Some people create music to command a dance floor. Others want to become the rock star they idolize, or explore how far their talent, money and creativity can get them. The Deep Dickollective, as founding MC Juba Kalamka explains it, grew out of a need. In 1998, when Kalamka (aka pointfivefag), a Chicago native, moved to the Bay Area to try sorting out his identity as an African-American and now out-of-the-closet hip-hop MC, there was no music expressing the tension surrounding that identity that he could relate to. The only queer hip-hop group around, Rainbo Flava, was fronted by a white boy, and just about all other rappers expressed a worldview in which homosexuality and black masculinity could not possibly co-exist. So Kalamka joined artistic forces with poet and Stanford graduate student Tim’m West (25 percenter) and Harvard graduate Phillip Goff (lightskindid) to give birth to the first hip-hop group that was unapologetically gay, masculine and African American. Beginning with the name, Deep Dickollective, the group began recording music that challenges conceptions of what hip-hop culture represents. Seven years later, and seven members strong, the Deep Dickollective has found itself a balance between spitting hyper-intellectual rhymes on post-colonial theory and identity politics and at the same time creating funk-driven beats and melodic choruses that you can bump your head to. Perhaps the greatest testimony that the Deep Dickollective has broken through the heterosexual hegemony of hip-hop culture is their 2003 Readers’ Poll Award for Best Hip-Hop Group in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. This will be the first Chicago appearance of the Deep Dickollective, and a return home for Kalamka, who began his performance career in Chicago with the early nineties hip-hop group, He Who Walks Three Ways. (Madeleine Bair)
July 21 at Hothouse.