Poor Flow

Ricasshay has been involved with hip-hop culture since 1983 and active locally since 1993. The MC/lyricist was a Best Hip-Hop nominee for a San Diego Music Award this year. He's cried foul over the selection of MC Flow/Abby Schwartz as the winner in that category.

"Being Jewish, white, or female has nothing to do with it," says Ricasshay. "One of my protégés is a white Jewish rapper named Arson Wells. Miki Vale was a very strong nominee; she could have won. MC Flow is good at what she does, but what she does is not hip-hop. She admitted that what she does is alternative hip-hop....

"I have never seen her in the scene. She has never participated. Paying dues is a big part of it, and I've never seen her involved at any hip-hop event."

Following a September 27 Reader interview with MC Flow, a large volume of bloggers made online comments about her award. Many were complimentary about her abilities, some suggested her act was perfect for coffeehouses, and others criticized her in the same vein as Ricasshay.

SDMA founder and executive director Kevin Hellman says the eight artists in the Best Hip-Hop category were nominated by a panel of local music professionals.

"There isn't a hip-hop scene [in San Diego] to begin with," says Hellman. "You have five or six artists who play maybe four or five times a year if they're lucky. How many true hip-hop artists are out and about performing?"

Hellman says that the category's winner was determined by Internet votes. What prevented a handful of people from overwhelming a particular category? Hellman says the voting system was set up so that no one could vote more than once per day, but he isn't clear on how it was done.

Hellman says the Internet-voting process was administered by a local company called Outside the Box. The only phone number on Outside the Box's website is a fax number. E-mail sent to the e-mail address listed ([email protected]) was returned as undeliverable. Hellman says he left messages with company representative Michael Breen, requesting that he call to clarify the methodology behind the vote tallying; no calls were returned.

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