Music News

The Beatdown

Page 3 of 3

Next year, Stevens thinks SafeCity will have a better handle on things. That is, if there is a next year. Chavis plans to wait for the response to this initial summit before deciding whether to make Denver an annual event. "At the end of the day," he says, "we want to make sure that we've done something to inspire and uplift and encourage and motivate young people to keep their high aspirations. The response we get from the young people will help us to determine whether or not we want to do this again in 2005.

Campbell met with Stevens and Tate last week to discuss his frustrations. Acting as mediator, Tate really smoothed things over, saying something "really powerful" that put things in perspective: "He was like, 'This is not the end of hip-hop. When they leave, hip-hop doesn't end.'"

So even if Simmons won't be there next week, Campbell will be. "I mean, I'm still Apostle," he says of his performance persona. "And hip-hop is what I represent, and if I don't speak the truth, then I'm not truly authentic to the culture that I claim to represent. I'm always vocal about how I feel. Sometimes it's not as eloquent as I feel like it should be. And sometimes it's not as popular. But I think in the end what I bring to the table is more valuable than not."

And the beat goes on.

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Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera