No matter how far hip-hop staggers way from the weekend block party, no matter how many polysyllabic rhymes get shoehorned into the break beat, no matter how deeply politics and personal confession eclipse the initial premises of throwing hands in the air as if you don’t care, one thing has remained a constant-- cool kicks are a must. Tomorrow’s Uptown Bar show is built upon that very idea.
Billed as the Cal Surf Shoe Release Party, the skate shoe giant has managed to recruit some of local hip-hop’s finest for the cause. P.O.S., Sims, and noted sneaker hound Paper Tiger will command the Uptown stage. Even if you’re happy with your present footwear, a chance to see a streamlined Doomtree on a stage this small is sure to become a more and more infrequent opportunity. They’re rappers and producers that have managed to keep smiles on their faces despite an ever more self-serious trend in hip-hop. They play with all the new toys, all the lyrical complexity and all the production wizardry of the modern age, but make a playpen of the genre. In a game that has become an all too solemn affair, P.O.S. and Sims manage to deliver their powerful messages with a smirk. An added populist bonus? It’s free. Arriving early is highly recommended.