Who’s afraid of hip-hop? City thought DJ Kool “too big a risk” for Bele Chere

City staff considered DJ Kool, a 53-year-old hip-hop performer famous for his 1996 hit “Let Me Clear My Throat,” too much of a risk to play Bele Chere, emails obtained by Xpress reveal. The emails also illuminate a deeper conflict concerning hip-hop acts playing Bele Chere, which critics say revealed outdated prejudices.

The lack of hip-hop on the schedule has been a long-standing gripe about the popular downtown street festival, and this year, fueled by social media, an impromptu movement arose to get a hip-hop act at Bele Chere, coalescing around DJ Kool.

Members of the volunteer Bele Chere board were receptive to the idea, the emails reveal. In the end, however, city staff — not citizen volunteers — select the acts, and over the course of three months, the emails detail how a troubling dynamic played out. From the beginning, some city staffers considered DJ Kool a risk, citing concerns about crowd control and cursing, and asserting that city staff needed to consult with the Asheville Police Department.

A month after Xpress had requested the emails in response to public concerns, the city sent them as a single unsearchable, scanned PDF image, with the emails in no discernible order. At least two emails on the requested topics were omitted, though Xpress later obtained them from other sources.

Sandra Travis, the program director for the city’s festivals, says the risk she referred to was that DJ Kool’s act wouldn’t bring out a large enough crowd. In the end, she maintains, the APD was not consulted, and it was a lack of consensus among festival planners, rather than an aversion to hip-hop, that led to the choice of a different act.

“Questionable acts”

On Feb. 28, Emmy Parker, the Bele Chere board’s entertainment chair, emailed city staff and others involved in planning the festival, calling for a hip-hop presence.

“There’s a little movement online (Facebook and Twitter) to bring more hip-hop to Bele Chere,” she wrote. “Folks are specifically clamoring for DJ Kool.” Parker added that DJ Kool fit within the festival’s price range and “is very safe … extremely well-liked by young and old, black and white.”

In her view, “Booking him would let the African-American community (as well as the 18-34 demo) in AVL know that Bele Chere is trying to include them. Because, right now, the word on the Internet is that black folks don’t feel included. We should take this opportunity to start to change that perception for the betterment of the festival and the city in general.”

By that point, a Facebook movement to get DJ Kool at Bele Chere had 103 “likes” and 23 comments.

On March 8, an email from Bill Clarke, contracted by the city as production manager for the festival, criticized Parker’s suggestions, placing DJ Kool and a number of other performers on a list of “questionable acts.”

He chided Parker for putting the suggestions forth and making inquiries to performers, noting, “These unofficial conversations can have very negative results both financially and politically.”

On March 23, Travis pulled DJ Kool from the proposed lineup, writing, “I think DJ Kool’s performance is too big a risk.”

The same day, Parker replied: “I am going to stand firm by DJ Kool. It is a mistake not to open this festival up to hip-hop.” She argued: “Frankly, if he isn’t playing profane music, there isn’t a real ‘risk,’ only a perceived one (and it is very dangerous to continue to support perceived fears). Asheville is too progressive of a town to [subscribe] to antiquated and misplaced notions of danger.”

On March 25, Parker noted that she “had a nice convo with DJ Kool last night. It’s worth noting that this man is 53 years old, and he reminded me again last night that his No.1 song does not have curses in it. Again, he plays ’80s old school hip-hop, he doesn’t curse himself and is not into drugs or gangs.”

Parker offered to arrange a conversation between DJ Kool and Travis.

The results of that conversation were not included in the emails the city released. But in a March 30 email to Parker that Xpress obtained from other sources, Travis wrote, “We had a really good conversation,” and the artist “understood my concerns — both from what his performance would be like AND crowd control.”

“Based on a piece of advice he gave me, I’ve got a few feelers out to see what’s happening in our neighborhoods.” In the email, Travis didn’t specify what kind of “feelers” she meant.

Risky business

“There are lots of different risks when talking about this,” Travis explains. “To us, the biggest risk is putting money from a very limited budget into an act that will not be successful: Either they’re not the right act for a street festival, or they’re not going to draw a crowd that somebody else could draw.”

