VH1 Execs Respond to Dirty South Honors Criticism

(AllHipHop News) With pointed criticism of their product from southern Hip-Hop legends Scarface and Luke, VH1 Honors executive producers Nelson George and Fab Five Freddy are defending this year’s selections and criteria.

This year, individuals like Suave House Records founder Tony Draper voiced displeasure at his contributions being omitted, while others such as Luke have stated the show fails to acknowledge all his accolades as a pioneer business mogul.

Freddy and George welcome the dialogue, explaining that Hip-Hop history shows fans and artists are always very vocal about the culture.

“No matter how you feel people are still extremely passionate about it,” Fab Five Freddy told VH1. “We constantly explain there’s no chronological method to how we’re doing this…we try to pick people from different eras, whether it’s closer to the beginning from that late 80s into the 90s. And like I said it’s only been a 10 year criteria that we [use]. [We look for] people that carved out specific lanes and styles within the music.”

Regarding the selections, George stated that Hip-Hop fans still mostly remain committed to their particular region, and many times will fail to see why another pioneering emcee whose work was more transcendent gets picked for their achievements.

“They say all politics is local, all Hip-Hop to people is still local. There are some people who are transcendent stars, but people want their place represented” he detailed. “As much conversation that we get from southerners saying we’re ghettoizing it, conversely we get people saying why are you honoring those people down South? It goes back and forth. I don’t think there’s any way you can go into the space that’s called Hip-Hop and do something that’s going to appease everyone.”

The show is set to feature one honoree from 5 southern regions, but some have also questioned whether Freddy and George, 2 native New Yorkers, have the understanding and knowledge of those different cities to give ideal presentations.

Fab Five Freddy counters this stance on the grounds that his work on the seminal Hip-Hop staple, Yo! MTV Raps, allowed him to travel extensively and give many southern artists their first national exposure.

“Yes I’m born, bred, and collar green fed in the streets of New York City, but with Yo! MTV Raps and my curious nature I was able to go to these other places where these new forms [of Hip-Hop] and artists were emerging,” Freddy said. “Many people came with me to Liberty City to see what 2 Live Crew were really about; to go to the 5th Ward in Texas to see the Geto Boys…I got to share those experiences with a lot of other people to show that it’s not just us in the Bronx, in Brooklyn, or Money Makin’ Manhattan, there’s cats in many other places making viable music.”

The 2010 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors: Dirty South will air on Monday June 7 at 9PM EST. Honorees will include Master P, Jermaine Dupri, J. Prince, Timbaland, and Luther “Luke” Campbell.