The Beatbox: The Jacka

To outsiders, the hip-hop love affair between the Bay Area and Kansas City may seem unexpected. But to those involved, the longstanding connection between the two metros makes perfect sense. Kansas City artists such as Rich the Factor find welcome audiences in areas like Vallejo, Richmond and Oakland. Bay Area rappers such as E-40 and Yukmouth come to Kansas City to find large crowds eager to buy concert tickets and CDs. Yet major labels in search of the next 50 Cent often overlook the two cities, explains KC rapper Nelson El, head of C.U.G. Entertainment. Artists from both cities share an underdog status. “We just gotta do it ourselves,” Nelson says. Though tensions had risen for a time between the two areas due to the killings of Mac Dre and Fat Tone, things appear to be settling. This week, popular Bay Area rapper the Jacka, who began his career as part of C-Bo’s Mob Figaz crew, will make multiple appearances throughout the metro. Nelson, who is organizing the events, calls Jacka’s visit to promote his newest album, Tear Gas, the “rebirth of the relationship between Kansas City and the Bay.” Jacka takes the stage Thursday night at America’s Pub, along with Nelson’s own rap group, the Clip Up Gang. Friday night features a concert for the under-21 crowd at the National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kansas. The three-day party continues on Saturday with an in-store performance at 7th Heaven from 1 to 5 p.m. and culminating in the official afterparty that evening at the Do Drop In on East U.S. Highway 40 in Independence.

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