All Bele Chere performers are required to sign a contract agreeing to refrain from foul language onstage.

Travis says the concerns about cursing arose after she saw a parental-advisory label on a DJ Kool album featured on his website, though his best-known hit contains no curse words and has become a common sports-arena and party anthem.

“I expressed concerns about the content of his performance, which he understood completely,” Travis reports.

She also says she spoke with DJ Kool about hip-hop in general and the difference between playing a club and a street festival. As for the “feelers,” she says, “It wasn’t talking to the APD; it was more just talking to people, getting a feel for what they wanted to see. If there’s anything that might impact the festival, regardless of what it is, we need to know.”

A matter of trust

DJ Kool tells a somewhat different tale. Asked about the nature of the “risks” Travis discussed with him, the artist says with a laugh, “I guess she thought rival neighborhoods would get together. I didn’t know what to say: I’m 53 years old; the type of music I play is not the type of racy stuff you hear. Because there’s children and seniors out there, I would play old-school hip-hop. None of that music has any language in it.”

The overall impression the artist received from city staff was one of fear — fears he feels were totally unjustified.

“If you’re that scared, why are you putting on the event?” he wonders. “What, are you going to put a sign up that says no black people between the ages of such-and-such can enter this event? If you’re that doggone scared, why throw an event that’s going to draw that many people? Just stay in your house, lock your door, stay in your closet, lock the closet door.”

The veteran performer also expressed surprise that Travis was contacting him about crowd control rather than his craft as a musician.

“I’m quite sure this is not the first time they’ve had this event; they acted like this was the first time I’ve ever done this,” he reported. “You’re not going to stop people from coming to the event. My goodness gracious, this was ridiculous. I’m probably one of the safest acts out there. I play party stuff: there’s no trouble; the only thing I’m trying to incite is getting people onto the dance floor.”

Based on his conversation with Travis, DJ Kool says he was surprised to find out he’d been excluded from the lineup.

“She wasn’t worried what I was going to bring: She figured I would bring the right music,” he noted.

“I told her if she was worried, why didn’t they know what was going on?” he adds. “That’s their business. I live in Washington, D.C.; I don’t know even what’s going on here.”

Back and forth

Meanwhile, some in the city’s Cultural Arts Division, which runs Bele Chere, didn’t think much of DJ Kool’s music.

“I think it’s lame — there’s much better old-skool rap out there,” Cultural Arts Superintendent Diane Ruggiero wrote on March 28 to Frank McGowan, superintendent of business services. In a follow-up email the next day, she added, “Isn’t anything way cooler than DJ Kool?”

But Parker wasn’t the artist’s only defender on the Bele Chere board. After Travis’ conversation with him, the hip-hop performer’s name wasn’t brought up again until April, when discussion once again turned to the lineup, with go-go band Mambo Sauce suggested to fill that spot. Parker opposed the decision, saying go-go is relatively unknown outside D.C., and the selection “in no way achieves what we are trying to do, which is let the African-American community know they are welcome at Bele Chere.”

On April 11, Cristin Corder Lee, an event specialist for the city, said she would prefer DJ Kool and “then would be open to other hip-hop/urban acts, depending on the feedback from the APD.”

Travis replied that she’d prefer Mambo Sauce but “still need some input from outside depts.” The emails don’t reveal whether the APD gave input on DJ Kool or hip-hop acts in general. “If anyone talked with APD about this, it wasn’t me, and it would have been my place to do so,” says Travis.

As for “outside departments,” Travis says: “I just wanted to get a feel for how popular this would be. I’m not on the cutting edge of the music scene, so I talk to a lot of people inside the city and outside and ask: ‘How do you feel about this act? Ever heard of them?’”

Board Chair Steve Busey weighed in on the matter too, supporting the choice of DJ Kool, particularly if he could share the stage with frequent partner Doug E Fresh.

“Come on. Ya just don’t get any safer than that, do ya?” he wrote on April 26. “That is safer than De La Soul. If we go further back in hip-hop history, we’ll need to put them on Sunday as our ‘oldies’ band.”

