The annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-hop isn't dead, but it has been downscaled. The pared-down fest happens Sunday at the 7th Street Entry.
In the past, the festival has lasted as long as three days and featured such headliners as Cee-Lo, Slick Rick and Naughty By Nature. But funding the fest -- always a challenge for its nonprofit organizers, Yo! The Movement -- was just too difficult this year. Instead of scrapping the whole event, Yo! president Toki Wright said they still had to throw a party.
"We didn't want to totally lose the momentum of the last six years," Wright said. "We've done six years of a really good event that's been incident-free."
On Sunday, Yo! will offer a free workshop on police-community relations during the day (noon-4 p.m.) and two concerts at night -- an all-ages show (4:30-8:30 p.m.) and a 21-plus show (9 p.m.-1:30 a.m.). Acts include Wright himself, Maria Isa, Trama, St. Paul Slim, Tou Saiko Lee and the Asian Hip-hop Summit (a touring showcase of Los Angeles rappers). Also: a break-dancing and krumping exhibition, plus hip-hop karaoke. Wright said Yo! hopes to come back in full force next year. (Noon-1:30 a.m. Sun. 701 1st Av. N., Mpls. $6. 612-874-9696 or yothemovement.org)Tastes like tequila
This summer of expansion continues for the guys behind La Belle Vie and Solera. First the fine-dining gurus -- Tim McKee and Josh Thoma -- opened Smalley's, a casual barbecue joint in Stillwater that features maybe the metro's longest rum list. Now they're taking on tequila with Barrio, which opens Tuesday in downtown Minneapolis. They'll offer 113 tequila shots, including some connoisseur brands in the $100 price range. As usual, La Belle Vie's mixology savant, Johnny Michaels, has designed a wild cocktail list. The food is hot Latin fare. And the look sounds fun: Veteran aerosol artist Roger Cummings is creating a giant mural inside. (925 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. 612-333-9953, or barriotequila.com)W is for 'Wow'
Speaking of openings, everyone and their mother was at the W last Wednesday for the hotel's debut. The new Manny's had 400-plus reservations, while the hotel's two bars were equally packed. The first-floor bar felt more like a nightclub, as women of all ages danced in front of the makeshift DJ booth. The 27th-floor Prohibition lounge didn't disappoint with its amazing views. Throughout the week, you could catch rival club owners such as Johann Sfaellos scoping out the space. Personally, I think it's the next step in Minneapolis nightlife. (821 Marquette Av., Mpls. 612-215-3700.)Dance dance revolution
With the Republican National Convention just around corner, here's a little hip-hop dance theater to get you in the political mood, so to speak. It's called "Elements in Translation: Revolution" and comes from Arturo Miles, a performer who's successfully transferred break dancing to dance theater through a variety of shows. This one, at Patrick's Cabaret, features the b-boys and b-girls of his Collective Dance Company. They'll explore themes of religious, political and working-class revolution through dance. More info at integrateddance.com (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 3010 Minnehaha Av., Mpls. $10. 612-721-3595. patrickscabaret.org)