Not only is Toki Wright an amazing rapper, he is also a great organizer and a driving force on the local hip-hop scene, from his work with local youth with the nonprofit organization Yo! The Movement to his involvement with the annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop and Conference, which quickly has become a major event since its inception seven years ago. (It'll be back this August.) Tonight's "Independent's Day" event showcases some of the area's best and brightest, along with Wright's own amazing catalog. This bill is incredibly tight—from the supreme awesomeness that is Maria Isa to the super-skills of M.anifest, Doomtree's Sims, and Trama, straight off his talent-heavy Barack Otrama mixtape. I can speculate with relative certainty that this gig will be packed to the gills in hip-hop solidarity. If there are fireworks visible from St. Paul, don't be surprised if they're coming from this show—it will be just as inspired, possibly more so than the city-funded pyrotechnic shows that will be dotting the horizons. 21+.
Fri., July 4, 9 p.m., 2008