Clarke, however, disagreed, taking issue with DJ Kool’s being a DJ, saying he preferred Mambo Sauce because they’re a “live band!”

Busey replied: “DJ Kool and Doug E Fresh are live human beings with a pulse. Their musical tools are different.”

Clarke shot back, “I appreciate your 2 cents and yes he [DJ Kool] is a human being with a pulse but still a dj.”

Parker also weighed in the same day, taking issue with Clarke’s dismissal of the performers because they were DJs.

“Hip-hop, which may or may not feature live instrumentation, is the most popular form of music in the world and has been for the last two decades,” she wrote. “There’s no use in fighting it any longer.”

The next day, praising the recommended lineup (which included DJ Kool) and offering to respond to possible concerns of the APD, Ruggiero, Parks and Recreation Director Roderick Simmons and Mayor Terry Bellamy, Busey wrote: “Risk is good. It is through risk that we are rewarded. This [the lineup] has been thought through deeply by the committee. I see this as a low and educated risk.”

Parker, in an email to Clarke, wrote: “I find the use of the word ‘risk’ in association with DJ Kool and Doug E Fresh to be offensive and too thinly veiled for my sensibilities. This free and public festival should represent all of the citizens of this city, not just a select few. A diverse cross section of 18- to 34-year-old residents, and the music they listen to and the artists they are interested in, is not a ‘risk.’ They are Ashevilleans (e.g. taxpayers) and the residents that will be responsible for the future growth of this city.”

In another email not released by the city, Clarke says he doesn’t want to endanger Travis’ position, writing, “The risk I referred to is that which comes with responsibility and having to report to others. There is more at stake than just booking bands that we think will be enjoyed by all and not create additional worries. That risk comes with keeping the big picture in mind, not just one part of a festival this size. Risk is something that will never be replaced by technology, social media or downloads: It is what people in management have to consider, regardless if it relates to a dj or beer sales.”

Although the emails also discuss other aspects of the lineup, no other artist is described as a risk or directed to converse with staff about performance-related concerns.

“No, it did not happen with other artists this year,” says Travis, and other board members confirm this. “Because the group was divided on whether this was a good fit for the festival or not, I felt it deserved more attention, a little more research.”

In the end, the approved Bele Chere lineup featured Mambo Sauce — and no hip-hop groups.

“For a variety of reasons, I’m going with Mambo Sauce and Stephen Kellogg for the remaining two slots,” Travis wrote on April 29 following the discussions between Parker, Busey and Clarke. “I know some of you are going to be happy and some of you are going to be unhappy.  Regardless of the decision I made, I knew that would be the end result.  But, as the saying goes, that’s why I get the big bucks.” Travis also praised Parker for her work, adding “we needed to stretch our boundaries and we most certainly have.”

Earlier this month, however, Mambo Sauce pulled out, and the hip-hop group Kids These Days was chosen to replace them. They’ll play the Battery Park stage July 30 at 6 p.m.

Despite the board support for DJ Kool, says Travis, “It became clear that the group of people involved in this process couldn’t reach consensus. In the end, I felt Mambo Sauce would be a better fit for the festival and for the time slot.”

“Times change”

This year’s Bele Chere had a budget of $494,054. About $75,000 is allocated for musical entertainment. In the discussions, DJ Kool was willing to play for $2,000 to $3,000 — toward the lower end of the band-fee spectrum.

“I advocated for hip-hop: We need to get that door open. It’s a genre that spans many ages and cultures,” notes Busey. “This is an important genre that could be represented and should be. It’s been around for 30 years; it’s as safe as it’s going to be.”

But whatever the board members recommend, city staff makes the final call, Busey emphasizes, adding that the process “went how it usually does — there was a very open discussion.” Public safety, he continues, “always has to be a factor in Bele Chere, but to think it’s safer to program to an older audience is crazy. Times change.”

“There’s a lack of understanding — they don’t know their community,” charges local blogger and promoter Tim Smith, a vocal critic of the lack of hip-hop at Bele Chere. “This is the No. 1 genre of music in the United States: How can you deny that in the biggest street festival in the Southeast? I think it’s a fear of the unknown, but it’s just ignorance. Not once has there been a big riot of black people at Bele Chere; this is unwarranted. Why aren’t we ‘checking in the neighborhoods about the bluegrass or electronica bands that are playing?”

