St. Pete’s Hip-Hop Hopes

In St. Petersburg there is concern in diversity circles that the growing downtown entertainment scene is top heavy with alternative, jazz and rock music. And that hip-hop is nigh on to negligible.

For the record, a smattering of hip-hop clubs have opened – and ultimately closed – in recent years in downtown St. Pete. Something about violence, drug-use rumors and a dearth of responsible owners. A 2003 rap concert in Vinoy Park drew lots of complaints. Something about loud music and obscene language.

There’s a pattern to hip-hop, one that’s utterly incompatible with St. Petersburg’s on-going nightlife renaissance. Put it this way: Alternative, jazz and rock are not, by definition, misogynistic anthems to a dysfunctional culture.

If St. Petersburg is serious about continuing its impressive downtown revitalization, it will continue to marginalize hip-hop. And it will continue to treat syllogistic piffle about “voices of the underrepresented” and urban youth “empowerment” with the politically incorrect discredit it deserves.

But if further evidence is still needed, St. Pete officials are advised to take a short road trip across the bay. See what the hip-hop scene has done for Ybor City.

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