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Cultural diversity, entertainment, & showmanship, these were all magnificent pairings for the 20

Founder, Kevan Glover, pictured second from the (left), with crooners, The Hamiltones. Photo Credit: DB Images

This past Saturday, on December 16, 2017, the 11th Annual 2017 Queen City Awards kicked off with extravagant flair at the Oasis Shriners (604 Doug Mayes Place Charlotte, NC 28262). 

A wowing, fun-filled attraction, best describes the annual ceremony.

People strode in wearing their best suits and gowns for the sophisticated social.

Some came out just to support their family and friends, while others expected to walk away with some type of win.

Think about it, there really weren’t any losses— if an artist recieved a nomination, it was the equivalent of a Grammy nod under QCA terms.

The opportunity is still there, even if it’s the next following year.

Kevan Glover, creator of The Konnected Magazine, The Konnected Radio Show, The Konnected Foundation and Konnected Camp, is a transplant from Buffalo New York. He moved to the QC some odd years ago, roughly around 2006. Once relocating to Charlotte, he saw untapped potential amongst the melting pot of talent.

In an attempt to unify the different elements of artistry, Glover decided to develop the Queen City Awards , a platform where various musical cultures could coexist under the same forum. The festive gathering would showcase their talents in a competitive, and yet unbiased fashion.

The QCA has always been an elegant affair, but this particular event is probably the most majestic of them all. 

Mr. WOOD$, rapper, and  founder of T.U.K the Movement, is recipient of the 2016  QCA for “Best Rap Group of The Year [T.U.K].”  

WOOD$ said that he was hopeful of winning another endowment. If nothing else, he was excited to be in the company of other artist as well as his peers.

Mr. WOOD$ (left) pictured alongside artist and red carpet corespondent Kirk Ayton (right). Photo Credit: DB Images

It’s just like a class reunion, where people meet up and have a good time,” he exclaimed. Mr. WOOD$ couldn’t have described it better. There were familiar faces from previous ceremonies as well as newbies. They occupied the Oasis Shriners with towering energy and great expectations.

Click here for winners catagories The standout affair was filmed on WCCB Charlotte (airing on The CW December 30th at 11:00am). Nuff Ced, The Ultimate Host served as a beacon of blunt comedy by beguiling viewers until the end of the show.

He even shared a two-step with former Mayor, Jennifer Roberts.

While guest were getting nestled into their seats, they were appeased by live performances from a youth dance team, including solos from other artist, in addition to a comical set from Ryan Davis.

25 kids awarded with the “Konnected To Excellence” Scholarship. Photo Credit: DB Images

Singing trio, the Hamiltones paid a remarkable tribute to Anthony Hamilton. Their vocals were something like the Hamilton-clones. No, really. Their sound, gritty and soul, was dead-on and reminiscent to the groups forebearer, Mr. Anthony Hamilton.

Radio personalities, Ace & TJ received the Community Service Award. Soulful crooner, and Charlotte’s own breakout artist, Anthony Hamilton accepted the 2017 Trendsetter award. In case you didn’t know, Hamilton’s career took off during the early nineties. At that time, he was a student attending “Blackworld Barber College” on West Blvd. 

Talk about grass roots dating way back when.

Even back then, before he made it to the top, Hamilton would listen to all things relating to singing group, Jodeci. In fact, he’s still inspired by brothers, KCi and Jo Jo. Anthony Hamilton said that he’s influenced by Calvin Richardson and Fantasia.

Hamilton knows that in order to be the best, you have to acknowledge artist when they are at their best, while in their musical careers.

Anthony Hamilton’s sluggish vocals would be heard on mixtapes and CD’s, even TV shows and movie scores, like the New York Undercover Soundtrack, well before signing with a label. He delivered one of his most successful records to-date, Comin From Where I’m From, which was released in 2003. That platinum-selling record still gives listeners goosebumps. Who could get enough of breakup anthem, Charlene? Nominated for 19 Grammy Awards, with a win in 2009 for his song, You’ve Got the Love I Need. The latest nomination comes as no surprise. Hopefully, Hamilton will reel in a win at the 2018 Grammy Awards, along with his beloved and multitalented singing group, The Hamiltones for their single, What I’m Feeling From the Barbershop to the Queen City Awards, Hamilton is no stranger to humility. “It feels great. Growth is always good. It’s necessary, not only for me but for people who are liking, and people who are striving for the same thing.” Hamilton is currently planting lyrics on Lil Boosie’s newest album. He’s collaborating with down-home vocalist, The Hamiltones, and he’s doing a project with another music alum from the QC, Mr. 704. As for myself, I’m starting. I just got freed from the label, and now I’m independent. Now, I can eat a little bit.”

Hamilton said he’d been with the label for fourteen-years. He also shared that he’s made money with the label, traveled the world, and now, he’s ready for new adventures. Although Hamilton was recently inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, he’s sitting on loads of gratitude, especially with his recognition at the QCA ceremony. It means that somebody is paying attention, and not only am I leading the way, I’m encouraging people and I’m giving back to the community— And doing some things that you don’t normally pay attention to, but it touches somebody’s life.”

His convo shifted between frankness and humor. As a matter of fact, Mr. Hamilton left killer commentary for our readers. “I love you guys. Continue to believe and strive forward as [much] as possible. Eat healthy if you can. Make sure you check your blood pressure and your sugar so you’ll live longer, and smarter,” laughed Hamilton. 

Dee Dray, one of our favorite MC’s, made his way to the ceremony in support of other artist as well as the overall culture of spoken word and hip hop.

Dee Dray released a new record called, Last Friday EP.

“It’s an eight song record with two singles that we’re really promoting right now. Ups and Downs , is playing on 92.7 The Block. It’s running rather consistent. It’s been on Power 98 FM as well. Henny Tingz  is the one that people are loving.

People have given me a lot of versatility when it comes to it.

We have more music coming too.”

Even speaking with Dee Dray, possibility loomed in the vicinity.

Basically, if visitors ignored the opportunity to network with other artiste and business professionals, then they missed an important marker by a long shot.

Dee Dray looking red carpet dapper.

The Queen City Awards began like an intriguing origami creation, all the while evolving with each ceremony.

Click here for 2017 winners

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