In The Mix
'Hip-Hop Hawaii' disagreement
LOOKS LIKE I'm not the only one taken aback by "Kai Nani Presents: Hip-Hop Hawaii," judging by what I've heard since a story about it appeared in this section last week
If you haven't heard, "Hip-Hop Hawaii" is an attempt by Lee "Da Pidgin Guerilla" Tonouchi to infuse hip-hop into a creative writing annual published by Kapiolani Community College. Unfortunately, it comes across as a weak stab at capatilizing on the impact hip-hop has had on island culture.
There are a few highlights inside "Hip-Hop Hawaii," including documentation of Leeward grafitti by Abyjane Pisbe and Hazel Vea, and a piece by Ryan Okuno on Katana.
But anyone who supports local hip-hop should be offended by the ignorance that permeates the project. Tonouchi claims to be down with the scene because he's listened to Sudden Rush. All four elements of hip-hop (the DJ, MC, B-Boy and grafitti artist) flourish here, while Katana claims the culture "is definitely still underground in Hawaii."
It is? Tell that to The Usual, a new group comprised of Creed Chameleon, Educated Guess and DJ Observ that opened for Slum Village and Souls of Mischief on Saturday. Or Tempo Valley, who played the same night at NextDoor.
There have been grafitti competitions at the Living Room and rhyme battles at Bliss (and even Fashion 45). Kavet the Catalyst runs events that get sponsored by corporate cats like Scion Hawaii.
You can get your hands on "Hip-Hop Hawaii" and talk to the folks behind it during a book signing at 10 a.m. next Tuesday in front of Lama Library at KCC ...
QUICK HITS: Master mixologist Dale DeGroff is back in town for another seminar at the Halekulani next Tuesday. The theme is horse racing, with DeGroff sharing the secrets behind a great julep. I had a blast at last month's event, which paired DeGroff's cocktails with chef Daryl Fujita's very capable culinary skills ... The O Lounge ramps up its midweek offerings as summer starts. Check out the return of "Bombasstic Tuesdays" (after a six-year run at Pipeline Cafe) with 102.7 Da Bomb's Sam the Man and $2 drinks / pupus all night. On Wednesday, VJ Entertainment and the Stone Groove Family present the 2006 edition of "Summer Camp." Both parties are 18-and-over ... My apologies to Flash Hansen and Matty Hazelgrove -- "Two" is postponed until July, but word never reached this columnist. The duo's next big party is the two-year anniversary of "SKYLiNE," set for June 3 ...