Best of 2015: Christian Hip Hop Awards
We conclude our Best of 2015 Awards with the Wade-O Radio Christian Hip Hop Awards.
With another successful year in Christian Hip Hop, we have experienced a slew of solid projects from veterans and rookies alike. Some make ground breaking moves, like releasing the first ever visual album ahead of an audio release to artists returning from hiatus, to artists leaving labels to chart topping albums making history. 2015 has been a memorable one for CHH. 2016 looks to be a promising one filled with new and fresh talent, coupled with passion and creativity.
As is our tradition here at the Wade-O Radio Show, we’ve pondered the year in Christian Hip Hop 2015 and offered our own take on the movers, shakers, and news makers that made the last 365 days so memorable.
Write-up contributions by Wade-O Radio Team members Sketch the Journalist, Aubrey, Craig, Rasheda, Daniel, Chanel, Jacob, and Mikaela.
Editor’s Note: Categories are in Alphabetical Order. The list is 4 pages.
Christian Hip Hop Awards
Album of the Year: John Givez – ‘Soul Rebel’
Choosing an “Album of the Year” is never easy. There is so much that goes into calling an album the best of that year. It’s not about mastering one particular skill or element. It’s not about record sales or impact on the genre solely. It’s about a combination of several fantastic elements. John Givez did just that on ‘Soul Rebel.’ John Givez didn’t do just one thing at an all time great level; he did multiple things.
The lyricism was executed with perfection, and the story telling and word play was amazing. The concept was flawless and done in a way that is unique to John Givez style. The production was also incredible, and it is more clever and ceriberal in it’s presentation. The production was made to support the concept and story of the album. You’ll still nod your head and enjoy the listening experience.
This record can also have an impact on the genre as a whole because it can change both the way we, as fans, consume music and how music can be made. We are used to just picking out the songs we like from an album and rarely ever listening to an entire record. ‘Soul Rebel’ was made to be consumed in a full listen. It’s like watching a tv show. Individual episodes can be good but it’s the series as a whole that leaves a mark. With that in mind, artists could consider doing more storytelling and conceptual lyricism. This is a record that is similar to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Good Kidd Maad City,’ in that it tells a long range conceptual story.
Delivering an album in that way makes an impact in a special way, unlike anything else. John Givez delivered a perfect album that deserves this award and any other praise it may receive.
(Also noted in our Best of 2015: Album Awards)
Artist of the Year: Andy Mineo – ‘Uncomfortable’
He literally started 2015 by encouraging fans to celebrate with a glass of Martinelli’s (perhaps a foreshadowing to the success he would achieve this year) and ended it by headlining his own tour designed to make attendees “Uncomfortable” with the status quo and spiritual sluggishness they may have allowed into their lives.
Whether he was making headlines for an answer in an awkward live TV interview or for penning a heartfelt song apology to his deaf sister, this was the year Andy Mineo took a great leap as a solo artist and proved to the world that he’s more than ready to assume the leadership role previously occupied by his Reach Records’ boss.
Best Recorded Performance: Dove Awards 2015 – KB feat. Mattie of For Today – “I Believe”
With what seemed to be the most highlighted night of CHH music, the Dove Awards showcased musical performances from Derek Minor, NF, Tedashii and KB. The most memorable and talked about being KB’s powerful performance.
At the 2015 Dove Awards in October Reach Records artist KB received rave reviews, by the Associated Press no less, for his performance of “I Believe” that featured dancers facing off against other dancers dressed as cops in riot gear before ultimately joining forces for a striking visual statement regarding this year’s reports of police brutality across the nation.
Comeback Artist of the Year: Canon
When news spread throughout the Christian hip hop community late 2014 that Reflection Music Group artist Canon was badly injured in a 20-feet fall into a creek bed, fans and artist alike were quick to come to the rapper’s aide. Canon suffered broken jaw, crushed ankle and concussion due to the fall. A Pay-Pal account was set up for him and his wife, and he began his long and difficult road to recovery.
Earlier in the year, video surfaced of Canon rapping on stage in Trinidad and Tobago. Lifted on the shoulders of two bodyguards, Canon rapped with the same passion he is known for. It was a surprise for some, but many were excited to see that he was recovering well through such a difficult ordeal.
Later in the year, Canon started releasing new music like “Grateful” and “The Warm-Up,” and also released the “Grateful” documentary, which featured Canon’s wife and label-mates discussing the accident and long road to recovery. Canon has comeback in 2015 with a tenacity and perseverance, like none other.
Canon survived a near-death experience and is a recipient of God’s grace, through his life being spared. Because of that, he is grateful. We are grateful.