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Jared Soares // Small-Town Hip Hop in Virginia

Jared Soares // Small-Town Hip Hop in Virginia
June 1-June 30 2012 – In conjunction with LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

Opening Reception Friday, June 1 6pm-8pm

with Hip Hop Showcase following: Roanoke / Charlottesville Connect / 8-11pm / All Ages / $3 at door
Hosted by: DJ Neili Neil
Performances by:
The Beetnix
Oxy Neutron
Red Rum Eastwood

Look3 Festival of the Photograph reception/party Thursday, June 7th 9pm-12am / music+drinks



In Northwest Roanoke, the production of a song begins with some remodeling. You remake the basement into a recording studio. You rename yourself Palmz or Zulu Watu or Sha Fantastic. You retell the stories of a small city in the corner of Virginia. From Orange Avenue west, out Melrose to the county line, the makeshift studios fill up on school nights and after second shift. One group calls itself Real Money Entertainment, another puts together an album titled “Young Single & Rich.” Meet the hip-hopportunists, the starry-eyed aspirants, reaching for a gleaming karat in the distance.

It is an American pursuit, told in tight focus. Jared Soares has pointed his camera at people who want to go from Here to There. The citizens of these pictures know what There might look like, and strike the poses of success — the gold teeth, the defiant sneer, the woman in heels perched expectantly on the pool table. But these are the images from Here, on the block: Roanoke and its workaday realities. The man on top of the mountain also emerges from a working-class apartment building. And when the recording is over, the vacuuming must be done. There are no grand arrivals here, but along the way there are plenty of small transactions: the smoldering blunt passed from hand to hand, the exchange of fists at the end of a late-night freestyle session, the casual touch between friends at a window. Watch the hands. Because to make it somewhere requires manual labor.