Hip-hop week gets off to a rocky start

A break dancing group did not appear for its scheduled performance Tuesday.

Emily Ayshford

When the scheduled break dancing group didn’t show up, Daylight and B-Girl Seoul stepped up to the stage.

Twisting and contorting their bodies to a hip-hop beat, the duo’s break dancing performance Tuesday at Coffman Union kicked off the Minnesota Programs and Activities Council’s Hip-Hop Week at the University.

Although the crowd cheered and clapped, some audience members were unhappy with the performance. Joe Collins, an English and psychology first-year student, said he enjoyed the break dancing act, but the short performance did not measure up to the scheduled two-hour show.

“I was clearly expecting more,” he said.

Not everyone was disappointed. Many audience members stayed for an early open mic session hosted by Voices Merging, a multicultural spoken-word group.

Korean rappers, impromptu poets and dancers graced the stage while the crowd responded with claps and cheers.

“Everyone seems happy,” said Emily Hillman, performing arts chairwoman for the Minnesota Programs and Activities Council and organizer of the event.

Molly Gale, the council’s major events chairwoman, said that instead of the traditional Snow Week, the council decided to try a different theme this year.

“We wanted to get more of the campus involved,” she said. “It’s pretty evident that hip-hop is really coming on to the music scene.”

Gale said the council is unsure whether the hip-hop theme will recur in future years.

Hip-Hop Week also includes the movie “Style Wars,” a documentary about New York’s hip-hop scene, and “Style Wars Revisited,” an update on the people and places featured in the first film.

The council will also show a documentary about Definitive Jux Records, an independent hip-hop record label. The film features interviews with artists such as Aesop Rock, and explains how the label got started. The films will be shown tonight at the St. Paul Student Center and Thursday at Coffman Union.

Chuck D of the group Public Enemy will lecture on rap, race and reality at 7 p.m. today in the Great Hall at Coffman Union.

Brother Ali will perform with Doom-Tree and the Fresh Nest on Friday at The Whole in Coffman Union. The week finishes with a concert by The Roots and Atmosphere on Saturday at Northrop Auditorium.