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Bridging the Gap

btg1By: Chelsea Werner

      The word hip-hop typically conjures images of bling-n-grillz and the sounds of artists like Chingy and Ice Cube. To me, hip-hop used to be just another genre of music.

After going to an event called Bridging the Gap at the Miami Beach Recreational Center, hip-hop for me goes beyond beats and rhythms; instead it expresses a culture and lifestyle. Its what co-founders Seth Schere and Mista Long wanted to convey by creating an outlet for people who want a chance to get away from the stereotype that hip-hop has become and to appreciate it for what it once was; when money was no object.

“Its about bringing back old school hip hop and building a community so we can all just jam,” said Mista Long.

Starting from scratch, Alex De Renzis and Bret Swensson decided to take the side project seriously. Since then, theyve been building a passionate fan base in South Florida, which gave them the opportunity to play at this years Warped Tour.       When I went to the Bridging The Gap event I really had no idea what to expect; I was thinking maybe something along the line of “8 Mile” meets a battle of the bands. When I got to the venue, I was totally confused and certainly out of my element. Where were all the hot stars and the beautiful girls from the music videos?

Before the questions clouded my mind too much, I was greeted and rescued by Seth Schere, the founder of Brimstone (a hip-hop/ indie/ alternative band). Schere was a bit preoccupied hosting the big event but promised to save me a couple moments later to answer any questions. In the meantime, I decided to take a look around and find out for myself what Bridging the Gap was all about. The event turned out to be nothing like what I had expected and something that I had never experienced. It was open. It was real. It was hip-hop; and the more that I walked through the venue room full of people spraying graffiti and break dancing, the more I realized that it was an actual existence. And just as this manifestation hit me, I was whisked off to meet a man who lived this mantra.

btg4      Mista Long could be one of the most honest individuals that Ive ever met. Instead of being a teenage, hip-hop, poster boy, hes just a regular man with a passion for all that is real. Hes a fan of the popular Kanye West, Common, and Jay-z, or as Long explains “any artist who is lyrically talented.” Long truly cares about supporting the life of hip-hop by not caring about the quantity of the audience which he is performing for, but its quality or “whether it is rocking.” Long does not carry objects to bring him luck during performances. He believes in self empowerment and creating his own luck with nothing but himself.

Shortly after I thanked Mista Long for his time, Seth Schere was ready to meet with me. It was surprising to hear such different answers from the foremost supporters of the same cause. In the case of Schere, who doesnt even own an iPod and prefers a large arena, his perception of everything has to do with spirituality, being positive, and faith. He follows his own beat and has been influential in Miamis club sceneBridging The Gap is an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together, learn from one another, and just have a good time.

0 0 216 06 July, 2006 Art, Entertainment, Lifestyle July 6, 2006

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