Hoping to address his concerns, Smith got involved in the Bele Chere selection process this year.

“I wanted to be a part of the process,” he explains. “I wanted to see how it is, what was offered, and to give my perspective about the music that I enjoy and thousands of others do as well.”

When the lineup first emerged with no hip-hop present, Smith says he was disappointed, but “not surprised. I don’t think hip-hop has been represented at Bele Chere ever.”

Smith took his argument to the media, including a July 7 appearance on WLOS and an opinion blog for Xpress.

Simmons, the city’s Parks and Recreation director, told WLOS that the hip-hop groups that applied to Bele Chere “just didn’t make the final cut.”

But if those acts weren’t up to par, argues Smith, the city should have made an effort to recruit groups that would measure up, as it did with other genres. “I just want the lineup to be more diverse,” he notes. “I want the close-minded people to get their eyes opened.”

Indeed, after designating DJ Kool a risk, Travis’ March 23 email asks for a “good mix [of genres] for each day,” specifying the need for country and blues performers “to think about as we fill any open slots.”

Travis now says she regrets the criticism that’s arisen over the lack of hip-hop.

“It disappoints me, to be honest,” she says. “We worked really, really hard this year to broaden the variety. I feel we like we broadened it so much, and I’m really proud of our musical lineup. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback: It’s really difficult to include everything in the time period we have with the budget we have.”

Busey, however, feels Bele Chere must change if it’s to survive.

“We have to start programming the festival toward a youth audience,” he maintains. Otherwise it becomes old, unless you’re bringing another generation into this.” Despite the dispute over hip-hop and DJ Kool, however, Busey sees this year’s lineup as an improvement, observing, “I view it as little victories.”

Parker sees some progress as well.

“Asheville is a very progressive and open-minded city that supports all manner of arts and music,” she wrote in an email to Xpress. “I pushed as hard as I could for real change to the lineup, so more Ashevilleans would find interest in Bele Chere and so Bele Chere would better reflect the diversity of our town. We were successful at pushing through stronger, more relevant headliners and getting more local bands in significant spots on the lineup. Though we weren’t successful with everything, this is a small step in the right direction, and hopefully one day soon we’ll see actual change.”

— David Forbes, senior news reporter


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22 thoughts on “Who’s afraid of hip-hop? City thought DJ Kool “too big a risk” for Bele Chere

  1. Margaret Williams

    In response to some recent comments that we have removed: Please keep your comments civil. Criticize the ideas, not the people.

  2. Lee

    Wait, wait, wait:

    Sandra Travis told Mountain X: “It became clear that the group of people involved in this process couldn’t reach consensus.”

    Then, Travis says in an email to the selection committee:

    “For a variety of reasons, I’m going with Mambo Sauce….I know some of you are going to be happy and some of you are going to be unhappy. Regardless of the decision I made, I knew that would be the end result. But, as the saying goes, that’s why I get the big bucks.”

    It sounds like SHE made the decision to exclude DJ Kool solely on her own, which means, she flat out lied to the Mountain X about why DJ Kool isn’t coming. To make matters worse, her excuse doesn’t even hold up, since almost everyone BUT her was on board. Shady to say the least.

    Which begs the question, why even have a selection committee if in the end all of the booking and decisions go through her?

    P.S. Mountain X: thanks for not approving my first comment. FYI censorship shelters those responsible for this fiasco and only fuels the fire.

  3. Margaret Williams

    Thank you for removing the potentially libelous and/or defamatory remarks, Lee. Censorship was not the issue.

  4. nancy

    “I don’t think hip-hop has been represented at Bele Chere ever.” Tim Smith

    Apparently Mr. Smith missed great Bele Chere headline performances by Hip Hop Culture and Me Phi Me. They performed as part of the line-up in the early 90’s that included Lucky Dube, The Staple Singers, Charmaine Neville, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Joe Higgs, Thomas Mapfumo, Samba Ngo, Los Lobos, Jo-El Sonnier, Zachary Richard, Flat Duo Jets, and little known Lucinda Williams. We also included teen talent showcases with some amazing local hip hop stylists.

