Lee Hawthorn

Being Human 2016: Refusing to be Realistic Preview

Being Human 2016: Refusing to be Realistic Preview

According to the Being Human festival programme, ‘desire is one of the things that make us human.’ Advertisers attempt to appease desire with commodity solutions but humans have always sought to achieve and accumulate more. Back in 1516 this was named ‘utopia’ by Thomas More. Utopian desire invites us to demand what others might consider […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Dreamland: How Mic Righteous Epitomises the D.I.Y Spirit of North East Hip-Hop

Dreamland: How Mic Righteous Epitomises the D.I.Y Spirit of North East Hip-Hop

Prior to the release of ‘Survivor’, I wouldn’t have necessarily considered myself a fan of Mic Righteous. He’s always been an artist on my radar, but only on the very edge of it. His ‘Fire In The Booth’ and various other freestyles were enough to cement my respect, but never left me wanting for more. […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Hidden Civil War: Akala and Ruth Nyimba Lead Talk on Class Warfare.

Hidden Civil War: Akala and Ruth Nyimba Lead Talk on Class Warfare.

Politicians, musicians and high profile celebrities are seldom found wandering the streets on their own. I had to look twice when I witnessed a passerby ask MOBO Award winning hip-hop aritst, Akala, for directions at the bottom of Northumberland Street on Saturday. Akala has become a leading figure in engaging young people and minorities within […]

 Lee Hawthorn

How the UBeat Music Awards got their hip-hop category wrong (and how to improve it for 2017)

How the UBeat Music Awards got their hip-hop category wrong (and how to improve it for 2017)

On Friday 30th September, the nominees for the 2016 UBeat Music Awards were officially announced. The second annual awards show will take place in Newcastle's o2 Academy and broadcast live on Made In Tyne & Wear - the home of the UBeat TV. With 190 nominations across 19 categories there were always going to be some local musicians unhappy with being left out of contention, but the organisers of the awards have managed to unleash the temper of almost an entire genre with their Rap/Hip Hop Act Of The Year category.

The main source of the controversy seems centred around a lack of knowledge of more artists. Some nominees have releases only a couple singles over the year, whilst some artists not nominated have released seminal albums. Prior to the nominations, I was sceptical. As former manager of The Great & The Magnificent, I have seen […]