Longevity is a word that isn’t often associated with hip-hop. Two rappers, Big Daddy Kane and Kool Moe Dee, are among the few exceptions, and they headline the musical portion of this Saturday’s Black Expo, gracing the event with the weight of their experience, as well as their forward-thinking perspectives on where hip-hop is headed.
Kool Moe Dee, born Mohandas Dewese, has a career that spans over 30 years, including a Grammy award. His biggest achievements — his pioneering years in the late ‘70s, the sleek and funky momentum of 1987’s How Ya Like Me Now — are behind him, but he still looks to the future.
“I believe the future of hip-hop will help balance itself,” he says. “People with money may have the buying power, but eventually the art has to be created. The creative process is where the value is.”
Like Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane has been a hip-hop fixture for more than two decades. He began with a solo career in the ’80s and excelled as a part of the beloved Juice Crew. Kane, born Antonio Hardy, sees promise in the current state of hip-hop.
“What’s going well in my eyes is seeing the growth of the culture in all respects,” Kane explains. “The hip-hop recording artists now have the opportunity of ownership, masters, publishing and [becoming] president and CEO of their own labels.”
What: Black Expo 2014
Where: Colonial Life Arena, 801 Lincoln St.
When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., (Music at 5:45 p.m.) Saturday, May 17
With: Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, more
More Info: blackpagessouth.com
Both Kane and Moe Dee continue to make new music. Kane even says that if there is a Juice Crew movie that he will plan to be in it, claiming he “still has it,” a point proven during his powerful performance at 2005’s VH1 Hip Hop Awards Show and one he has continued to drive home at gushed-over performances in the years since.
Like Kane, Moe Dee continues to hit it hard. For him, the motivation is to constantly produce new music.
“I’m going to create because it’s important to always have your voice heard,” Moe Dee offers. “There are things like the violence in Chicago, specifically black on black crime, that affects the generation today.”
For Kane, playing an event like the Black Expo, a conference fostering community and dialogue among black people in the South, is particularly relevant. New York-born, he settled in Raleigh, N.C., in 2000. He talks of the differences between the North and the South, an interest that should make his Saturday appearance all the more intriguing.
Columbia has often been criticized for not supporting live hip-hop. The city has improved this track record of late with successes such as Indie Grits’ Hip Hop Family Day, which in its first two years has snagged Slick Rick and Moe Dee as headliners. It’s a burst of success that the Black Expo seems keen to continue, something Moe Dee always wants to see, no matter where he goes.
“Hip-hop is in a space now where it’s pseudo-acknowledged but not where it needs to be,” he explains. “There’s many great things, but I feel hip-hop is still not really accepted.”
For hip-hop fans in Columbia, it seems that the awareness of the genre and its history is increasing, a trend that Moe Dee and Kane’s Expo appearance will no doubt help to continue. At 17, the Black Expo, which sponsors events all through town this week, posits itself as a “forum to educate, enlighten and inspire the entire community and the African-American community.” Booking acts like Moe Dee and Kane is a fitting way to extend that mission — and raise awareness in music fans who might not otherwise pay attention.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Cupcake now hiring a closing manager. Must be outgoing, customer service focused, able to work evenings and weekends. Apply in person. 1213 Lincoln Street, Columbia SC 29201. freshcupcakes.com