    [MtnX reporter: check your archive.]

    With a talent buying budget of only $45,000 and a predominance of local and regional performers, our hip hop selections were successful additions to diverse line-ups that satisfied the widest range of festival-goers. That was our charge. No trouble on the street, either.

    I wonder if part of the problem is that in some of the best hip hop, explicit profanity is essential to the art — and seeking out performers on the ‘clean’ criterion alone is kind of like looking for a great metal band that’s not too loud.

    No excuse for the nonsensical process described in this article, though. I looked for a hero but couldn’t find one.

  5. Sybil

    Nancy you said explicit profanity is essential to the art. That statement alone is close minded. Not all hip hop has cursing and negative language in it. There are artist out there that don’t curse, you have to be able to look and listen to more then what the radio gives you to listen to. If you like hip hop music and truly a music lover you will search out others that sing the type of hip hop you like. Its like any other art it has its negative and positive attributes. You just have to be open to it.

  6. Nancy

    Sybil missed the point when I opined, “I wonder if part of the problem is that in some of the best hip hop, explicit profanity is essential to the art..”

    ‘Wondering…if some’ is hardly definitive, as Sybil accuses. And citing some great hip hop at former Bele Chere festivals that were popular and incident-free is hardly critical of the effort or the genre.

    To my ears, in ‘some of the best hip hop,’ unvarnished lyrics are essential to the (rebel) music.

    I’m a fan and that’s partly why it strikes me as bizarre for the organizers to concern themselves with potentially censoring essential content and dissing sampling and other recorded music only to appease and please the masses.

    The absurdity of the process described in this article bears that out.

    If I were an investigative reporter, I’d be looking at the production manager’s contract and fee and find out where and why he was authorized to over-ride the Entertainment Chair’s recommendation. As a contractor to the festival, that seemed out of line. Same with City staff whose job it is to support the work of the Bele Chere Board.

    And maybe the advocates for hip hop should challenge themselves to be a little more broad-minded, too, in their effort to diversify the music at Bele Chere. Don’t give up, but don’t make hip hop the only focus of your effort to broaden and upgrade the entertainment at the festival.

  7. Doug Sahm

    Seriously? All this whining because there is no rap act booked for this short, family-friendly festival downtown? You people act as if the city of Asheville has completely outlawed hip-hop from ever being performed within the city limits. Unfortunately, but understandably, the frequency of hip-hop shows in Asheville reflects the demographic make-up of the city (and inexplicably the one-hit wonder, DJ Kool, seems to play here once a month). Thats life. For the record, I like hip-hop, but I also realize that I don’t live in New York City, or even Charlotte. Asheville has its own identity and I can’t imagine that it is ever going to be a hot bed for hip-hop even though there are small hip-hop shows happening quite a bit around here.
    Now I have to go and finish my diatribe about the fact that Bele Chere didn’t book any heavy metal bands this year.

  8. Word Up in the AVL

    Will someone point out to me where the hip-hop is at:
    or anywhere else in Asheville?

    Unless a band is on tour & are coming through the Orange Peel, I don’t see any hip-hop culture or presence in this town. I think Bele Chere & it’s staffers were responding to the requests & desires of this community. It seems one person on their committee & one person in the community are squeaky wheels for this DJ Kool fellow – but not for hip-hop in general. I agree – there are *much* better hip hop acts than DJ Kool.

    Next year lets just bring 23 Skiddo and everyone will be happy….
    [Or not – because everyone always wants something to b*tch about when it comes to B.C.]

  9. AVLnative

    It’s obvious that the Bele Chere committee and the city are not comfortable with the idea of the black community encroaching on their wonderful event. The idea that they need to consult with the APD about booking an act is insulting. And the comment that the artist would not pull a big enough crowd is ridiculous. Look at the other acts. Some are unheard of and will pull families and friends only. Asheville is increasingly racist and prejudice to the black community.

  10. Dirty Frost

    I guess people really look past the positivity in hip hop and the culture as a whole. Not only that, but it sounds like some people have a preconceived prejudice against something they probably never really spent time to understand.

