.Opinion: A Hip-Hop Thanksgiving


I always thought the Santa Cruz Gives issue made the perfect Thanksgiving Good Times. For a few years there, it would come out right before the holiday, and I always knew the paper for that week would capture exactly the right vibe of “Let’s be grateful for everything we have and think about how we can help others.” But as the Gives holiday campaign got bigger, we needed to give it an extra week, and that’s why our cover story on it—which I still think of as our real Thanksgiving issue—came out last week. Since we made that change, the cover subject for our actual week-of issue now seems a bit random sometimes. And with that in mind, allow me to welcome you to our Thanksgiving Hip-Hop Issue!

Hmm, I don’t know, though—now that I think about it, maybe it kind of works. I mean, if we’re talking about things our community should be thankful for, the incredibly rich and diverse history of our arts scene should be one of them. And what I love about Aaron Carnes’ cover story on the subject is that he’s spent months tracking down artists, promoters and fans from every era of the hip-hop scene to put together what I can without reservation say is the definitive history of the genre in Santa Cruz. It’s a must-read for those who remember great hip-hop shows at Club Culture, Palookaville and other spots around here—and especially for those who missed them.

Of course, last week was only the beginning of our Santa Cruz Gives coverage, and this week you’ll find the first of many stories in which we’ll be focusing on the work that the nonprofits we’re asking you to donate to are doing in our community. Go to santacruzgives.org to read about all of the groups, and to donate. Happy Thanksgiving!



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Nearly half a million dollars will go towards improving pedestrian and cyclist safety in Santa Cruz County. The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded $448,000 in grants to the county’s Public Health Division. Some of the money will fund community activities like driver education, especially around impaired driving. Money will also fund safety initiatives that help community members, like giving out bike helmets or car seats for low-income families.



The Amah Mutsun Land Trust (AMLT), an organization that protects the Amah Mutsun ancestral land, has named Dr. Catherin Griffin as its new executive director. She will focus on improving the wellbeing of Native people, and providing mentorship to tribal members. AMLT works to restore the Mutsun people as stewards of the land, and preserve Mutsun culture by teaching young adults Mutsun traditions. Learn more about AMLT at amahmutsunlandtrust.org.

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“In the future, hip-hop is going to be called American folklore.”



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