Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Rap is Freedom, pt. II

Here's the second half of my tale fromt the 2007 Hemp Fest rap concert. Check out the first half here to fill in the missing pieces. Part II:

The empty amphitheater

The main thread of Definition's raps revolved around drawing a line between them and mainstream hip-hop, a feat that usually requires some substance to back it up. But instead of substance, we got bombarded with fronts and disses, and strangely enough, references to Napolean Dynomite and U2. I guess they thought they could relate to Central Ohioans at a hippy festival with pop culture name drops. And so these posers continued to hate on the haters as Evan continued to yell about freedom, haircuts, and ice. He quickly and deliberately made his way to the stage and raised his hand as if to ask a question. This got some of the audience interested and some upset, but still there was attention directed toward the ass in the front row.

“He has a question!” Shouted a voice from the audience.
“Yeah, I have a question!” Evan said.
Illogic addressed the mop-haired teen in the undersized Wendy’s shirt by replying, notably confused and annoyed,
“I’m in the middle of my set, man.”
“Well, I’m in the middle of my set,” countered Evan. And it was true, there definitely were two shows going on there that night, one more interesting than the other. All Evan wanted from this rapper was for him to show us that he could in fact put a dirty little punk kid in his place. Nothing was done, and this continued on for some time. Spurts of rap followed by attention to the freedom-obsessed question-punk in the front.

As it turned out, Evan didn’t have a question, but merely wanted to start a rap battle with the defensive Illogic. An avid rap and hip-hop fan, Evan was of the mind that rap should be a discourse in which disagreements can be settled with the mic. Only the best should come out on top, and if to do that it takes a scraggly-haired white kid to be crushed on stage by legitimate freestyle, that’s what it takes. But suspensions of freedom that night only made the situation worse. Before we headed out, during an ultra-hatin’ song about our president, Evan walked onto the stage and started smoking a cigarette. A furious fan slapped it out of his mouth as Illogic stopped to shout obscenities, and the DJ left his cocoon of a record table to deal with the punk on stage. The stage hands gathered as the crowd picked sides. The reluctance by Illogic to face off against his little rival was mirrored by the tameness in the mounting posse, and so it didn’t look like anyone was going to be hurt. To be safe we all escorted our friend out as he shouted back,

“Freedom at Hemp Fest 2007!”

The stage was silent as we walked away.

Visit these to get the whole picture:
Illogic's myspace
Ill Poetic's myspace
The Green Brothers myspace


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