Hip Hop Congress Awareness Festival Unites Diverse Crowd


Hip Hop Congress Awareness Festival

unites diverse crowd

by Jenn Walker, published on May 25, 2009 at 1:00AM



HipHopCongressWatching the MC with the dreadlocks, the interracial couple, kids younger than 12, asians, blacks, whites and Hispanics congregated in the Washington Neighborhood Center all listening to the same music was a rare and inspiring sight.

Today was the third and final day of the first Sacramento Hip Hop Congress Awareness Festival. The day was dedicated to a showcase of performances by open-mic artists, b-boys, DJs and street, conscious and hip hop MCs from Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as art displays.

Bay Area musician Rahman Jahmaal and local musicians such as Skurge riled the crowd with their inspirational words. Jahmaal broke down the beauty in the art of hip hop.

“I want to encourage you to be a little more active in your community,” Skurge said to the audience over the microphone.

The festival was heavily focused on bringing together the community and local artists with the different art forms of hip hop culture, in addition to introducing the local chapter of the Hip Hop Congress to Sacramento.

Yesterday included performances by Oakland’s Simone Nia Rae and former member of Jurassic 5 Akil.

HHC co-chairs Vanessa Amarro and Aman Smith agreed that yesterday’s featured music industry panel, involving a discussion between seven speakers representative of the hip hop scene and participants, was a main highlight of the festival. Smith estimated that there were 30 to 40 people present, ranging from 8 years old to 45 years old.

“A lot of people were happy with the total outcome [of the panel] because it was such a diverse group of people,” Smith said.

According to Smith, the seven panel speakers included music supervisor Marcus Barone, professional bass player Kevin Cane, music attorney Christine O’ Connor, professor Erik Chun, LA videographer Todd Strickland—who previously worked with Alicia Keys, Usher, and Jaime Foxx—Sacramento rapper Bueno and graffiti artist and b-boy (breakdancer) Taz Roc, who previously worked on the Sprite “Obey Your Thirst” marketing campaign.

IloveHipHopSmith expressed his excitement about the discussion that ensued about the future of independent artists and being successful in today’s market; he said the Sacramento chapter will continue the discussion once every month or every other month.

Twenty-eight-year-old Tatiana Turner, local music promoter and film short producer, said the panel was “surprisingly informative and very interactive.”

“There was a little bit of each genre, and with a graffiti artist and a lawyer on [the same] panel, you could see the unity,” she added.

In addition to the main stage, there was a separate room set up with microphones for kids to work on their music skills.

Twelve-year-old Sophia Marx, who just began volunteering for HHC over the weekend with the encouragement of her mom, said she really liked the sense of community at the event.

“I don’t get to do a lot of this stuff at home—work, sing and dance,” she said.

Rae, who said it was her second time performing in Sacramento, expressed her pleasure in being a part of the event.

“Hip hop Congress is always positive. It’s all for the love of hip hop,” she said.

To learn more about Hip Hop Congress, visit hiphopcongress.com

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More Details Emerge from Austin Nightclub shooting


people are claiming that the two accused shooters were beat down by bouncers prior to the Spiros nightclub shooting

people are claiming that the two accused shooters were beat down by bouncers prior to the Spiros nightclub shooting




More Details Emerge at Austin, Texas Nightclub Shooting

by Davey D

By now many of y’all have read or heard about the tragic shootings that took place early Friday morning in front of Spiro‘s nightclub in Austin, Tx right off 6th street.  For those who are just getting caught up to speed, the initial stories we heard was a rap group from La Grange Texas, called the LG Allstarz were scheduled to perform at the popular night spot. The group was supposedly asked the promoters if  they could end a performance early so they could perform. Now in the initial news accounts we were told  an argument ensued and the group was removed from the club. Two of the members Big Hutch and Lil Hutch returned as the club was closing  and shot up the club injuring 8 people. The two brothers turned themselves in  and now are behind bars with 4 million dollar bails.

Now that’s the initial story and understandably is sparked outrage  and public condemnation for the group and the two accused shooters. The incident has left many of us wondering how in the hell could two people be that callous and that stupid. Many upon hearing this story wished the worse upon the pair.

Since Friday, we are now hearing more details which gives us a richer understanding of what may have went down. First, we’ve come to learn that Spiro’s nightclub itself is no angelic place. The club has racked up a number of insidious complaints over the years. So many so that the city is considering shutting them down.  Not that that excuses the shooting, but there’s more.

In the initial story we were told the group showed up late to perform  and then got angry. This led to many of us stating that the group should’ve been more responsible and shown up on time.  We are now hearing that the group was there on time. In fact they were there most of the night.