    With that being said, I’m proud to be a part of AVL’s hip hop scene and hip hop in general. LAAFF is having my us perform this year on the main stage. Let’s move through the darkness to the end of this tunnel where we know the light is.

    For anyone interested in local hip hop, check out The Ville Boyz and like us on facebook to follow and spread the light:



  11. Snark-n-Snarf

    Pppttttt I was walking around Bele Chere today and consistently heard hip-hop songs with bands. Maybe it was just because of the time I was there this afternoon but there was definitely a hip-hop presence.

  12. boatrocker

    Aww, poor Asheville.

    Asheville just now figured out that Bele Chere, Downtown After 5, LAAF, various local music festivals/clubs that cater to Gen. Y and Baby Boomers (the 2 biggest demographics who spend the most expendable income here) avoid ‘questionable’ music that scares tourists away?

    Thanks, ACT and Mtn X. music writers for fawning upon said safe bands too without writing honest music editorials.

    Ahhhh! Whitey tourists are scared to dance to bands with a backbeat! Bring on the emo-folk acts!

    Please remember, our 2 most lucrative exports are tourism and hype. Post a reply here and respond point by point if anyone disagrees.

    Back in the Golden Age of radio, they called it payola.

    Now they just call it the singer-songwriter/Americana/roots-lite scene. “E-Town” makes real music fans taste vomit, but sells yoga mats and rolfing like gangbusters.

    And any locals who live here are surprised that outta towner Pollyanna bands land gigs here locally? Sheesh.

    Asheville, as ye sow, so shall ye reap in terms of drawing crap non-local music here. Quit complaining about it if you attend their shows. Especially for a free music festival.

  13. Who exactly in charge of concepts and ideas are still in tune with the Hip-Hop culture? The statement made that KOOL would be a better choice than DE LA SOUL as far as a safe act for the event was clearly not made by someone in the know.

    Also to state that going back further than Kool and Doug E. Fresh would be oldies is also rediculous. HIP-HOP as a culture and musical genre has only been around for 40 years! At what date does music become and “OLDIE”. I’m 35 years old and listen to mostly mid 80’s to mid 90’s Hip-HOP. Kool came out in the commercial realm in the mid to early 90’s, A TRIBE CALLED QUEST came out mid to late 80’s and are touring again! They created “The Love Movement” in Hip-Hop that is still active to this day. BDP another….Mid to early 80’s, KRS-ONE Preaches Non-Violence in his music all the time…still performing and relevent.

    I am a 12 year veteran of the Universal Zulu Nation, I am the chapter President of a World Wide B-Boy Crew, I am a Proud Member of Ashevilles very own HUNAB KRU, I am a 35 year old father and husband, I am an Educator, I hold 2 college degrees, I am myself also still a scholar. My name is Michael Pelletier……I’m a B-BOY!!!!!!!!!!!! Any questions I can be reached at mike@hunabkru.com

  14. bill smith

    [b]“That is safer than De La Soul. If we go further back in hip-hop history, we’ll need to put them on Sunday as our ‘oldies’ band.”[/b]

    Quote of the decade. Go steve!

  15. boatrocker

    How about for next year’s Bele Chere, a little more risk then? We could sell special headphones that allow adults over 18 to hear ‘questionable’ content. Think of the revenue!

  16. bill smith

    [i]Also to state that going back further than Kool and Doug E. Fresh would be oldies is also rediculous.[/i]

    MEthinks B-Boy frantic may have missed teh sarcasm.

    Steve seemed to be saying that worrying about ‘kool’ not being appropriate seems absurd in this day and age.

    [i]still performing and relevent.[/i]

    Yes, so are the rolling stones. Are they not oldies? Again, I think you are over-reacting due to an inability to recognize context and sarcasm.

