I've got a whole city to hold down

July 12, 2004

Not bad for five bucks

That was Chicagomuzikblog Roving Correspondent Lazlo Hollyfeld's reaction when I sent him word of this gig and its cover charge: Saturday, July 24, at the Vic, it's the Mixx National DJ Competition finals with Kanye West and Slick Rick.

Trouble is, the New York Press reports, the DJ battle is a creation of the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, intended to promote a line of smokes aimed at African-Americans. "The 'special edition' packages come in four different styles," NYP says. "One of the full-cover illustrations features a rapper dripping with gold jewelry; two feature DJs working turntables; the fourth, hiphop dancers. The message is clear – collect ’em all, black kids, and trade ’em with your little black friends!

"We’ve never been shocked when a big tobacco company does something wicked. ... Even so, this sort of bare-assed pandering is just a little too over the top."

While we're at it, here's a take on the same topic from