It’s Bigger than the Miami Light Project

It’ll take a nation of millions to hold us back

Thinking hip-hop fans are feeling their age these days. They refuse to contort themselves into the latest ridiculous dance, “Crank Dat Soulja Boy,” or participate in the basic call-and-response-based “A Bay Bay” brainwashing that’s taken over radio and television airwaves. They refuse to swallow BET’s bitter pill. Music lovers who grew up in hip-hop’s heyday, who remember when the music had a message and actually deserved to be called “the CNN of the streets,” can no longer abide the gross oversimplification and commercialization of hip-hop. And believe it or not -- despite the initially sparse crowds at the daytime portion of this year’s Rock the Bells -- there are others right here in the 305 who feel the same way. Meet these likeminded music fans at the fifth annual Miami Project Hip Hop, where you can expect to be inspired by four days of events hosted by artists, writers, filmmakers, and performers who are challenging the current standards of the genre.

“Miami Light Project is dope, because they’ve always tried to deepen the conversation. This being an artistic, theatrical project, and approaching it from an intellectual perspective, says it all,” declares Jeff Chang. As the author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and an intelligent and prolific writer who focuses his lens on race, culture, politics, and hip-hop, he knows of what he speaks. “I’m coming to facilitate a discussion of misogyny, homophobia, and the issues that myself and Byron Hurt have addressed in our work,” he says. He’ll host a book-signing and discussion at the Books & Books store in Miami Beach Sunday, September 30. On Saturday acclaimed filmmaker Byron Hurt will present a screening of his astounding documentary, Beyond Beats and Rhymes. Other edutaining happenings include a performance by the bad-ass New York theater company Universes, and local D-Projects b-boy Rudi Goblen’s presentation of his latest piece, Insanity Isn’t. The events kick off tonight at the Light Box, when at-risk urban group Youth Expressions gives a killer live performance of original work developed alongside Teo Castellanos. Admission is free. Call 305-576-4350, or visit www.miamilightproject.com for a complete list of events.
Sept. 27-30, 2007

 
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