Joe Coburn needs eight legs. It's Tuesday night and he's ping-ponging around Boomers bar, making sure everything is going as planned. More than 100 folks have gathered to celebrate the two-year anniversary of his labor of love—a weekly hip-hop party that grew, he says, out of his guilt-by-association relationship with the thug rappers whose violent antics spurred casino freeze-outs and calls for casinos to ban gangsta rap.
- Hip-Hip Roots
- every Tuesday at 10 p.m.
"Hip-hop has a negative reputation in this town with some of the violence," says Coburn, who raps under the alias HighDro. "That affected the underground hip-hop community. When I started the parties, I made sure that we focused on attracting real fans. I turn away the rappers who talk about guns. If there is an incident, security is there. But the fans keep people in check, because they want to keep this going."
Coburn pulled out all the stops tonight: graffiti artists (who painted a mural), a dance floor for breakdancers and a powerhouse lineup of local and regional underground legends, including Artson from the world-famous Rock Steady Crew. Over DJ Ammo's deft sampling, Artson summed the night's mood in the chorus of his last song, proclaiming he has "a love thing" for hip-hop. On this night, he was not alone.