The problem with having an all inclusive tag like the "Dirty South" prominently featured in the title of a big television tribute production such as the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South, that premiered on the music television network two nights ago & is viewable in full on VH1.com, is that by definition certain expectations accompany such a title. One would expect a "Dirty South" honors show to recognize and represent certain key Dirty South entities such as the successful, influential Cash Money Records and its high profile star Lil Wayne. However, neither the artist nor his label were included in the night's honors. Nor were such other prominent Dirty South acts as Three 6 Mafia or Young Jeezy, to name but two most important contributors to the regional rap sub-genre. Meanwhile, both OutKast and Goodie Mob were recognized (barely), but could have been celebrated a whole lot more.
Of course, I am being picky and, perhaps unrealistic, since there is no way that a mere two-hour TV show, even one the scale of the well choreographed annual VH1 live concert presentation, could possibly include every Dirty South entity. But that's too bad, because otherwise this year's VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South, the seventh in the annual event, was truly a top notch production as awards shows go -- especially for rap music awards, which are historically prone to such negatives as awful sounding live performances and outbreaks of violence. Nothing like that marred this fun, extremely well-paced, excellently executed, nicely mixed & highly entertaining event. Yeah, sure, there were a couple of off moments, like the beginning of the 2 Live Crew's set, which was not quite on beat, or Keri Hilson's cameo, which instantly proved that her voice does not match her good looks. But those were just a couple of hiccups in otherwise stellar rap show.