What are the Underground Music Awards?
Urban Threshold's Underground Music Awards is a national award show that breaks all of the rules of conventionalism. Unlike the Grammy Awards or the Billboard Music Awards, the Underground Music Awards were created to acknowledge and honor the achievements and contributions of unsigned and independent artists within the urban music scene. Every year there are incredible records released by independent labels and artists. Very rarely do the institutional accolades of the music industry reach or embrace independent music or the community of artists and fans who now represent 25% of all global music sales. Hence, the Underground Music Awards Program was born to fill that void.
The UMA's combine the elements of an award show, a music conference, an informational seminar, and an entertainment showcase into one lively event. Moreover, It features participants, from all over the world, representing the full spectrum of underground Hip Hop, R&B, Gospel, and Reggae music and fashion as a global phenomenon. Past media coverage of the UMA's include media coverage from MTV 2, Clear Channel's Power 105.1FM and All Hip Hop.com.
How long has the award show been in existence?
The Underground Music Awards has been going strong for 6 years. After 6 very successful years, Urban Threshold continues to make it its top priority to bring together music professionals, artists, DJ's, fans, media outlets and more to network, build relationships and celebrate the culture of independent urban music.
Who are some past winners and honorees?
The UMA's honor legends and future stars. Past winners and Honorees of the Underground Music Awards include: Slick Rick, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Red Alert, Dj. Kid Capri, MIMS, Styles P, MOP, Papoose, Remy Martin, Jean Grae, Killah Priest, Afu-Rah, Kool G. Rap, Lil Momma, DJ Red Alert, Ralph McDaniels, Cormega, DJ Kay Slay, Saigon, Joel Ortiz, Lumidee, and many more..
How does an artist or producer become nominated?
There are two phases involved in the nomination process:
PHASE 1: SUBMISSION PHASE
At the beginning of the year, the UMA Board issues a call for submissions for nomination consideration. In order to compete, contestants must submit a 2 to 3 song music package, a typed biography including a picture via email.
PHASE 2: NOMINATION PHASE
A nominating committee appointed by the executive board reviews the submissions. Once the committee has reviewed the submissions, they choose no more than 4 artists per category for nomination. In addition, the nominating committee can nominate artists who have shown considerable impact on the underground. Hence, the committee takes a close look at artists who are making noise online, on mixtapes, mixshows and college radio.
The nominees compete in the following categories:
1. Best Male Rapper 2. Best Female Rapper 3. Best Rap Group 4. Best R&B Male 5. Best R&B Female 6. Best Reggae/Dance Hall artist 7. Underground Producer of the Year 8. Best Indie Album 9. Best Contemporary Gospel artist 10. Best Dirty South Hip Hop song 11. Most promising Male unsigned Artist 12. Most promising Female unsigned Artist 13. Best live performance 14. Best Freestyle (rapper) 15. Best spoken word 16. Dime Piece Award (for most promising upcoming model) 17. Best Graffiti Artist 18. Best R&B Group Male 19. Best R&B Group Female 20. Male Artist of the Year 21. Female Artist of the Year And More
In addition there are special awards presented for: Lifetime Achievement, Community Give back, Best Website, A&R of the year, indie label of the Year, Best up and coming urban fashion designer, and Best underground DJ.
How are the winners determined?
The winners of the Underground Music Awards are determined via Online voting by the general public. A music clip and the name of each nominee within the individual categories is placed on Urban Buzz Factor.com. The voting process lasts for a month. The nominee who receives the most online votes wins for the category he/she is competing in.
What happens leading up to the UMA's?
We present a number of signature events leading up to the Annual Underground Music Awards. These artist showcase events are called `The Road to the UMA's.' We use the UMA signature events to promote our sponsors' goods and services, thus increasing the number of impressions and expanding our sponsors' visibility. In 2009, Urban Threshold is proud to present "The Underground Music Awards" concert showcase series. This innovative showcase series combines the power of music, community and information. It heightens awareness of local and national community projects. Our goal is to bring awareness about the UMA's and to use Urban Music to make a difference in people's lives.
Where are the UMA's held?
For the past 3 years, the UMA's have been held at the world famous BB Kings concert hall in the heart of Times Square, NYC. BB Kings has been an ideal venue for the awards show. The breathtaking main space of BB KINGS is classical in form and spirit: The two-tiered, horseshoe-shaped seating (booths & tables) centered around the 30- foot stage provides up close and personal views of all performances. The two 8-foot big video screens provides breathtaking live footage. In 2009, we intend to present the 7th Annual UMA's at the world famous BB Kings Theater in Times Square once again.
Who attends the UMA's?
Participants in the UMA's include: celebrities, unsigned artists, independent record Labels, publishers, fashion executives, A&R's, film makers, producers, internet companies, distributors, booking agents, journalists, retailers, lawyers, songwriters, models, DJ's, and much more.
