[Updated, 2:29 p.m.: Read Matt Werner's response to the video at the end of this post]
G-Mo Skee, the self-proclaimed "filthiest rapper from the Bay Area," has released an incendiary video for his single "Bay Area Dropout." A reaction to not appearing in last year's Bay Area Freshmen 10, an annual list of upcoming local rap stars organized by Matt Werner of website Thizzler on the Roof and DJ Amen of KMEL and voted on by the public and a panel of "tastemakers," the video features negative depictions of Werner and Amen, with G-Mo Skee (clad in cap and gown) hurling insults at them. The latter is even chloroformed, doused in gasoline, and set on fire.
"I don't want to set anyone on fire in real life," says the Richmond-based rapper of his self-directed clip. "I don't want to hurt DJ Amen or Matt. I was expressing myself and letting the Bay Area know how I feel about being slept on thus far. I am not afraid to say how I feel about something and, honestly, I was just saying what a lot of people are too afraid to say."
Here's G-Mo Skee's video for "Bay Area Dropout":
"I made the song last year when I wasn't chosen for the Bay Area Freshmen of 2011," Skee says. "They told me I had tons of fans that voted for me but the 'tastemakers' didn't vote for me. This angered me, because I felt like they were being dictators, trying to centralize the talent instead of letting the people of the Bay Area have the most say or giving new faces a chance. A lot of the people that made it to the list were already acquaintances of DJ Amen and Matt Werner."
Skee says that Werner told him his music had to make it into 'the right hands' in order to make the list. "That conversation didn't sit well with me, because it promotes the idea that the rap game is about the connections you have and people you meet, not the hard work you put in and the reactions you get from the people. Ultimately, I figured I was better off rebelling against them this year than trying to win their contest. I should be aiming for something higher. I should be aiming outside of the Bay Area. I should be aiming at the entire world."
We contacted Werner for a comment. Here's what he wrote:
It's a free country and everybody is entitled to their own opinion. That being said, what makes the Bay Area Freshmen 10 different from being "Thizzler's Favorite Rappers" or "DJ Amen's Top 10" is that we reach out to as many people in the Bay Area as we can to get their opinions. Each year we take votes from a panel of tastemakers (this year there are about 73 people on the panel) which includes influential Bay Area DJs, bloggers, managers, promoters, OGs, and past Bay Area Freshmen, which are then combined with the tens of thousands of fan nominations to make sure this process accurately represents the Bay Area.
Any time there's a contest like this where there are a limited number of winners there's going to be hate and we expect that. However, we created this process to help shine a positive light on the up and coming talent in the Bay Area, not to take away shine from anybody who doesn't make the list.
Nominations for the Bay Area Freshmen 10 Class of 2012 are now closed; the winners will be announced soon.