The Stranger vs. Bumbershoot

Here Come the Bad Boys

The Mind's Eye

The Surreal World

Intellectual Design

No Laughing Matter

Head Games

Slip of the Tongue in Cheek

The Stranger Vs. Bumbershoot

The Eternal Struggle

Comics Are Hot!

Rocket Man

Second Skin

Bookish Babes

Satan Spawn and Selma's Cootchie

Who, When, Where

None of the hiphop acts in this year's Bumbershoot are about the lower end of things. All you will see and hear are conscious rappers like Common, Talib Kweli, Zion I, Blue Scholars, Beyond Reality, and Digable Planets. These men and women focus on the head. True, they make great music you can dance to, but the body (or its bottom end) is not their primary concern. For them, the world needs to be changed, living standards improved, human rights recognized, and so you (the target of their message) must really listen and learn.

But hiphop at its root is about full representation. A healthy CD collection contains a wild variety of saints and devils. Mobb Deep and De La Soul; Too Short and Public Enemy; 50 Cent and Mos Def; The 2 Live Crew and Monie Love—all of the energies that charge a society should be reflected by one's listening habits. In real life, one doesn't read serious novels all of the time, or constantly protest against this or that social evil. We also fuck and eat and do things that have no intellectual value at all.

Now, it would seem that because thug hiphop, and particularly booty hiphop, is over-represented in the mainstream, Bumbershoot chooses to ignore it. But this is not the solution. They should produce a lineup that resembles the democracy of hiphop before corporations captured it and sucked out its vital variety like vampires. We love the conscious hiphop; it definitely needs a stage and our support, but we also need the dumb, mindless stuff. We can't be thinking all of the time. Now and then we've got to let go and give in to the dirty drives of the lower body. CHARLES MUDEDE