The New Citizens Press
LANSING, MI — Hiphop in Lansing. The phrase brings to mind images of violence, drugs and ignorance. This inaccurate view is presented in the media through pieces on violent drug related ignorance at local Hiphop venues. With all the negative press the Kulture of Hiphop has received, it is due time for real Hiphop to shine in the media.
When Hiphop began it was all about having fun in a peaceful way, so when Old School Hiphop legends came to the Temple Club on March 19, Lansing was in for a treat. From the second people came through the door, to before the crowd left, Hiphop’s positive affect on the crowd was evident. If you were at the show you heard The Teacha, KRS One give the messages of “Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun” throughout his set.
East Lansing resident MC 3rd Deggree called KRS One “Hiphop in it’s truest form.” When asked why he supported KRS One, 3rd replied, “Knowledge reigns supreme over everything, especially when you use that knowledge for the greater good.”
The concert was more like a gathering the community to have a good time of unity, love and peace and to express true Hiphop.
March 19 at the Temple Club was a historic event in the city of Lansing. This was a place where the originators of the Hiphop Kulture could show the masses why this music exists. Any person who wanted a first hand account of what Hiphop was created from and continues to represent could have experienced it all.
This was a Hiphop show in the main hall of the Temple Club and the police was not called. Some of the other large media outlets in the city have not covered this type of story. So regardless of how the other news outlets in this city chose to frame Hiphop, The New Citizens Press is here to change that negative mindset.
The night started off real cool with a networking session in the Red Light Lounge. The place was packed with all types of cats, from Grand Rapids to Detroit. The Deejay was spinning the classics while people were exchanging phone numbers, fliers, music, and drinks. After a brief freestyle cipher, the crowd moved upstairs to the main hall where DJ Ruckus was on the ones and two’s giving the party people a reason breathe. All the while DJ Adaverse kept the Red Light Lounge sounding fresh during Ruckus’ set. The entire building was filled with Hiphop.
Hiphop is a culture that everyone can participate and all of the revelers were partaking in some element of Hiphop.There was ciphering throughout the Temple Club from the basement to the balcony. While the MC’s flexed their lyrical might the Break Dancers gathered on the main floor to practice their kung-fu. Some breakers realized a dream on Saturday when the Blastmaster called all the B-boys to the stage to show off their skillz. The club was packed, the crowd was hype, and no one got shot in a fight. That’s real Hiphop.
Michigan State University (MSU) graduate Gambit the MC was pleasantly pleased with the audience. Amazing!” He said, “This show tells us how the times are…It takes and old school cat like KRS One to bring out people in large numbers.” Gambit has been to many other peaceful Hiphop shows in the area, most of which have had significantly less attendance. Perhaps if the Lansing media highlighted these types of Hiphop events instead of the violent popular perception they propagate, large crowds like this one would be more frequent at the underground shows. The most common promoter of these events is the East Lansing based Hiphop shop The Code of the Cutz.
Code of the Cutz owner Jamie Wilkins a.k.a. DJ Adaverse was behind a table of merchandise from her store distributing everything from music and hats, to slip mats and paint caps. Adaverse commented “the people came out of the woodwork for this show.”
Among the other Street Entrepreneurs attempting to capitalize off of the diverse crowd was the Subterraneous Crew. Michigan natives, One Be Lo and Magestik Legend were selling copies of One Be Lo’s new album S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. “If you constantly keep doing it, people will follow.” Said Legend on creating a large fan base like the one that KRS 1 has. In fact he is witnessing the consequences of persistence. At the S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M record release party last February, the Subcrew filled an Ann Arbor venue with the line still rapped around the block when the doors locked. He said of the KRS One’s appeal to the masses “this proves it is possible to speak what is on your mind and still be successful.”
3rd added “your fans will be true to you if they know the true you, gimmicks may equal money, but not longevity.” MC’s like 3rd , One Be Lo, Magestik Legend, and Gambit are all working toward the same goal, and that is creating environments similar to the one at the Temple Club on March 19.
Hiphop in its purest form is unstoppable regardless of it’s tarnished image in the media. We need more events like this one in Lansing. As you can see there are many DJ’s and MC’s in the area that promote and support peaceful events in the area, you may not have known because nobody on TV or the Radio gives it attention. They can justify not covering real Hiphop because they do not feel it will sell to the masses, but I do not buy it. If you feel like I do, then don’t buy either, support those who support you. As far as Hiphop in Lansing, those who spread a positive massage using Hiphop are the Cultural Vibe on 88.9 fm, The Code of the Cutz, The New Citizens Press, Hashpling (#!), and countless MC’s DJ’s, Writers, B-Boy’s, and other Hiphoppa’s that make this happen.
Joe Peligro is a writer and photographer. He is the President of the A.V. Club at Lansing Community College and the producer and host of Hashpling (#!).