Scratches & Cutz

By Joe Walker

     E. LANSING — Hip-hop is a style. Hip-hop is a language. Hip-hop is a culture.
     The dress code and art of hip-hop is distinctive, from Wu-Wear jeans to personalized graffiti on DJs turntables. The language of hip-hop is unmistakable, from the universal head-nod greeting to the punch-line poetics known as rap. The culture of hip-hop is timeless, from the breaker dancers of the 80’s to the b-boys and b-girls of today.
     One can get a dose of all that is hip-hop upon entering Code of The Cutz, a hip-hop music store located at 317 MAC Ave. in East Lansing, Michigan. The store is said to be a one-stop-shop for all your hip-hop needs.
     Entering the store, one is drawn to the vibrant colors of graffiti art on the walls. Posters of various hip-hop stars and events cover the unpainted areas. There are turntables and a microphone set up just inside the entrance, visible to pacers-by in the front window. The sound system pumps underground hip-hop jams and instrumentals through the speakers. The environment is a symbol of the culture.
     Owner Jamie Wilkins, AKA DJ Addverse, opened Code of The Cutz in 2002. An accomplished and well-respected DJ, Addverse’s store provides fuel to others in the turntable profession through a variety of classic vinyl hip-hop records, along with rare and popular underground new releases. DJs can also come into the store and practice their skill while getting pointers from others DJs during special tutelage sessions and in-store events. Addverse is also a touring athlete who competes in the ESPN X-Games, carrying the name of Code of The Cutz across the world.
    Cutz also hosts open microphone nights, allowing up-and-coming rappers to showcase their talents.
    Notable underground hip-hop stars such as Paradime, One.Be.Lo, Elzhi, Longshot and Bomb Sqwad make Code of The Cutz a must-stop on their promotional tours and recording travels. In-store autograph sessions, listening parties and meet-and-greets are frequent events at the MAC Ave. location.
    Code of The Cutz also sponsors local charity events and city functions, including the recent Nu Poets event Poetry In The Park. On July 20, Code of The Cutz held a fundraiser at The Temple Club in The Red Light Lounge.
    For more information, visit