The Funk Political 

KRS-One effects change at Sweet's

FRI 2/27

Politicians are just starting to get wind of the electoral power vested in a growing constituency of young voters -- dubbed "the hip-hop generation" -- who are taking up the mantle of civil rights but reorienting their parents' politics to the culture of hip-hop. Raised in an era of economic decline, stringent law enforcement, and the so-called "drug wars," hip-hop generation-ers are fed up with being buffeted by politicians and maligned in the popular media. Having grown increasingly rattled over the past two decades, these young activists are using distinct forms, languages, and styles to galvanize their peers and make their voices heard. This Friday's performance by the Johnny Appleseed of edutainment himself, KRS-One, is one in a series of events leading up to the National Hip-Hop Convention in June. In light of steering the culture of hip-hop toward larger social movements, the show will include a discussion panel on "the intersection of hip-hop and electoral politics," moderated by Davey D, and featuring local stalwarts such as the Coup's T-Cash and the spoken-word poet Aya de León. The idea: Juice yourself up to effect change, and bring the funk into modern politics. KRS-One performs Friday at 9 p.m., with Jahi and the Life, Sake-1, D'Jam Hassan, and Youth Speaks at the Historic Sweet's Ballroom, 1933 Broadway, Oakland, 510-893-3500. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 door from BrownPaperTickets.com, and proceeds will benefit On Up Initiatives. -- Rachel Swan

THU 2/26

Hard-Earned

Lowdown on his luck

The key to understanding Jeffrey Luck Lucas is right in the middle of his name. Sometimes luck is hard-earned, like the classical cello skills Lucas will contribute to the next Neurosis album. Sometimes it's dumb, as in the reputation his mid-'80s, '60s-inspired garage band, the Morlocks, earned by disappearing after recording a few obscure gems. And sometimes luck is hard, as is the stripe Lucas displays in the ghostly, country threnodies he lays down on his forthcoming solo CD, Hell then Divine. Tonight he plays Epic Arts, 1923 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, with Dan Cantrell and the Toids. Info: 510-644-2204. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 2/28

Mall Cats

Never mind those dorky sweaters and that clean-cut image -- Theo Huxtable is a beatnik, and he's all grown up. The now-29-year-old Malcolm-Jamal Warner -- named for Malcolm X and jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal -- is a popular performance poet in Los Angeles and a director (for his current sitcom, Malcolm & Eddie), and he formed the funk-jazz band Miles Long out of an abiding affection for the upright and electric bass. Chances are you can pick up the band's debut album, The Many Facets of Superman, at Hilltop Mall today when Miles Long plays a free concert there from 3 to 4:30 p.m., part of the mall's monthlong celebration of Black History Month. Hilltop is located at 2200 Hilltop Mall Rd. in Richmond; check out Stage.ShopHilltop.com/infodesk/events.html for a full schedule. -- Stefanie Kalem

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