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Best Internet Hype

Wale

Further proof that MySpace is the only marketing tool you need: Last year, Wale uploaded one scorching-hot jam (“Nike Boots”), attracted the attention of DJ Nick Catchdubs and producer Mark Ronson, and spurred a major-label bidding war. (The track’s not even about shoes, but Nike co-opted it for an advertising campaign anyway.) The 23-year-old Prince George’s County resident seemed like a worldbeater in ’07, but it’s all eyes on Wale this year as he prepares to drop a mixtape rife with go-go beats and a totally nutty concept: It’s an homage to his favorite show about nothing, Seinfeld. You know how Kanye came onto the scene as a heavyweight champ? Wale’s like that but armed with a sicker flow, sharper metaphors, and more erudite rhymes—a fighter in the form of a writer. —NG

Best Go-Go Ambassador
Maurice “Mo” Shorter

Shorter grew up in Barry Farm. In his late teens he started managing Junkyard’s business affairs, and he’s played a backstage role in the group ever since. He then went on to co-found the Go-Go Alliance in the mid ’90s. He has since served on various boards and commissions, including the Go-Go Coalition (gogocoalition.org), where he’s currently president. He’s also sold a few PA tapes himself at his now-defunct record store on Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Now in his mid-40s, Shorter continues to live a life dedicated to promoting, cultivating, and protecting the art form. He does great radio and an even better one-on-one. No one can offer a better tutorial on the genre. And few have done more to protect it from legislative busybodies. —JC


Best Go-Go Cause
Getting Chuck Brown Inducted

Chuck Brown invented a genre: As hip-hop historian Jeff Chang wrote, Brown has defined go-go for three generations of bands, and he’s the reason why hip-hop is still an afterthought in this town and live musicians dominate clubs. Kevin “Kato” Hammond, publisher of the Web site Take Me Out to the Go-Go (tmottgogo.com), told the San Francisco Bay Guardian that Brown is in a category all by himself: “As far as the younger generation, it’s to the point where people have their daily conversation of who cranks, and everyone always says, ‘Well, Chuck don’t count, he’s on another level. Talking about Chuck is like talking about Stevie Wonder, talking about Duke Ellington.’” He’s also a miracle worker of sorts. He gave Fenty some swing at his inaugural ball, made Lotto commercials less cheesy, and continues to make killer records. Oh, and the Godfather has held his own sharing the bill with the other Godfather. So why can’t the pioneer get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? —JC

Best Local Hip-Hop Artist
Wale

Runners-up: Raheem Devaughn, Head-Roc


And here’s what the members of Mambo Sauce had to say!!!

What is the Best of D.C.?

Black Boo: We’ve got out our own swagger. We march to the beat of our own drum.

Yendy: The city’s rich African-American history

Andy White: Ben’s Chili Bowl

Keyboard Chris: We have our own form of music native to our area (until Mambo Sauce spreads it to the rest of the world)!

Khari: D.C. has the most beautiful women in the country.

Pep: Go-Go!!!

Twink: My family