    Oh, and I’m a huge rap fan, too. Hip hop from the 80’s is most definitely (mos def??) ‘old’. MAybe you just havent noticed you are getting old, too? (yes, i’m also in mid 30’s)

  17. To be a fan of Hip-Hop and to have it be what you do for a living are 2 very different things. Perhaps I missed the sarcasm, I can admit to that, but to say mid 80’s Hip-Hop is old and compare to the stones….Mick jager was born in 1943…the Stones formed in 1962. The documented birth of all Hip-Hop culture was between 70 and 75. Ten years after the stones were concidered a band. The MC element didn’t realy catch on till late. 78 or 79. You can hear Rock elements all the way back in the 1930’s a full 30 years before the stones came out. Rock music was around 30 years before the stones, hip-hop all together is only 40 years old. The GENRE of Hip-Hop music is as old as the stones, there are no oldies in Hip_hop Yet? The stones are CLASSIC ROCK and people still love the stones, why do they still get recognition but the 80’s Hip-Hop does not? Cause the Stones were amazing to an already established fan base of that genre of music….ONLY REAL HIP-HOP HEADS think of the 80’s music as thier “ROLLING STONES”!!!

  18. Craigslist Post

    This is interesting – would like to see the end result: http://asheville.craigslist.org/cwg/2518127958.html

    “A team of local film makers has teamed up with a television producer out of Knoxville to film a documentary about hip hop culture and music with Bele Chere as a backdrop. We are needing an additional camera operator for this project with his own equipment. We have set up interviews with bands such as Kids These Days (who are currently opening up for Snoop Dog) and others. This project will last the weekend and does not pay. …”

  19. boatrocker

    Hmm, B-Boy Frantic raises a few points- but,

    Hip hop for being a very relevant form of music hasn’t found it’s niche yet, aka Scorcese movies using Grandmaster Flash and A Tribe Called Quest as a soundtrack to really great movies. The Stones managed that for simply playing. Not ragging on hip hop, just saying who’s the director willing to step up to the cinematic plate in terms of soundtracks?

    To play the Devil’s advocate, any track with Keith Richards playing on it is like a manna of cardboard, breaking and a boombox full of fresh “C” size batteries.


    Why in the world are we still talking about DJ KOOL?? This is probably the most press he has gotten in years, Tim Smith What is your obsession with DJ Kool?? Geeeeeshhh!! And yes he was just here! So why bring him back? Does he even have enough songs to have a concert?? What is this about? Really? This is Bele Chere, there are no big white bands performing either! Who Cares!! Correct me if I am wrong…but dont the bands or groups have to register or apply and then get approved? How many “Hip Hop” groups applied? ..Im just curious.
    The funniest part of all this is on Saturday, I took my “Biracial” daugter to the festival…outside of the Civic center a band called Mamarazzi was playing,they are a Brooklyn-based group that blends Afrobeat, African highlife music, funk and hip-hop. The lead “BLACK” guy/girl (couldnt tell) was rapping their butt off…AND GUESS WHAT?!?! There was not one Black person in the crowd…nota 1..Not even Tim Smith or any of the Lame DJ KOOL groupies (u know who u r.) The white folks were Jammin!! They were going to get it…and where was Tim? I guess everyone was getting ready for Mya Bailey’s party, which was way better the DJ KOOL would be. LOL. So enough is enough with DJ Freaking Kool..Tim if you start now you can probably have something really nice lined up for next year. :)
    On another note…this is to Bele Chere officials….It is absolutly rediculous that you let those Fundamentalists yell and scream at Bele Chere the way they do but you dont let poor Tim have DJ KOOL here. Did anyone see those crazy people with the signs? I saw almost 3 fights break out…so if you guys are going to allow that then you should allow just about anything…I cant believe there was not a police officer in site to stop that…thats crazy!
    So I say all of this to say this….Tim, leave it alone..DJ KOOL is lame..I cant believe u went on the news over this. Wait till a really good group or person gets turned down by Bele Chere and I will stand right there with you..But DJ KOOL. LOL And Bele Chere officials get rid of those crazy people…thats worse then have Lil Wayne perform in church!
    …to hip hop. I loved you, I still do…and I always will :) See you guys at the party on Saturday..Emerald Lounge Right? and I want to hear DJ Kool all night..I want to hear at least 10 songs Tim For real! :)

  21. bill smith

    [b]boombox full of fresh “C” size batteries.]/b]

    I said “D”, alright? Learn to speak English first!

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