Urban Griots Nominees Announced!

MNSWA and Urban Griots have announced their nominees for the Urban Griots Spoken Word Awards Show this Friday, and it’s so exciting seeing what we’ve got going on.
Here’s the awesome thing. YOU can vote for your favorite contenders in each category. Here’s the link to the survey, unfortunately I haven’t been able to get most of the audio tracks to play- maybe that’ll be fixed sometime this week (it’s so hard to make sure all of these things are working.) This people’s choice ballot, and the announcement of the nominees makes the whole Awards Show thing just a little more “real”.

I’ve also posted the Urban Griots/MNSWA press release over on the right side of the page under the “pages” links. You can also just click this link to check it out. But here’s the nitty gritty- this year’s nominees:

1. SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR (MN) (MALE) (The most accomplished Spoken Word artist, as an artist, as a producer, as an organizer, or all of the above.)
Khary ’6 is 9′ Jackson
Ibé Kaba
Kyle ‘El Guante’ Myhre
Bao Phi
Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria
Truthmaze

2. SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR (MN) (FEMALE) (The most accomplished Spoken Word artist, as an artist, as a producer, as an organizer, or all of the above.)
Shá Cage
Desdamona
Lorena Duarte
(i am) Isis
Tish Jones

3. SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR (NTL/INTL) (MALE) (The most accomplished Spoken Word artist, as an artist, as a producer, as an organizer, or all of the above.)
Taalam Acey
Ainsley Burrows
Leonard Cohen
Paul Flores
Shane Koyczan
Giles Li
Anis Mojgani
Dwayne Morgan
Adam Pergament
Saul Williams

4. SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR (NTL/INTL) (FEMALE) (The most accomplished Spoken Word artist, as an artist, as a producer, as an organizer, or all of the above.)
Jessica Care Moore
Mayda Del Valle
Rachel McKibbens
Ishle Park
Sunni Patterson
Queen Sheba

5. SPOKEN WORD COLLECTIVE/BAND OF THE YEAR (MN) (The most accomplished Spoken Word collective or band.)
Ancestor Energy
Arkology
Edupoetic Enterbrainment
Palabristas
Poetic Assassins

6. SLAM POET OF THE YEAR (MN) (The most accomplished Slam poet.)
Sierra DeMulder
Homeless Ryan K
Khary ’6 is 9′ Jackson
Michael Mlekoday
Kyle ‘El Guante’ Myhre

7. YOUTH SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR (MN) (The strongest youth Spoken Word artist that is under 21)
Chantz Erolin
Brittany Delaney
Danez Smith
Kelsey ‘Pyro’ Van Ert
Berato Wilson

8. NEW SPOKEN WORD ARTIST OF THE YEAR (MN) (The strongest new Spoken Word artist in the community. They cannot have been a part of the Spoken Word for more than 1 year.)
Kyra Calvert
Aimee Renaud
Cole ‘Ink Tea’ Sarar
Jake Virden
Adrian Waters

9. TWO TONGUES AWARD (MN) (The most noted Spoken Word + Hip Hop artist that most fluently navigates between the Spoken Word + Hip Hop art forms.)
Desdamona
Dessa
Tish Jones
Kyle ‘El Guante’ Myhre
Truthmaze

10. EVENT PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (MN) (The individual or organization noted for the quality and/or quantity of Spoken Word events they produce in the community.)
e.g. bailey + Shá Cage
Desdamona + Kevin Washington
Bao Phi
Frank Sentwali
Wonder Dave + Allison Broeren

11. MUSIC PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (MN) (The most noted musical producer who works most consistently with Spoken Word artists.)
Brandon All Day
Father Time
Platinum Mind Entertainment
See More Perspective
Tom Scott

12. INNOVATOR AWARD (MN) (An artist that has innovated the Spoken Word art form and/or the community in significant ways.)
Shá Cage
Carolyn Holbrook
Bao Phi
J. Otis Powell!
Truthmaze

13. COMMUNITY ORGANIZER AWARD (MN) (An artist that has mobilized the Spoken Word community in significant ways.)
e.g. bailey + Shá Cage
Carolyn Holbrook
Tou Saiko Lee
Bao Phi
J. Otis Powell!

