Friday, January 23, 2009

Mid West Arts, Media and Culture Awards

The nominations are in for the Mid West Arts, Media and Culture Awards, which take place in the Radisson on Saturday night. The Limerick Leader received a whopping 18 nominations, whoop!!

Got me a nomination in the Best Entertainment Piece category for a piece I wrote last year in respone to Hot Press magazine's decision to feature local Limerick rapper(!) Nailerz in their magazine. Needless to say I was less than impressed. It's reprinted below, truly I thought some of the other stuff I entered was better, but what can you do? Looking forward to a good old knees up now!

From the Limerick Leader, printed April 18, 2008.

Too hot off the press?

LIMERICK rapper 'Nailerz' - real name Martin Patrick O'Neill from Moyross - featured in an interview with one of Ireland's foremost music magazines last week as Senior Editor Jason O'Toole travelled to the estate to discuss "guns, drugs and life in Moyross". ALAN OWENS asks why Hot Press took everything the young rapper said at face value?

READERS may or may not remember when the Limerick Leader originally carried the story on February 15 last about Nailerz and several other rappers who performed at the recent Unfringed festival in the Belltable and caused a significant number of the people in attendance on the night to walk out in protest to the "offensive lyrics" being used.
On the night Nailerz (pictured below) lyrically documented his own brushes with the law, the death of his friends and claimed that a certain crime novelist put a picture of his three month old daughter in his book.
In the aftermath of that incident, Nailerz himself called into the Leader offices on several occasions looking to tell "his side of the story" - but we decided not to give him a pulpit from which to make his unverifiable claims.
On that occasion a small media storm brewed as national media organisations carried the story about the controversial rapper, but the dust seemed to settle in the aftermath, until last week that is.
In the midst of one of the worst weeks this city has seen - two young men were brutally executed - Hot Press decided to join the media bandwagon and carried a photograph of the self-styled Limerick rapper on the front cover under the tagline "Drugs, Guns and Hip-Hop in Limerick".
The 24 year old father of three claimed in the Hot Press interview that several attempts had been made on his life.
"The gun jammed not once but twice," he said. "They came back the next night and tried to do the exact same thing. The two of them got stabbed in the arse, I only got slashed in the face."
The young rapper, who has songs with titles like "This is where it hurts" and "My name is Nailerz", also claimed that he doesn’t believe carrying guns is a good idea, "because you’re gonna get ten years straight away in prison. A small little blade can do the same job, know what I mean? I still have guns but I have a license. I like stabbing people in the arse. I don’t like shooting people at all."
The focus of the piece was to ostensibly portray the troubled young man as having discovered rap music and how it changed him from a drug dealing thug into a bone fide musician - but the underlying, and unwritten, sentiment of the article was one of joyousness on the magazine’s part that they had secured an exclusive with someone from Limerick’s troubled estate who was willing to "reveal all".
While the veracity of the young man’s claims cannot be accounted for, the fact that Hot Press would willingly accept everything he said at face value is not a pleasant one.
Also, the article began with a dynamic statement that the troubled Moyross estate would later be "thrust back into the national headlines after a drive-by shooting in which the facades of seven houses were riddled with machine-gun fire" - an interesting claim considering that this incident in fact took place in the estate of St. Mary’s Park, which is of course across the River Shannon from Moyross.
The piece was an unfortunate exercise in lazy journalism, merely an excuse to grab some of the bright media spotlight shining on Limerick in the current climate, and while it may have boosted Nailerz already semi-notorious profile, it did little to serve anyone else’s interests outside of the magazine that carried it.

1 comment:

Ciarán Ryan said...

nice on Al, that's a fine piece. Hope yer heading along. Will be there meself!