We are also hearing that the two brothers accused of shooting the club had gotten a serious beatdown after arguing with the promoter We are hearing reports that as many as 10 people may have whupped on them.The brothers were tossed out the club, they went to their cars and returned a while later and shot up the club injuring  a few of the folks including a girl friend of one of the bouncers.

We were also told of a troublesome practice that takes place at many of the nightclubs in the 6th street area. Its not uncommon for bands to pay to play.  One source said he was told the group paid promoters to perform that night and were then later denied and the money kept. This hasn’t been fully confirmed but as noted its a common practice.

We’ll let you know more info as it comes to us, but the bottomline it wasn’t as black and white as initially pointed out.. The shooting was proceeded by a serious beatdown -Not that excuses a shooting up of a nightclub but as they say that’s part of the otherside of the story…

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Disgruntled Texas Rappers Shoot Up Nightclub-Injure 8


Two Central Texas rap artists, accused of wounding eight people in a shooting in downtown Austin early Friday, turned themselves in to authorities hours later.Brandon Bruce Hutchison, 25, and LaBaaron Demon Hutchison, 21, are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. They are each being held on bail of about $4 million.



Police say eight people injured in shooting at Spiros nightclub

Suspects are two brothers part of La Grange rap group that were told not to perform.

By Isadora Vail, Michael Corcoran and Joe Gross
Saturday, May 30, 2009

Two Central Texas rap artists, accused of wounding eight people in a shooting in downtown Austin early Friday, turned themselves in to authorities hours later.

LaBaaron Demon Hutchison, 21, are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. They are each being held on bail of about $4 million.

Brandon Hutch & His brother shot up a nightclub because they couldn't perform

Brandon Hutch & His brother shot up a nightclub because they couldn't perform

Brandon Bruce Hutchison

, 25, and

Austin police said the two men are brothers — known as “Big Hutch and “Lil’ Hutch,” — who were scheduled to play Thursday night at Spiros nightclub, 611 Red River St., with their La Grange-based rap group, the LG Allstarz.

Spiros General Manager Josh Cisneros said Friday afternoon that the LG Allstarz showed up at 2 a.m. — the club’s closing time — and expected to play. Promoter Ramone “Sicc” Stewart said a fight began when the LG Allstarz asked him to cut short the performance of the group on stage so they could perform. The Hutchisons, leaders of the largely unknown group, were ejected, along with others.

“They showed up late and wanted me to cut off one of the headliners,” said Stewart, who has been promoting rap shows in Austin for two years. “When I said, ‘No way,’ one of them took a swing at me, and the bouncers threw them out.”

Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Cisneros said, “They were loud when they were kicked out. But they left calmly enough that we forgot about them.

“Never in a million years did we think they would come back with guns,” he said.

Police said the Hutchisons returned about 2:15 a.m., after the club had closed but while patrons still milled along the sidewalk. Police said the Hutchisons used handguns to fire into the crowd.

“Most of the people who got shot were females,” said Stewart, who was stabbed in the arm during the melee. “One of my friends was shot in the stomach two times. Another friend was shot in the back.”

LeBaaron Hutch

LeBaaron Hutch

Austin police Lt. Christian Malanka said Friday afternoon that it was unclear how many shots were fired. The Hutchisons turned themselves in at the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office about 3 p.m. Friday. Both men have been charged with eight counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with bail for each count set at $500,000.

Five people were shot in their legs, two people were shot in their feet and one woman was shot in the abdomen. Police said the woman was recovering after surgery.

“We never had an incident like that before,” said Cisneros, who has worked at Spiros for seven years. “It was absolutely insane, like a drive-by shooting on foot. I hope they spend the rest of their lives in jail.”

In 2008, officers responded 172 times to incidents at Spiros, police said. The calls included those for violent crimes and nonviolent incidents, such as break-ins and personal injuries.

Because of the number of calls, Austin police Commander Antonia Singletary said Spiros is being considered for nuisance abatement under a state statute that aims to shut down gang hangouts and to prevent gang members from publicly assembling in areas with rampant criminal activity.

Police said Friday that they didn’t know whether the Hutchisons were gang members.

Cisneros, who couldn’t be reached to respond to police allegations, had said earlier that patrons are frisked before entering the club.

While Spiros typically hires private security for the weekend, when the club is packed, there was no private security Thursday night.

“This was a very small show; only about 100 patrons were there,” Cisneros said, adding that Stewart previously has booked and promoted four problem-free shows at Spiros.

Spiros remained closed Friday night, Cisneros said. “We will probably be closed for a while.”

ivail@statesman.com; 445-3763

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