Because so many of the d-bags online in Kansas City are haplessly and helplessly white bread they may not know that rather recently a local hip-hop event on 18th and Vine marked the latest greatest hope for that embattled entertainment district.
It was a heartfelt tribute to the work of A Tribe Called Quest.
So of course I have to hate all over the well-intentioned celebration of local hip-hop covers, while still noting that it’s only slightly better than The Jersey Shore look-a-like money losing party that happens at The P&L District.
It’s a given that everything that happens on the East Side is more creative than local mainstream culture. But in this town it’s a matter of fact that people of color have to be several times better than their Caucasian counterparts. Since I’m up to that task, allow me to explain:
To immediatly contradict the first theory I just wrote, I’d like to note that the middle-aged and tragically hip white dude Plastic Sax did a far better review of the show than any otf the other hipster newsies I’ve seen cover the event.
He notes his personal affinity for Jazz and finds room for improvement.
My biggest problem with the East side tribute to 1990’s rap legends: It was too safe and accessible for hip-hop music fans of all demographic backgrounds. This event was actually discussed at politial forums this week as a great example of efforts to revive the district now that hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone down the drain.
Good money following bad is never a good plan but then I like the fact that hip-hop is the last resort.
However, rap music is inherently political and even the career of A Tribe Called Quest spoke a political point which touted more diversity even within the African-American community. In the 90’s that was, sadly, a bold statement. But when push comes to shove the best hip-hop is about challenging the status quo whether it’s Public Enemy’s milatariistic rants or Young Jeezy and Nas promlaiming that their President is Black.
Whatever vibe the 18th & Vine celebration was trying to evoke, it wasn’t about shaking things up. Instead, the Jazz themed event was more about laid back socializing with cocktails in a venue mostly supported by taxpayers. Maybe this renewed and relaxed approach to hip-hop speaks to Kansas City, but it’s certainly not indicative of the the more nasty, highly sexualized and intense stuff that shakes up fans on a national basis.
Instead, it’s a sign that so many fans of local hip-hop and performers are getting older but don’t like to think about the term middle-aged.