What Went Wrong With… The MOBO Awards?

A parody of the MOBO Awards Logo to spell - Mo Booing - by What Went Wrong With

What is the point in the MOBO Awards? What started as a wannabe BET-cum-Source-Award-knockoff has slowly become shittier and shittier over the years. The longer this lame excuse of an award show goes on, the more it seems to sell-out. I mean having Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, and Conor Maynard in the last few years has been a straight-up joke, and in 2013 we’ve got Iggy Azalea? It seems that only when an artist (black or white) truly sells-out; do they perform or win a MOBO.

Aside from all the watered-down nonsense on-stage, let’s tackle the concept of the show…

First of all, if we wanted an awards show for “Music Of Black Origins”; it would have to include Blues, Rock, House, and everything in-between.

If the term “Black” was to be broadened to include anything “Not White”; then we would have to include almost every genre in existence except Classical music.

If we wanted a show which awarded acts that get no mainstream appreciation; then why call it the M.O.B.O.’s?

…Either way, identity issues have been plaguing this wack-arse excuse for an award show ever since it started.

Ever since it began in 1996, the MOBO’s have always skirted on the boundaries of crap. Awards for Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, and even the All Saints have all been dished out over the last decade and half. The irony that by hyping up these type of acts, the MOBO’s (and other sellouts like BET) have done more harm to black music than anything else, is quite comedic. Then there is the fact that mainstream and obvious Pop acts seem to win more prizes than anybody else. There were the four awards given to Jessie J in 2011 for example; one of them was even given for her bullshit “Do It Like A Dude” in which she spoke fake Caribbonics like “man dem”.

If this was not the lowest point in MOBO history, in the same year they gave “Best UK R&B/Soul Act” to Adele; which is completely unforgivable. I’m not saying this because these acts are white, but because they are lame as fuck. Black acts like Rihanna, JLS, and Rizzle Kicks are just as shitty. Plus they all get enough exposure on mainstream Pop awards shows as it is, not to mention that all these pricks make the most commercial muzak ever.

Yet another factor which has slowly f’ed up this show is the over-Americanization of it. Just like Channel U was transformed into the lame Channel AKA in 2009, the MOBO’s have slowly become a Pop-friendly, USA-suck-fest with no focus (except maybe for profit).

It seems that everything underground, especially the British underground is turned into shite within a few years, and even though the MOBO’s were never really that credible; they are now about as far from their original concept as humanly possible. For a British award show supposedly focussing on black music, there has been no recognition over the years for genuine underground acts. StayFresh, Newham Generals, ScumFam, No Lay, Purple, Shifty, Voltage, Lioness (and I could go on) get zero recognition, but lames like Tinie Tempah and N-Dubz get awards as though they represent real Grime. This goes to show what kind of uninformed twats we’re dealing with here, and by creating a combined category for Hip-Hop and Grime it seems like the decision making is left to some kind of prejudice mainstream-loving dick. I guess this is what happens when two suited business-types (one of them mixed race and one of them white) get together and try to create a show which represents mainly the ideas and talents of the (black) working-class… things were bound to go awry.


11 replies »

  1. I don’t hate Adele but I get exactly what you are saying. Where are the other R&B/Soul singers on mainstream music? Some of her music is OK, but there is not a lot of exposure out there for Blues and R&B singers anymore.
    Come to think of it, when has their been? It seems like it’s a job for most white artists to shine the light on their influences, the ones that want them to get credit. Stevie Ray Vaughan turned a whole generation of kids in the 80’s onto several Blues greats from Albert King to Lightnin Hopkins. The sad thing is, it shouldn’t have took SRV’s word for the public to see these guys were great. I’m not knocking him at all, or any of the others that have shined a light on the R&B and Blues greats, I’m just saying their music seems to go incredibly over shadowed. Buddy Guy might be the face of Blues now, but little does anyone know that most people had no clue who he was until Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Stevie Ray constantly brought his name to table and were covering his tunes. B.G. didn’t even really get his due until the late 80’s, and by then he had been around forever.

    The best part about the old ones is their vulnerability, and their voices were not god like and untouchable. Even with R&B greats; James Brown or Ray Charles’ powerhouse voices you can feel their pain in their moaning and wailing, and that’s what makes their music so timeless all these decades later. Same goes for the Blues, you’ll never find a bullet proof voice in all those old singers. The mainstream media is never looking for this, they want something that sounds unbreakable and so PERFECT that they can sell.

    • I’ve got nothing against singers like Adele; people can sing whatever genre of music they please. But the countless times that a white act gets recognition over their black counterpart is astounding. Adele just followed in the steps of Amy Winehouse and all the other “Blue-Eyed Soul Artists”. I think I subconsciously expected this from a white-controlled mainstream media, but for an Awards show supposedly created to showcase underground artists (black or white but who get little recognition from the mainstream) giving the majority of awards to Pop acts is just wrong. Why bother with this kind of show when the end result just mirrors something like The Brits?

  2. “Yet another factor which has slowly f’ed up this show is the over-Americanization of it” Irony alert! Surely you mean Americanisation..

  3. The MOBOs are no different from any other award show. Music of Black Origins? My arse! They are supposedly created to award artists who get no recognition, but when you look at all the winners and nominees, it’s the complete opposite. Sean Combs got an outstanding achievement award in 1998 (the height of the “Shiny Suit Era”), N-Dubz won Best Newcomer award in 2007, JLS won numerous awards, Jessie J winning 4 awards in 2011, Nicki Minaj got the Best International Act award in 2012 as well as Rita Ora winning the Best Newcomer award in the same year, and last year Stormzy was named Best Grime Act and Best Male Act. For what? His crappy song “Shut Up” which was full of weak lyrics! The MOBOs are already a joke, but the most annoying thing is that Stormzy is going to be hyped up and overrated as if he is the Second Coming of Christ. I was never really a massive fan of Grime, but if there is an artist that represents what would happen if the genre becomes watered down, Stormzy would be it.
    P.S. To those people who are saying the MOBOs are racist, look at the winners, nominees, and performers. White artists have won awards at the MOBOs. Eminem, Adele, Sam Smith, Jessie J, Amy Winehouse etc. Iggy Azalea performed at the award show in 2013. If you idiots are going to make assumptions about the MOBOs being racist, do some research!

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