Tuesday, March 30, 1999

On-line Hip-Hop awards

From the basement of Time café to the basement of Tramps I went trippingly along. Tramps was the venue for the On-line Hip-Hop awards on Tuesday, March 30th and there was quite a buzz about this event. The lines snaked down the street in two directions and not even VIPs like Bob Ponce (WWWAC President), who was a presenter giving an award, and other press could gain access. Once we got through the clan of Bruto-bruiser-bouncers, we were frisked and badged. Cecilia Pagkalinawan (president, Boutique Y3K) was stationed at a case full of t-shirts and other promotional items. Looking hip and cute in her purple hip-hop zippered sweatshirt she showed us the t-shirts, MOUSE (www.mouseny.com) mouse pads, and other goodies one could purchase, with proceeds going to MOUSE. Tom Tuomela (senior manager, marketing and merchandising, TWEC.com) showed us downstairs where the artists hung out before the show. The slightly smoky basement with mismatched threadbare sofas and weathered cocktail tables was the holding tank for various artists such as Heltah Skeltah and "Rap City" cable show host Joe Clair, who was opening the awards ceremony. A. Buttah from Natural Elements and The Last Emperor were hangin' out and polishing off some complementary Buffalo wings and potato salad. Chris Smyk and Christian Urich, who perform with King Sun, were taking it easy on a low sofa and I chatted with Mark Prindle of TSIPR. Tom Tuomela educated me on the Trans World Entertainment Company (twec.com) and how they are a major holding company for major music retailers. If you bought a record (or CD) in the last few years from a store (other than Tower and Virgin) you probably bought it from one of their properties. They have over 250,000 titles of music! Two other twec.com-ers were busy at work too: Eric Fribush was setting up the on-line chat that Jim Smith would be moderating. Back upstairs were Kamuti Kiteme of SonicNet and Andrew Raisej (Digital Club Network and MOUSE) along with over 100 other hippers, hoppers, and rappers!