In a Tight Spot 

When was the last time you saw a concert featuring both hip-hop and punk in Tucson? How about a hip-hop and punk show in which all the performers were women?

Tight, which is the name given a concert this Saturday at Hazmat Gallery, is your chance to experience such an event.

Why put together a show with women's hip-hop and girl-punk/riot-grrl music?

In a word: anger.

This emotion is a common denominator in both kinds of music. It's why anti-racist, anti-sexist performers in each genre should know what's going on in the other.

Unless disparate but sympathetic artists and activists learn more about each other's work, the divide-and-conquer tactic used by patriarchal establishments to perpetuate racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and other social ills will remain in effect.

Some female hip-hop and punk acts are more political than others, but this much is clear: Many among them are pissed off, and their anger often is inspired by the oppressive isms mentioned above.

The spectrum includes rapper Yo-Yo expressing frustration about an abusive boyfriend in the song "I Can't Take No More" and punk-rock trio Sleater-Kinney screaming about the constraints of femininity in "Call the Doctor."

What's the point of all this, you ask?

I don't think I'm alone in saying that discovering hip-hop and punk in high school dramatically altered my belief system. I looked at my position in the world differently--that is, as a woman and a white person. I began to think differently about my relative power and privilege. Activism, or the effort put forth in creating social justice, became paramount in my life. This would not have happened without the music's encouragement first.

While this path is not a universal one for fans of hip-hop and punk, such music has potential to influence and reaffirm the points of view and opinions of the world's citizens.

To that end, I'm producing Tight, which will include local female music artists, and I'm inviting local anti-racist, anti-sexist organizations to the table. So come to Tight and check out local talent, have fun and support the fight for social justice.


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