14. ARTS ACTIVIST AWARD (MN) (An artist that is committed to activism through Spoken Word)
Juliana Hu Pegues
Bao Phi
Tou Saiko Lee
Kyle ‘El Guante’ Myhre
Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria

15. CULTURAL AWARD (MN) (An award to recognize artists that are honoring, celebrating and/or influencing their cultural/community through the art of Spoken Word.)
Ibé Kaba
Tou Saiko Lee
Palabristas
Bao Phi
Bobby Wilson

16. BEST DJ AWARD (MN) (The most noted DJ who works most consistently with Spoken Word artists and/or spoken word events.)
DJ Drea
DJ Fundamentalist
DJ Mix.well
Thuyet Nguyen
Tiyo Siyolo

17. SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (MN) (An award to recognize artists and contributions that don’t easily fit into any category.)
Dancin’ Dave
Juanita Espinosa
minnesotamicrophone.com
Moira Pirsch
J. Otis Powell!
Laura ‘Fluffy Singler’ Winton

18. EVENT OF THE YEAR (MN) (The most noted Spoken Word event of the year, that stands out in terms of concept, production and performance.)
National Poetry Slam 2002 (SASE: The Write Place/Poetry Slam Inc.)
?Nation of Immigrants? CD Release Party (Bao Phi/The Loft)
Nu Griots Showcase (The Givens Foundation)
The Final Word!: The Poets of the City Super Show (Frank Sentwali/Sentwali Entertainment)
Sekou Sundiata’s The 51st (Dream) State (Walker Art Center)
Singers of Daybreak Spoken Word Conference 2001 (MN Spoken Word Association (MNSWA))

19. BEST OPEN MIC, SLAM OR SPOKEN WORD SERIES (MN) (The most noted Spoken Word regular or seasonal/periodic open mic, or Spoken Word series.)
Equilibrium Series (Bao Phi/The Loft)
Poets Groove (Desdamona + Kevin Washington/Blue Nile)
Quest for the Voice Youth Slam Series (MN Spoken Word Association (MNSWA)/Various Venues)
Soap-Boxing (Matthew Rucker/Artist Quarter)
Voices Merging Open Mic (Voices Merging/U of M)

20. BEST RADIO SHOW AWARD (MN) (The most noted Spoken Word or Spoken Word related radio show, and or podcast, that is dedicated to showcasing Spoken Word artists and work.)
Con Safos Radio (Hamline University)
Tehuti: From the Griot to the MC (KFAI Radio)
Urban Griots (KMOJ Radio)
Write On RaDio! (KFAI Radio)

21. SPOKEN WORD ALBUM OF THE YEAR (MN) (The most noted Spoken Word album of the year.)
Amber People – Sha Cage
Desconocidos – Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria
Refugeography – Bao Phi
Nation of Immigrants – Various Artists
Words Will Heal the Wound (Volume One) – Various Artists

22. SPOKEN WORD ALBUM OF THE YEAR (NTL/INTL) (The most noted Spoken Word album of the year.)
Amethyst Rock Star – Saul Williams
Apothecary Rx – Carl Hancock Rux
Broken Speak – i was born with two tongues
Code Blues – Taalam Acey
Dead Man Walking – Amir Sulaiman
Saul Williams – Saul Williams
The Message – Queen Sheba
Underground – Broadcast Live

23. SPOKEN WORD SONG/TRACK OF THE YEAR (MN) (The most noted single Spoken Word recording of the year. It must be a track that has been recorded and released, even if it is independently or DIY release.)
17 – Edupoetic Enterbrainment (from 17 (Single))
America – e.g. bailey (from America (Single))
My Words – Sha Cage (from Amber People)
North Side Blues Song – Truthmaze (from Expansions + Contractions (Psoems 1:1))
The Secret to Life in America – Ed Bok Lee (from ?Nation of Immigrants?)
Write On! – Younique (from Real Spit)

24. SPOKEN WORD SONG/TRACK OF THE YEAR (NTL/INTL) (The most noted single Spoken Word recording of the year. It must be a track that has been recorded and released, even if it is independently or DIY release.)
Feb. 4 ’99 (For All Those Killed by Cops) – Mike Ladd (from Welcome to the Afterfuture)
I Got the Blues (125th Street Blues) – Asheena McNeil (from People’s Poetry Gathering)
All I Wanted Was To Be Loved Aloud – Tshaka Imhotep
Magic Bullet – Sekou Sundiata (from Longstoryshort)
My Pen (Original) – Rha Goddess (from Soulah Vibe)
Om Nia American – Saul Williams (from Amethyst Rock Star)
Poetry Does Not Belong to You – Queen Sheba (from The Message)
Song for Trent Lott… – Roger Bonair (from 5 Past 13: a little bit LOUDER (Volume One))

