Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rappers occupy Skid Row

"Make the invisible visible" were the parting words from front man Chuck D from Public Enemy as Operation Skid Row (a.k.a. Occupy Skid Row) drew to a close as darkness fell across 5th St. and Gladys Ave. in downtown Los Angeles.

Nate Dogg performance, Skid Row (central city east) Los Angeles

Remember when hip hop music was a voice of descent, a voice that gave social issues in the community a platform? Think of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five's "The Message" or "White Lines."  See the video vault below for a blast from the past.

This event temporarily brought social issues back into the rap game which have evaporated as the music's popularity and acceptance has grown. During my restless youth, I gravitated towards the underground rap acts of the moment - KRS-One and BDP, Public Enemy and N.W.A captured the attention of a generation with their thunderous beats and provocative rhymes.

Chuck D (credit: L.A. Times)

The Occupy Skid Row event was headlined by Chuck D and Public Enemy (Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and the S1Ws) and was organized in cooperation with LA's Skid Row activist, General Jeff. His focus was to create a block party that "brings out Angelenos from other neighborhoods, so people see that the area isn't as scary as it once was," as reported by CurbedLA.

Earlier in the day the Chicano rapper Kid Frost and one-time Ice Cube collaborator and Grammy award winner, Yo-Yo, performed hit songs. I came just before sunset and got to witness the classic sounds of Egyptian Lover (with his King Tut dance moves) and Digital Underground's Money B. who rocked the crowd with Tupac's "I Get Around." The night ended with the G-rated lyrics from Dogg Pound member, Kurupt, and his G-Funk classic, "Ain't No Fun."

Get more dope on this event in this L.A. Times story. Read it here.

Operation Skid Row performances

Hip hop Video Vaults

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