Traffic Jam


New black music (as they call it on BBC radio station 1Xtra, regardless of the skin color of who’s making it) is viewed by some as having two faces: the powder-keg materialism of rap in opposition to the self-aware and socially-conscious hip hop. Never mind that the culture and influence of hip hop has as many facets as Fergie’s diamonds. In light of the recent nightclub drama downtown, one is clearly endorsed by our local government—the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs that arranges performances year-round at City Hall—and one isn’t. This afternoon’s “Traffic Jam: Hip Hop & Spoken Word Mashup” features some city- and critic-approved entertainment including MC Gabriel Teodros, DJ WD4D, and World Poetry slam champ Buddy Wakefield. The talented local slam poet Melissa Noelle Green, who received the 2005 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Hip Hop, and Poet Populist Jourdan Keith will also perform. This is all good news for downtowners looking for a quality, thought-provoking (and free) way to spend their early evening. It’s also the last time you’ll hear hip hop at the Hall for a while, as summer’s remaining menu includes rock, Cuban dance, and classical. Maybe next time the schedule’s put together, they’ll invite DJ Mr. Supreme—a fixture at Tabella and a 2006 recipient of the Mayor’s award himself.

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