2003 Scratch Tour w/QBert, Z-Trip, X-Ecutioners, Jazzy Jay

Mon Nov 10, Chop Suey, 8 pm, $20 adv (all ages).

Featuring an eclectic crew of turntablists from the past and the present, the East and West Coast, and with local and international reputations, the 2003 Scratch Tour is a show that in spirit and substance is not that different from the tent revivals that roamed (and still roam) the Deep South.

For those who were weak or had lost faith in God, the tent revivals arrived in town to remind slipping sinners of hell, the fires of damnation, and the grace of God--a belief in whom was the only means by which they could be delivered from the worst that the afterworld had to offer. Similarly, an unsaid function of this Scratch Tour, with its wealth of talent (Roc Raida, QBert, Jazzy Jay), is to remind those who no longer believe in hiphop, those who've turned to other genres like rock or dub for inspiration, a reminder that hiphop is still for real, and still has creative currency, despite the long artistic bankruptcy of the rap industry.

The lineup is impeccable: Jazzy Jay is the man who rocked the turntables on Def Jam's very first release and hit single, "It's Yours," in 1984; QBert is a founding member of the legendary Invisibl Skratch Piklz, which included Mixmaster Mike; and Roc Raida founded the X-Men, who later changed their name to the X-Ecutioners, a crew that almost two years ago found themselves in the thin atmosphere of the Top 40, with the CD Built from Scratch. A fine sample of Roc Raida's turntable wizardry can be heard on his new mix disc Champion Sounds, which includes tracks by the almighty Large Professor and the all right Daily Plannet. Though not all of the tracks are that interesting on the surface, the brilliance with which Roc Raida juggles, disrupts, cuts, drops, and fades totally eclipses their at times average content.

This tour will also include video mixing--an art that QBert has been developing since the late '90s--as well as graffiti artists and breakdancers. For those who do not believe in the truth, prepare to find your faith again in the hiphop tent of 2003.