25. BEST SPOKEN WORD FEATURE ON AN ALBUM (MN) (The most noted guest Spoken Word feature on an album. This is a feature that is an independent track on an album, rather than a guest spot on a song. An example is Ursula Rucker’s features on the Roots albums, which are independent tracks on the albums, not guest spots on a Roots song. It can be an album of any genre of music)
Desdamona on Press Rewind (from Cheap Cologne’s Something Random)
Douglas Kearney on A Word From Our Sponsor (from Nazirah P. Mickey’s Nazirah’s Playhouse)
Nomi on King Philip (from Power Struggle’s Arson At The Petting Factory)
Mark Murphy on Out Loud (from Wookiefoot’s Domesticated: The story of nothing and the monkey)
Slug on Pride’s Paranoia (from Varietals (Volume One) Compilation)

26. BEST SPOKEN WORD FEATURE ON A TRACK (MN) (The most noted guest Spoken Word feature on a song/track. It can be a track of any genre of music. It must be a track that has been recorded and released, even if it is independently or DIY release.)
Douglas Kearney on Crossroads of Convenient Stores (from Bao Phi’s Refugeography)
Madame Mimi on The Last Poet (from e.g. bailey’s America (Single))
Emmanuel Ortiz on Painkillers (from Big Quarter’s Cost of Living)
J. Otis Powell! on This Cat is Out (from Donald Washington’s This Cat is Out)
Rhapsode on Planet Remix (from Desdamona’s The Ledge)
Truthmaze on Moving On (from Leroy Smoke’s Love Hustle Theater)

27. BEST SPOKEN WORD/HIP HOP THEATRE PRODUCTION (MN) (The most noted Spoken Word/Hip Hop Theatre production created and/or produced by a Minnesota based Spoken Word/Hip Hop Theatre artist.)
2704 (Pangea World Theatre’s Bridges Project)
LP’s Patriot Acts (Pangea World Theatre’s Bridges Project)
Poetic Assassins (Poetic Assassins)
for colored girls and black boys: the remix (Soulistic Playhouse)
Waking Up Ghetto (Karma the Oddest Goddess/Soulistic Playhouse)

28. BEST SPOKEN WORD/THEATRE PRODUCTION (NTL/INTL) (The most noted Spoken Word/Hip Hop Theatre production created and/or produced by a national Spoken Word/Hip Hop Theatre artist, that has been produced in Minnesota.)
Sekou Sundiata’s The 51st (Dream) State (Walker Art Center)
Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s the break/s (Walker Art Center)
Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word (Chicano Messengers/Macalester College/Tru Ruts’ Freestyle Theatre/The Loft’s Equilibrium Series)
Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam (Hennepin Theatre Trust)
Zell Miller III’s The Evidence of Silence Broken (Tru Rut’s Freestyle Theatre/Pillsbury House Theatre)

29. BOOK OF THE YEAR (MN) (The most noted book, chapbook and/or collection. of poetry, released by a Spoken Word artist.)
Bridge Across Atlantic – Ibé Kaba
Fear, Some – Douglas Kearney
Outside the Lines – Palabristas
Real Karaoke People – Ed Bok Lee
Shotgun Samurai Vampire Hip Hop – Kyle ‘El Guante’ Myhre

30. BEST SPOKEN WORD RECORD LABEL (NTL/INTL) (The most noted Spoken Word and/or Spoken Word related record label. The label needs to have produced more than one Spoken Word or Spoken Word related release.)
Ozone Music
Oya Exclusive
PoetCD.com
Strange Famous Records
Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records

31. MN SPOKEN WORD HALL OF FAME (MN) (Minnesota has a long history and tradition of Spoken Word that should be recognized and highlighted. This category is to honor that tradition and those that have laid the foundation for the community today. The artists nominated for this category must have been working the in Spoken Word community for at least 7 years, and have made significant contributions to the Spoken Word community in Minnesota and/or beyond.)
Louis Alemayehu
Carolyn Holbrook
David Mura
J. Otis Powell!
Marcie Rendon

32. MN SPOKEN WORD HALL OF FAME (NATIONAL) (The national Spoken Word movement also has a long tradition that should be recognized and highlighted. Because Minnesota has a long standing focus on the history and tradition of the art form, we included this category in order to recognized artists that have made significant contributions to the development of the Spoken Word art form.)
Amiri Baraka
Allen Ginsberg
Gil Scott Heron
The Last Poets
Patricia Smith
Marc Smith
Sekou Sundiata
Anne Waldman
Bob Holman

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About Cole

A thumb among fingers. A writer, a photographer, a lover of all things citrusy.
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