, Sept. 25... I awoke to business, anyway, with a hangover. Sound check for the guys "Everybody Workin" performance was at 10am and obviously no one knew. Derty Den pacing around in his business zone carrying a laptop & Joon there one minute and turn your head and he was gone. None of the other performers had even got in town yet but they pulled it all together. They rock. :) Somehow I fell back to sleep after they left. I obviously missed the Artist Showcase and a seminar about marketing records but I still got some contact information. Shae made it to network and get contacts down at the hotel and was back by 1:30pm.
As we checked email, got ready for the day and cleaned up we were face with bad news in a phone from here back in Greenville. A good friend of ours had passed away at a very young age. I wanna ask for a special moment of silence after you read this for Tyrone "Sick Ty" Bell Jr. I knew Sick as one of the funniest and inspirational guys in Greenville. I first met him when i worked with him at Faces Ultra Bar & Lounge from March 2009 to February 2010. He used to always get the mic sometimes during our Industry Night Wednesdays and freestyle his ass off. Sometimes they were serious and sometime just hilarious. He used to always give you this look or a stare then say something sarcastic. Especially if you didn't speak and i was good for walking around the club and not speaking because I'd be in the business zone. After finding out that news, there was no way I could make it to the Power Panel.
Shae and I basically sat on the balcony trying to accept that we were getting these texts and phone calls about his death. Definitely an unexpected moment. Eventually the guys got back and we started prepping for the Awards. Red Carpet started @ 5pm and it was time to put on for NC... Black Cak style.
Point black. All black. All focused. Happy Juice on deck. Makeup, check. Earrings, check. We were out. Shae and I got there first and observed the scene. Met a rapper out of VA and another one out of Florida named "Sauce". He asked who we came with and she told him we were nominated for Promoter of the Year and he hit her with a corny comeback, "you said model of the year?". SMH. He told us he'd buy us a drink once inside... we never got that drink.
Walking up towards The Afterdeck, which may I add is connected to a strip club, first thing I noticed was no red carpet. I was like "NOT AGAIN!" and Shae laughed. By the time our guys got there we all not only just walked in but, walked in front of the long line behind Derty Den and POW! I saw my Red Carpet. Good Job SMES.
We took our Red Carpet pictures ON ACTUAL Red Carpet then slid over to a "Paparazzi Stand" for free pics. It was a nice venue. It was actually on an actual Deck overlooking some water. Wasnt as big a crowd as i would expect. You would think that being its in its 8th year and having nominees from VA, NC & SC it would've been packed like sardines but it wasn't. It was a very good crowd although and from the comments of other guests, last year was supposedly more packed.
As we waited, I observed, met Facebook friends and took a few pictures. There were no drink specials so I asked for a gin and juice and they only had Tanqueray and some cheap ass bottom shelf gin. No Seagrams? Damn. I thought Burnetts and New Amsterdam were Gin Sponsors... If you know me, you know I love New Amsterdamn. Shit, I got the glass set but couldn't get it in my gin and juice. Eventually after a bunch of mingling and picture taking they finally announced it would start in 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes turned into like 30 minutes. Not to worry because I ended up networking with the Marketing Director of a website out of Greensboro. Now I swear she told me "Carolina Underground" was the name of the website but I can not find it. I do have her Twitter so here's some free promo Zuri, @diamondzuri. Follow her, tell her Wet Set sent you.
First category of the night: Video of the Year. All eyes on Drama Squad (#TEAMDUCE lol). Guess what? They won. They were all standing to the left of us and Shae and I will never forget the face of member "Smash". His facial expression and saying "Us?" repeatedly. YEA YOU DUDE!!! Finally got one. Nice how you gotta go out of state to bring one home. Oh, you don't like that comment? Its the truth. These guys have worked hard as hell and have been nominated in past NC Award shows but it took for them to travel out of state to take one back to Enfield, NC. Everybody Workin. And so started the chanting!! "EVERYBODY WORKIN!!" "EVERYBODY WORKIN!!"
Long story short, Black Cak took home 6 trophies. Derty Den won Best Male Recording Artist, Shelly B won Best Female Recording Artist, Manifest won Best Producer, Gettin It Together (G.I.T.) won Label of Year, Drama Squad won Video of the Year and DJ Ike Gda won the biggest award with the Bridging the Gap award. EVERYBODY W0RKIN!!! The host was comedian Marvin Dixon, and he pointed out the funniest thing at one point, "here he come again!". He was referring to Derty Den. Hugg E Bear accepted Shelly B's award. She couldn't make it due to a family emergency, and we definitely held it down for you Shellz!! I was most happy not just about Drama Squads win but for Manifest's win!! Let me quote what Hugg said after Mani's acceptance speech, "THATS MY MUTHAFUCKIN PRODUCER!!" #CLASSIC Hugg's... I love these guys.
There's nothing else to say. I could tell you what else happened afterward but I'll conclude that the strip club next to the Afterdeck is semi-racist. They employees of that venue made certain comments about the crowd out front of the Afterdeck and one of them made a statement to Shae.... but that's another article.
Everything else that happened in Myrtle Beach, stays in Myrtle Beach. Lol (psst... we partied)
Special thanks and shout out to everyone who rocked out with us, PhotoDrew and the Perfection Models (the Black Cak Photographer), to all the guys who put up with Shae and I's "Kat Stacks" acting and room raiding... XOXO