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Public Enemy headlines Skid Row music festival, but don't call it a 'show'

By Hayley Fox
Published: Friday, January 13, 2012, at 04:49PM
Image:Shepard Fairey

The Skid Row music festival has dwindled to include 4 acts, but will also include a variety of speakers and poetry.

Although Public Enemy will still be headlining this Sunday's "Operation Skid Row Music Festival" (also known as "Occupy Skid Row Music Festival") many other classic hip-hop acts originally expected to be there will not.

KPCC's Lisa Brenner reported today that rappers including Cypress Hill, Kurupt from the Dogg Pound, Mellow Man Ace and OG Kid Frost were among the names originally rumored to be playing (for free) at the event, but will be there in spirit only.

Public Enemy, The Real McCoy, Arise Roots are confirmed to be at the Skid Row Festival along with poets and activists.

Organized by the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) together with Chuck D of P.E., is an attempt "to promote the human right to housing and solidify hip hop’s role in social justice," according to LA CAN.

"Skid Row has been called 'the dirty secret of L.A.' for, like, forever," Chuck D told Billboard Magazine."And so, I'm gonna be loud about it."

Pete White of LA CAN told KPCC that the trio of musical acts will be providing some entertainment but "it's not a show." White explained that in addition to block rockin' beats there will be poetry, concerned speakers, conversations about social movements, and a "re-imagining" of some of the bleakest areas of our city.

There will be a 10 a.m. press conference at the Grammy Museum where Chuck D is expected to call on the hip-hop and entertainment community to take a more active role in social change work.

“For social change and social movements to occur there must be a seamless convergence of arts and culture, politics, and community building," said White of the day's collaborations."In honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we must acknowledge the role and purpose of the freedom songs which accompanied the campaigns for racial justice.”

The festival starts at 1:15 p.m. on Gladys Street, between 5th and 6th Streets.

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