"We'll definitely revisit hiphop in the future," says Quibuyen. "This exhibit was more surface-level, more of an 'immersion' exhibit to display a prototypical hiphop bedroom. We didn't get into the history as much as I would've liked, among other things, so future exhibits might be more focused, but I would like to see more hiphop-related exhibits." Some of his ideas for upcoming shows include a DJ/turntablist exhibit and an art exhibit featuring all graffiti and visual art.
When asked about negative responses to It's Like That, Quibuyen explains the feedback wasn't so much negative as it was constructive. "Some folks suggested that the exhibit focused more on the underground/traditionalist types of hiphop, and really underrepresented other types. Some folks pointed at some of the toys and went, 'That ain't hiphop.' Some folks would jokingly ask where the 40s and blunts were at," he explains. "The best critiques I got were from folks who had real concerns about how the culture was represented or misrepresented--how you have to water it down for the public. Being that it's an exhibit in an Asian museum about a traditionally black culture, we had to walk that fine line between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation. Most folks thought we did it well, while some had many questions."
After the reception, the Blue Scholars will partake in a night of spoken word, hiphop, and dance with Gabriel Teodros, Rajnii Eddins, Spyce-E, Cancer Rising, and the Sunday School Dropouts (great name) in a free event at the Northwest Asian American Theatre (in the lower level of the museum).
Later that night, the Massive Monkees go beyond the dance floor at the Vesper Lounge--an Asian restaurant, with some fantastic-tasting lumpia, I might add. The Monkees have started their own club night called Juicy on Fridays at the International District spot, following the lead that crews like Circle of Fire set with Movement at the former nightclubs Nation and Noiselab. After watching other promoters make money off urban dancers and b-boys, they decided to take control and shape their nights their way. Benito Ybarra, a member of the Massive Monkees, explains what makes Juicy unique. "We're trying to have a chill spot that's different from the regular club vibe," he says, "where b-boys, females, and the like can come, listen to good music, and eat some food. An alternative way to kick it." While most clubs have dress codes, Ybarra adds, "This is more a vibe where you can be yourself." (You can also check out Ybarra on his radio show, Understandable Smooth, at the University of Washington's RainyDawg Radio with DJ Jonce on Wednesday nights from 7:00-9:00 p.m.) Marc Sense is the resident selector at Vesper, playing the old school, true school, new school, and R&B classics.
Sense's brother, DJ Kitman, will be spinning at an upcoming b-boy battle called Soul Clap. The competition puts $450 in cash prizes on the line on Saturday, November 29, at the Nippon Kan Theatre. The event will feature the Blue Scholars and a live band with Amos Miller, Camilo Estrada, Aaron Walker-Loud, Jason Chambliss, and Ben O'Shea. There will be two different competitions that night--a traditional three-on-three bout for prizes, and one set up schoolyard-style, reminiscent of the old days in sports when captains chose their teams. It should be cool seeing the dancers get down with a live band--the L.A. group Breakestra does this a lot and the teamed-up performance is always very well received by the crowd and the dancers.
1. Gift of Gab, "The Writz" (Quannum)
2. Redman, "Rockafella" (Def Jam)
3. Rasco feat. Chali 2na & Jake One, "The Sweet Science" (Pockets Linted)
4. Micranots, "Eight Days" (Rhymesayers)
5. Freeway feat. Twista, "Show's Over" (Roc-a-Fella)
6. Nas, "Everybody Get" (Ill Will)
7. Jace of the Silent Lambs Project, "What's Ya Definition" (K)
8. G Unit, "I Smell Pussy" (Shady/Aftermath)
9. Q-Unique, "The Ugly Place" (Uncle Howie)