Hip-Hop Expo returns
After taking last year off, Vancouver's biggest annual hip-hop event is coming back this September. Since inaugurating the 604 Hip-Hop Expo in 2001, local promoter Sean Lalla has played a crucial role in fostering the Van City scene, giving artists like Kia Kadiri and Sweatshop Union their first big-time gigs in town. Calling the Straight to outline his vision for this year's festival (which takes place September 11 to 18), Lalla noted the return of panel discussions, creative workshops, and a week's worth of shows featuring international artists like Aceyalone and ?uestlove. Locals interested in appearing on the same bill as those acts are invited to submit their name via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A similar call has been put out to all MCs, DJs, and break dancers wanting to take part in Clash, a large-scale competition scheduled for the Vogue Theatre. "Clash is probably the biggest hip-hop battle in Canada, given that it incorporates all the elements," said Lalla. "And because it's a Canadian Talent Development initiative, it's only open to Canadians." For more details on the Expo, check out www.spectrum-events.com/.