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nominees PATIENTLY WAITING: TENNESSEE All Star (Nashville, TN)

The self-proclaimed Cashville Prince scored a huge hit with “Grey Goose” and landed a solo deal with Cash Money.

Cadence (Nashville, TN)

A witty emcee with striking versatility, Cadence toured the world opening for Kenny Chesney but still makes records that can get the most thugged out club poppin’.

D. Cooley (Chattanooga, TN)

Thanks to his consistent grind, D. Cooley has seen his record “Trap Clothes” grow into a bonafide regional smash.

Kinfolk Nakia Shine (Memphis, TN)

This indie hustler played an integral role in other Memphis’ artists careers, but now he’s telling you to “Respect My Fresh.”

Lutinent G (Memphis, TN)

Representing for Memphis’ underground rap breeding ground, Lutinent G had every club in Tennessee screaming “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” to his monster club banger.

Yo Gotti (Memphis, TN)

Never one to wander far from the streets, the hottest up-and-comer in Memphis hustled his way through the mixtape and indie scene and is poised to achieve national success.

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ast year, hip-hop witnessed a first when Three 6 Mafia took to a Hollywood stage and accepted an Academy Award. Tennessee, which has had its fair share of musical adversity, was finally able to bask in a shining moment again. Add to that the strong reemergence of the state’s crowned princes via the bonafide hits “Stay Fly” and “Poppin’ My Collar,” the release of Project Pat and Playa Fly from jail, and the influx of young visitors to Memphis for major boxing matches, and it’s obvious that Tennessee is on the rise once again. While “Tennekey” has been on the music scene for years, producing the likes of Al Green and 8Ball & MJG, in recent years it’s remained relatively quiet while surrounding areas have stepped into the spotlight. Even still, talent continued to bubble quietly, and 2006 was the year for it to be manifested publicly. Take Cadence, for example. Hailing from “Cashville,” this rapper proves that witty lyricism and concentrated storytelling can be just as entertaining as snapping your fingers and two stepping with his debut, Songs of Vice Virtue. Having previously toured with alternative rock group Uncle Kracker and country phenom Kenny Chesney, folks couldn’t help but compare him to Kanye West, and with due cause. His easy charm and penchant for diversity made him an underground favorite. It’s only a matter of time before everyone else catches up. Memphis rapper Yo Gotti’s persistence and familiarity made his TVT debut Back 2 Da Basics one of the most anticipated of the summer season, propelled by the single “Gangsta Party” featuring Bun B and 8ball. He continued his rise to success with his artist All-Star, who also hails from Nashville. After garnering a buzz with his impressive showing on Young Jeezy’s “Grey Goose” the rapper is poised to make a significant mark in the rap game. Even the often ignored city of Chattanooga produced the regional hit with D. Cooley’s “Trap Clothes,” featuring Atlanta rapper, Maceo. Reaping the benefits of his consistent grind, D. Cooley has undoubtedly shown that a little hustle can go a long way. And of course, the Bluff City remained on the cusp of innovation with Kinfolk Nakia Shine and Lutinent G. Kinfolk’s single “Respect My Fresh” quickly became an underground favorite, defined by the rapper’s natural swagger. Newcomer Lutinent G made significant waves with his catchy, humorous single, “Mangla,” from his debut Out Da Gate on Select-O-Hits It’s clear that Tennessee is a haven for inspired artists. Seems like “Patiently Waiting” may not be an accurate description for the state’s talent much longer. - Jacinta Howard

ozone 20 awards

Ozone Awards 2006 special edition  

Ozone Awards 2006 special edition

Ozone Awards 2006 special edition  

Ozone Awards 2006 special edition

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