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Out In Oakland 

Wednesday, Sep 19 2007
"There's a lot of different ways that people do great hip hop," according to local b-boy Juba Kalamka, and he ought to know. As a longtime member of DeepDickollective, founder of homohop label Sugartruck Recordings, and organizer of PeaceOUT: The Seventh Annual HomoHop Festival, Kalamka's a … well, he's a hero. Coming out in mainstream hip hop culture has to be sort of like coming out while living in a frat house. The solution is the same as it has been for other ostracized groups: Create your own culture, rock it, and have fun while waiting for the mainstream to come crawling back since you're now cooler than everyone else — like hip hop in the first place. The festival features great music from queer rappers JenRO, Mid*One, Julie Fucking Potter, and plenty of other local and imported acts. It also sports a screening of Alex Hinton's feature-length documentary Pick Up the Mic. The film spotlights Kalamka, RO, S.F. sensation Katastrophe, and a bunch of other awesomely gay MCs. Choice quotations abound: "Not everyone has the balls to be open and honest about what they do," says a skinny guy. "I'm not going to get invited to, you know, the Dinah Shore Weekend," laughs a muscled lesbian. But Kalamka steals this show, too: "We have to tell these stories. While we're here."
Sat., Sept. 22, 7 p.m., 2007

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Hiya Swanhuyser


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