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Wednesday, April 17

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Performance Sun Jul 18 2010

Still Loving H.E.R.

HER 2.jpg

Now in its third decade, hip-hop, throughout its evolution, has experienced its fare share of ups and downs; yet, it has remained as perhaps the most dominant force in the entertainment industry. In I Still Love H.E.R. (atributetohiphop), writer/director Wendell Tucker, who hails from Chicago's South Side, celebrates hip hop by addressing those peaks and valleys and explains why it's still very easy to love "h.e.r."

The play is similarly titled to fellow Chicago native Common's 1994 tribute to hip-hop, "I Used to Love H.E.R"; for him, the acronym meant "Hip Hop in its Essence is Real"--what does it mean for you and your cast?

"Hip Hop's Every Rhythm." We love everything about it--the good, bad, and everything in between. To love something, you've got to take the good, the bad and the ugly.

Why a show about hip hop?

There are plays and stories about everything else--from gospel music to rock music--apparently, no one has tried to tell the story of hip hop. It has a lot of history behind it and it's as important and as interesting as anything else. Besides, we've seen a million plays about Elvis--I think it's time for some Tupac [Shakur] plays.

Chicago is known more for its house music culture and not especially for its hip hop scene. What are your thoughts about Chicago and hip hop?

Chicago has given the world three of the greatest MCs to ever do it in Common, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco, also Twista and Rhymefest. Chicago just breeds dangerous MCs. As far as house music and dance go, hip hop and house parallel each other. Both started as an underground thing and have blown up to be globally recognized forms of music and dance. Also, they both contain "footwork," which is a Chicago institution itself. In our show, we take footwork to new levels.

Are there any other ways the cultural impact of house music can be compared to hip hop?

Hip hop extends further than the music and the dance, which, to me, puts it in a different lane than house music. Hip hop is a full culture--everything that a textbook would define as a culture, hip hop has: dance, vocal history, visual art, language, code of ethics, etc. I am not taking a jab at house music--I love house music--but if we're going to quantify it, it is what is.


Tell us what we'll see in I Still Love H.E.R. (atributetohiphop).

It is a great story--a beautiful love story--not the typical story of man and woman, but a love story about a cause that a lot of people have died for. People will hear a lot of great music and also dance interpretations of hip hop that have never been seen before. It will show a full gamut of dance, from ballet to African dance to tap, and how each has influenced and impacted the culture. Speaking of tap, Ken Russell, a fantastic tap dancer, will blow everyone's mind with what he's gonna do!

I Still Love H.E.R. (atributetohiphop) is bidding Chicago farewell; catch the final performances on Fri., July 23 at 8pm and Sat., July 24 at 5pm at the Regal Theater, 1645 E. 79th St. Tickets are $15-25. Contact 773-768-9900 for more information.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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