Best Hip-Hop Artist - 2008
Sparrow Love Crew
Long Beach's Sparrow Love Crew have steadily built a huge following with barn-burning live shows that have been known to make even the squarest unsuspecting attendees wave their hands in the air like they just don't care. Their debut EP, Burgertime, is upbeat, party hip-hop at its absolute best, featuring impeccable deejaying courtesy of Opi Styles (listen to those amazing synth twirls on "Naidu"—even if these tracks were instrumentals, they'd still be banging) and the deft intertwining flows of MCs Devoux, Diggery, Sureflo and Mikey Brixx, who spit absolutely none of that anti-social content your parents are so worried about. No thuggish posturing, no stretched Hummer with a Jacuzzi in the back (though they certainly deserve one), just pure talent and a drive to energize whatever room they're playing. Extra bonus points for selecting one of the most perfect group names in hip-hop.