A words night
Reno Hip-Hop Awards
“Reno just has a really thriving hip-hop scene,” said Dan Hubbard, founder of the Reno Hip-Hop Awards. “There is so much talent that it can really fill an award show.”
With the fourth annual show quickly approaching, the Reno Hip-Hop Awards has successfully recognized spectacular artists, with a vast array of stylistic characteristics, and every year has opened the eyes of more local music-lovers and hip-hop enthusiasts.
As the awards show continues to serve as a beacon for local art, the contributors and performers have been participating with increasing fervor, striving for the awards, as it serves as a validation for their hard work and creativity.
“It’s really insane how much talent there is and how many groups are releasing well-produced videos and well-mastered albums,” said Hubbard. “It’s got this feeling now that artists are planning months and months in advance because these are awards that people actually want to win.”
It is also becoming increasingly competitive for artists here, as more talent emerges onto the scene. It’s an unfortunate fact of the music business that one artist’s success is also that same artist’s secret. When a group finds something that works well, like a good producer or manager, they try to keep their new secret weapon all to themselves.
“In the Bay Area and Sacramento, it’s a very competitive scene,” said Hubbard. “Like, artists from out of town, if they get a good producer they try to hold them secretly to themselves, without letting other artists get word of what they’re doing that’s working so well.”
But according to Hubbard, this is not the case in Reno. Instead, here the artists choose to work together and strive for the success of the entire scene rather than just a single group or artist.
“People are really willing to work together,” said Hubbard. “Reno is really open to working with all kinds of people of different backgrounds, and they’ll work with different artists of different styles, doing shows together and even contributing on various albums.”
Reno has a cooperative culture evident between the individuals and businesses in the city that gives one the feeling of a small, tight-knit town, within a—slightly—larger city.
The Reno scene is very diverse, said Hubbard, owing to the fact that many musicians have come here from other places.
“We have New York MCs who have a sound like Wu-Tang, we have Texas MCs who sound like Paul Wall, and others from all these different cities and they all bring their own style,” he said. “It’s such a diverse scene, so any kind of hip-hop you like, there’s someone locally doing it because it’s such a transient city and a melting pot, and the hip-hop awards will really show it. You’ll have album of the year sound like a 50 Cent album, but then the song of the year will sound like a Wu-Tang track.”
Local rappers and hip-hop artists have been working for months, re-mastering their albums and polishing their performances.
“I’m excited to see how many new people we have,” said Hubbard. “We have a lot of new winners; people who are winning their first awards, and people who are under 21 winning their first awards.”