The man who claims to have invented the remix, Bad Boy boss Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, will receive the Top Executive and Lifetime Achievement Award at Wednesday's annual Mixtape Awards in New York, the first such honor to be handed out in the event's nine-year history.
Spearheaded by promoter Justo Faison, the ceremony acknowledges the efforts of innovative underground hip-hop, R&B and reggae DJs nationwide. The invite-only affair will be held at a top-secret Manhattan location "to avoid problems," Faison explained. "We don't want 50 Cent coming in here and blasting Game."
The evening's hip-hop pageantry is expected to include performances by Kanye West (who will be accompanied by Consequence and GLC) and Cuban Link; other acts are also expected to take the stage, but none could be confirmed at press time. A veritable who's who of hip-hop will be on hand, including Kay Slay, Kid Capri, Warren G, DJ Hollywood, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Grandmaster Theodore, Spinderella and DJ Luv Bug Starski, who will receive the Mixtape Legends Award.
P. Diddy was an obvious choice for the executive/ lifetime achievement accolade, according to the event's brainchild. "I don't know another executive that even deserves this award," said Faison. "His whole basis of his record label is based on mixtapes, and he saw the vision 12 years ago in the mixtape game, on how mixtapes were being made and how [DJ] Ron G was mixing R&B and hip-hop beats. He really saw something in mixtapes. He didn't invent the remix, but he brought it to the world. He took it from the streets and brought it to the public."
Faison launched the Mixtape Awards in 1995, to give credit where credit was due, he said. "Ten years ago, these guys were breaking records at a time when they were looked at almost as bootleggers," he explained. "People didn't even want to give them records at that time. Now they're the biggest stars DJing, period. They're as big as artists now. A lot of the new groups being found now are being found off mixtapes."
The awards show will coincide with the eighth anniversary of Notorious B.I.G.'s death — which is just a coincidence, Faison said, but will be acknowledged.
"The venue only had that one date available, so we kind of had to take it," he said. "I am from Brooklyn, so I do rep Biggie every day, all day. We are going to say something for Big in the beginning, but we leave that to the family. We don't want to just talk out of line without the family being there. We're going to recognize Big's death and then we're going to move on."
The likes of Big Mike, DJ Envy, Clinton Sparks and DJ Kurupt are nominated for awards in categories such as Best New Mixtape DJ, Best Mixtape Duo, Best Mixtape Producer and the much coveted Mixtape of the Year.