Midway hosts Best of the Midwest

Local R & B, rap, Hip-Hop artists strut their stuff April 16

The Midway Theater will be holding an event Friday, April 16, that should change locals’ perceptions of Rockford in a big way—especially if people show up. The Best of the Midwest 4, hosted by locals Tomy Boy and DJ Roc Noizy, will feature amateur artists strutting their stuff in rap, R & B, Hip-Hop, spoken word and “neo-soul.”

This is no high school talent show however. These performers are amateurs, but well-trained and talented amateurs. Since the word comes from the French, meaning to “do it for the love,” the description comes to mean more, and carry more weight than “professional.”

The word “rap” might turn some potential audience members away due to its often poor reputation in pop culture as being obscene, violent, pro-drug, degrading to women, etc. However, setting aside all the arguments this writer has against that stereotype, The Best of the Midwest is open to all ages as it forbids swearing and expletives.

R & B performers include the following: ADE—All Day Every Day (Tamara, Tanisha and Teresa Wofford), ex-Studio-Zoomer The Lovely Luciana (Luciana Fleming), and Tanza (LaTanza Knight).

Hip-Hop and rap performers feature E Q Live (Derrick Coleman and Chad and Ryan Moore), Blazin’ Hot (Michael Releford and Christopher Howard), Apostlez Creed (Vanata and Jimmy Ford), Top Dolla (Terrence Bell), YR Hynez (Tyra Staten) and 2 Kold (Antwan Drake).

Neo-Soul performers are Mary Ann Easton and Unique & Cherisse (William Gaston and Cherisse Williford).

Of course, no competition is complete without The Mutinous Mutt (Cullen Balch) doing the whole spoken word poetry thing.

The Midway Theater is not the Apollo, but it comes close in a Rockford way. Help make these up-and-coming performers comfortable in front of the record label representatives and radio personalities who will be in the audience. The Best of the Midwest 4 will be at 7 p.m. , Friday, April 16. Tickets are $5 in advancce and $7 at the door. The Midway Theater is at 721 E. State St. Info: 965-2511.

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