Wendy Day, founder of the Rap Coalition—an industry watchdog organization that helps rappers get fair deals—has issued a statement addressing a rumored brawl between Houston/Galveston, TX based group TMI Boyz and Memphis MC Kia Shine at the recent Southern Entertainment Awards. The incident took place during Sunday night’s (January 27) awards ceremony at the Grand Casino Resort in Tunica, Miss. According to Day, the Memphis rapper took offense to comments that she had made two days prior during a SEA panel and decided to address the situation while he was onstage presenting an award. When Day attempted to approach Kia to discuss the issue, he started yelling at her and flailing his arms in what may have been misconstrued as a threatening manner. At that point, an unidentified member of the TMI Boyz threw a punch at Kia in an effort to protect Day. Security then removed Kia from the venue and the awards show continued.

Wendy Day’s full statement follows in its entirety.

Last night's 5th Annual SEA Awards were a wonderful finale to two spectacular days of free panel discussions targeted at independent and up-and-coming artists. Unfortunately, as local rap artist Kinfolk Kia Shine took the stage to present an award, he chose to use the opportunity to air a grievance he had with me (Wendy Day) over something I had said on one of my panels 2 days previous, in which his name was used. He said some very hurtful things about me to a very public forum. I have built my reputation over many years on helping artists, often for free, so it hurt me to hear him say that I had moved to his city and 'raped its artists for money.'

Feeling that he and I should speak, I got up from my seat and moved to the back of the stage area alone, in view of Kia, so that we could talk when he was finished onstage. He chose instead to ignore me and not to acknowledge me until he was standing in front of his crew, where I had followed him. At this point he began screaming at me and because he was angry, he gesticulated wildly with his hands and did alot of pointing. Although I knew that I was not in danger because I have known Kia for many years, members of TMI Boyz are not familiar with him and saw only a very large, very angry man behaving as if he may get violent. They reacted out of an instinct to protect a woman they felt was in danger; a blow was struck and Kia was hit.

Because security had already been summoned to escort Kia out of the building once he had begun shouting at me, the whole affair lasted only minutes and the award show went on without a hitch; we were all quickly back in our seats watching B.O.B. perform his hit "Haters Everywhere" and enjoying the rest of the show.

Overall, the 5th Annual SEA's were outstanding, attracting a record crowd of artists and industry folk to Tunica, MS. The scuffle was unfortunate, but it in no way marred this wonderfully positive event.