DJ Hersh got on social media to recognize the nominees for DJ of the Year at the upcoming Steamtown Music Awards, and seemingly threw shade at Ryan Kenton by crossing out his name on the list. DJ Hersh was snubbed from this year’s list of nominees, who were decided by fan votes.
Now, Kenton is speaking out and the competitiveness in the local music scene just got real.
Oh, and people’s parents are somehow getting involved. But we’ll get to that later.
It all started when the SMA nominations came out on July 22. Kenton was humbled and honored, he said, by being nominated for his accomplishments as a DJ for the second year in a row. DJ King B, Woogie, Jay Velar and DJ Tonez were also nominated.
DJ Hersh allegedly posted a picture on Instagram of the nominees — which was later re-posted by DJ Tonez — with Kenton’s name crossed out.
Kenton shied away from firing back on social media, but expressed his discouragement exclusively to Weekender.
“I’m so disappointed with the way certain people have handled this competition,” Kenton said. “It’s disgusting the way other musicians are so quick to belittle and degrade other talent. We should be congratulating each other, not discrediting each other. Let’s remember that there’s a bigger picture here and we need everyone to support everyone if we’re ever going to put NEPA on the map.”
DJ Hersh could not be reached for a comment to clarify the intent of his post.
Throwing shade isn’t a new concept when it comes to hurt feelings over being snubbed for a nomination. Recently, Nicki Minaj slammed MTV and the Video Music Award nominations for her video, featuring Beyonce, “Feeling Myself” being completely ignored and for her “Anaconda” video not being nominated for Video of the Year.
Minaj tweeted, “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year.” Twitter went nuts; the post was interpreted as a diss at Taylor Swift, who was nominated for Video of the Year. Minaj never mentioned Swift by name, but the tweets made some strong suggestion of massive shade toward the “Bad Blood” singer.
Back to NEPA, Steamtown Music Award co-founder Joe Caviston said he felt exhausted, discouraged and frustrated by the drama circulating the nominations.
“Just because someone wasn’t nominated doesn’t mean they’re not an amazing musician,” Caviston said. “It just means that [someone else] got more nominations than them.”
Caviston was bombarded with emails and phone calls from people who were upset over the nominations. Even parents reached out complaining their child wasn’t nominated, he said.
Caviston attributes the discontent to the culture of participation trophies. “You’re not always going to win in life and you’re not always going to get what you want,” Caviston said.
Even Caviston’s wife, Amanda, was upset after witnessing the emotional toll it took on her husband.
“She was like, ‘That’s it. This is the last year,” Caviston noted.
Then, Caviston saw a post from a 15-year-old on the internet who felt inspired by the announcement of the nominations. “He posted something like, ‘I’m not sure why people are upset. It’s so exciting seeing all these bands get nominated. I hope someday if I practice, I can be nominated,’” Caviston said. “That was kind of cool to see. Not because the kid should aspire to win a local award, but because he was excited about what was going on in the Scranton music scene and wanted to be part of it and better himself.”
Reach Justin Adam Brown at 570-991-6652 or on Twitter @TLArts