Nominate your favorite hip hop artists

Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 2:19 p.m.

It's time once again to nominate artists from the hip-hop community in the 352 area code for the 2nd annual 352 Go Hard Awards.



What: Nominations begin soon for the 2nd annual 352 Go Hard Awards in over 40 categories.

When: Feb. 1-28.

Where: Visit

Information: Call 352-301-0393 or visit

Tara "Tara Jaee" James, founder and coordinator of the awards, said online voting will run from Feb. 1-28 at for those who want to nominate hip-hop and other artists from the 352 area code in over 40 categories.

Some of those categories include DJ of the Year, Best Male Hip Hop Artist of the Year, Best Female Hip Hop Artist of the Year, Best Barber Shop of the Year, Best Salon of the Year, Best Event of the Year, Best Mixed Tape of the Year and Best Photographer of the Year.

The 352 area consists of cities in Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hernando, Lake, Levy, Marion, Pasco, Putnam, Sumter and Taylor counties.

The top 10 vote getters will be placed on the official ballot and the winners will be chosen in an online voting competition from March 2-April 1.

Winners will be announced at an awards show scheduled for April 15 in Ocala.

James said those interested in performing at the awards show should call 352-792-7070 and artists who want to have their music featured on the 2012 Go Hard 352 CD should call 352-642-3347.

"The CD is for artists who want to get their music out there, and we are going to be making 500 copies of the CD," James said. "We will also be downloading the CD on different websites to help get their music out there."

She said C. Wakeley, an artist manager and record promoter who lives in the Gainesville area, and Leondray "One Lee" Gibson of Ocala, an artist and promoter who founded Two Dog Records in Ocala, will be receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Sherwin Gates of Money and Dreams Entertainment, Marcus Glover of Fantastic 4 Entertainment, Glenn Herron of New York Tymes Promotions, all of Ocala, and mixed tape maker Marcus "Chubb" Monroe, a native of Mount Dora, also will be honored for their contributions to keeping the hip-hop movement alive in the 352 area code.

For Wakeley, being honored by Go Hard is special to him.

"This is also a big deal for me because it is coming from home and I am real excited about it," said Wakeley, who has worked with rappers Blood Raw of Panama City and Khia of Tampa. He also helped Blood Raw sign a deal with CTE/Def Jam Records. "This is truly an honor."

Wakeley has won numerous awards in the music industry, including the prestigious Southern Entertainment Award in 2007 for being "instrumental in the hip-hop movement" in the Deep South.

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