New England Music Awards producer apologizes for genre removal, promises more inclusion



Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

Back in May an online conversation about the value of hip-hop sprang up around the Boston music scene, inspired in part by an open letter Moe Pope wrote to the New England Music Awards after it removed rap and other genres from its annual awards ceremony. That discussion has led to this evening (June 15), when Xperience Creative presents “Boston Music State of The Union: Genre Equality” at iZotope in Cambridge.


The evening is set to address myriad issues facing hip-hop in Massachusetts, and no doubt, NEMA’s exclusion of hip-hop, as well as other genres in its awards program, would be discussed. Hours before the event is set to begin, NEMA Producer and Director of Operations Joe Graham has released a statement via email, apologizing for the removal of certain genres and styles and promising to open up the awards’ process to those who are interested in taking part.

Graham, who in May said it was apathy in his nomination category that led to the removed of several genres, says he will not be in attendance this evening. His full statement is available to read below:

“The New England Music Awards staff has yet to start any planning/meetings to discuss the 2018 event — (this won’t happen until late Aug or Sep) – but between now and that time, if there is anyone from the Boston area music community that would like to get involved/become members of The New England Music Awards nominating committee, all I ask is that you simply email me stating your intentions — my contact info can be found on The NE Music Awards website, and as always, I/we would love to have you on board.


I would also like to add — that my decision(s) in 2016 and 2017 to remove any genre or style of music from the award program (regardless of reason or intent) was in hindsight — a mistake on my part, and one I truly do apologize for; my actions were never intended to consciously exclude, insult, or ignore any members of the music community of New England and I assure all interested parties that the NEMA staff (and I) will be taking action in the fall to correct this oversight — I do hope all goes well tonight for all involved, I wish you all a great summer, and I look forward to reaching out and communicating with many of you again come the fall when NEMA and it’s nominating committee begins to reassemble and make plans for our 2018 event.

Sincerely –
JoeG –
Owner/Co-Founder – NEMA Producer/Director of Operations

Tonight’s session starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Additional info on panelists and moderators is below.

Tomorrow at @izotopeinc with @xperiencecreative #unitebosmusic


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