Among its many activities, the group Sulu DC has become known in the last few years for spotlighting local Asian-American hip-hop culture. But tonight it's importing some culture from other cities, with a headlining set from San Francisco sensation Rocky Rivera at U Street Music Hall. The showcase is called "Miss Fortune: Spotlight on AAPI Women in Hip-Hop" and it also features New York rapper-violinist duo Misnomer(s) and the high-flying Kickrocks dance crew. Spoken-word poet Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is hosting and performing and The Pinstriped Rebel is DJing.
"We're all about shattering stereotypes," says Sulu co-founder and Columbia Heights resident Simone Jacobson. One misconception: That Asian American hip-hop culture is an outlier in D.C. It's actually pretty vibrant, says Jacobson. "I'm a b-girl [as in breakdancing], and the other co-founders of Sulu also have extensive hip-hop backgrounds," she says. Regie Cabico and Jenny Laresare local spoken word pioneers, and Alex Cena is a hip-hop and youth activist. "Asian-Americans are at the forefront of the next international hip-hop evolution. [West Coast trio] Far East Movement are extremely hot right now, and there's a lot more diverse talent where that came from."