What is the future of the UMA's?
We intend to expand the Underground Music Awards brand and embark on a College Tour, which will feature some past UMA winners and other special guest. In addition, we plan on presenting the UMA's in LA, Miami, Atlanta and Houston. And finally we are in talks with the Fuse Network and MTV to bring the UMA's to national television.
REVIEW OF THE 6TH ANNUAL UNDERGROUND MUSIC AWARDS BY YO RAPS.COM
This past weekend was the 6th annual Underground Music Awards at the BB King Theater in New York City. The event all around was amazing. If anyone questions if Hip-Hop is alive, they obviously weren't at the UMA's.
Hip-Hop was alive and well on Aug 10th, and to top it off the event was sold out. Over 1000 attendees: nominees, VIP's, and fans filled the BB King Theater in support of an event that was all about the up and coming artists in the underground. No multi million dollar headliners, no corporate big time media TV outlet, no outrageous budgeted event, but an event built to support the artists on their way up and it achieved its goals with flying colors.
Before the event, the street outside the BB King Theater had people lined up eagerly awaiting entrance or trying to buy tickets. Between networking, interviews, and camps promoting, there was nothing but love felt on the street and that feeling contained to the main event.
Inside, the event was hosted by Hot 97's own Dee Vasquez and on the turntables DJ Jazz spun some of the hottest records of up and coming artists and nominees. There were live performances, two that stood out were from nominees Bang Bang Boogie which had Cuban Link with them, and Ru 1 who had Red Cafe and DJ Envy with them during their performances, the presenters ranged from C-Mil$ to Slick Watts, the winners ranged from Skyzoo to Focus to Donny Goines and there was even two up and coming designers who showed off their swim suit collections.
The entire night was a great feel for how diverse Hip-Hop is. The unity and respect, which were the theme of the night, were felt by everyone who was in attendance. Two of the biggest highlights of the night hands down were when Hip-Hop pioneers Slick Rick and Grandmaster Flash received awards. To have two of the originators of Hip-Hop in the building to support the underground movement was something words can't describe. Over all the night was amazing.
Thank you to all the Yo! Raps supporters, Yo! Raps walked away with the win for "Best Website" of the year. As the editor for the Next 2 Blow Section, it was good to meet face to face so many artists who I have interviewed or read their interviews, and to feel the love and the support directly from the artists face to face for what Yo! Raps is able to support them it makes me speechless. I was honored to be a part of the event and represent Yo! Raps.
- By So Sincere
"THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF SHOWCASES IN NYC, BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE UNDERGROUND MUSIC AWARDS SHOW".......The Village Voice
OVERVIEW OF 4TH ANNUAL UMA'S
The 4th Annual Underground Music Awards was held on Sunday, August 20th 2006 at the world renowned BB Kings in Times Square New York. The event was attended by over 1000 people. The event had a party like atmosphere. Many celebrities mingled with the audience.
Hosted by Mad Linx of BET's Rap City, the UMA's was organized by Urban Threshold Inc., a multi- faceted company that caters to the urban community through music, fashion and entertainment. Mad Linx carried the night with vibrant energy and crowd- pleasing charisma. Special guest appearances included renowned producer Crucial Keys, M.O.P., DJ Red Alert, DJ Kay Slay, Jae Millz, Maino, Saigon, MTV's Sway, and Russell Simmons Music Group Recording/Def Jam recording artists Black Buddafly.
The show honored those artists and producers who have made a significant impact over the past year and have contributed specifically to the development of the Underground/independent music arena. The nominees were posted online for two months, giving fans the opportunity to vote for their favorites. Special awards were presented to DJ Red Alert for Lifetime Achievement and Rap super Duo MOP received the "Impact Award."
BB Kings was an ideal venue for the awards show. The breathtaking main space of BB KINGS is classical in form and spirit: The two-tiered, horseshoe-shaped seating (booths & tables) centered around the 30-foot stage provided up close and personal views of all performances. The two 8-foot big video screens provided breathtaking live footage.
The theme for the 4th Annual Underground Music Awards was "Feel the Power of the Underground." Figh Klub Champion Serius Jones walked away with 2 awards and Underground Rap Lord Big Lou walked away with 3 awards including the award for Underground song of the Year for his song "Takin' Over.Throughout the evening the audience was blessed with performances from a variety of artists such as R&B songstress Lafonda, R&B singer/dancer Matthew Finley, female rapper Quintescence, rapper Big Lou, rapper Big Gov, rap group Meal Ticket, rapper KO, rapper The Complexx, RU1 Records, R&B group LuvSong, midwest artists Dex and Bodaiga and much more. Additionally, there was a scorching fashion show by Finesse Models Inc. All in all it was a great night for Underground Urban Music.- The Hip Hop Press