How a Wisconsin Mayor is Empowering their Local Music Scene

*In an article that we feel The City of Pasadena, California can learn from in regards to recognizing it's local, native artists and perhaps acknowledging tha existence of a scene most outlets refuse to scout from.

About seven years ago, the hip-hop community established the Madison Hip Hop Awards to honor the best creative work being done by local artists and producers and also the Urban Community Arts Network, which has worked to organize shows, school workshops and community events for adults and youth.

“To have the mayor introduce (the task force) is a breakthrough,” said Mark “ShaH” Evans, one of UCAN’s founders. “How can we fix this, not just for hip hop but for the whole local music scene?”

The proposed task force comes in the wake of city cultural planning in which entertainment industry professionals consider the live music industry and its venues over-regulated, particularly events featuring performers identified with hip-hop culture. Some have called for a new look at costs for entertainment licensing.

The task force is long coming and needed, said Pascal “DJ Pain 1” Bayley, a DJ and record producer from Madison who has worked with artists such as Young Jeezy, 50 Cent, Ludacris and Public Enemy, and helped create the Madison Hip Hop Awards and UCAN.

“There are no opportunities for hip-hop musicians to perform,” Bayley said, adding that the musical genre for years has been incorrectly and unfairly blamed and punished through policies and policing for the negative actions of some patrons. “The (regulatory) climate with regard to hip-hop hasn’t changed at all. Actually, it’s gotten worse.”

There have been many instances of fights, violence and sexual assault at events like the Mifflin Street block party, where large crowds gather with people drinking, but blame is never applied to a genre of music, Bayley said. “Hip-hop is no more violent, or prone to violence, than any other genre of music or entertainment,” he said...


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