White riot, I wanna riot/White riot, a riot of my own. —the Clash
Just the other day, I got asked three separate times what I thought of that goddamn riot down at Evergreen recently. You know, the one at the Dead Prez concert. I hesitate to even write about the shit because I only seem to get e-mail from the hiphop-hating "it's not even music!" rockist types (stop reading my column, Granny!) or the conscious hemphop warriors... two camps I'm sure would love to weigh in on this topic.
So what do I think? I think that I wasn't there, but it sure sounds like it was a recipe for a real Valentine's Day love-in. You have the Oly cops, who have developed—or perhaps always had—an adversarial relationship with Evergreen students. (This is pretty apparent on the video I've seen of them moving on the mob after the show.) You have the Greeners themselves, a group of kids who won't hesitate to boldly stand up for what they believe in and be individuals—especially if everyone else around them is doing the same thing. You have the shadowy masked "anarchists," last seen C-walking on the Niketown sign during the WTO protests. Then of course you have the media, who will play fast and loose with info about the incident, alleging that Dead Prez whipped the crowd into a cruiser-flipping frenzy. You have insufficient security—BIG no-no. Then you have Dead Prez themselves, a hiphop group whose music I happen to really enjoy, and who I'm sure wouldn't advocate an unruly, unorganized mob action.
Here's a quote from the comments on (plug) Raindrop Hustla that sums it up for me: "Those white people freed a black man from the back of a police car. When have you heard that happen before? Most places white people aren't like that." Oh, thank de lawd, thank de lawd for you good hardworking white folks, come to set us free!
Anyway, enough of all that. I'm loving how the Sunset, formerly a pretty rock-centric stronghold, has been doing some dope hiphop shows. NYC avant-gardians Bisc1, Metermaids, and Domer are making a pit stop in the kingdom of Ballard for their Traveling Circuits tour—peep 'em at the 'Set on Wednesday, March 5. I know Bisc is down with the Def Jukie crew, so you can probably extrapolate what that sounds like, and Metermaids and Domer both bring a cerebral indie-rock vibe and electronic crunch to their hiphop; shockingly, for the most part the shit sounds pretty damn good. In particular, Domer's tuneful, half-poppy style sounds pretty good on a sunny day like today. BUT! Don't get all cocky, Seattle. You know how you get—sun creeps out late February, you start loving life and dancing in the end zone... then BOOM, cloud cover till mid-June. Get some sun because you're scaring me, paleness. But don't believe the hype!