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Expressive locations 

Despite the obvious abundance of talent in Detroit, venues for up-and-coming hip-hop artists remain limited. Whether from lack of promotion, funds, support or just conflicting egos, many promoters are hard-pressed to overcome these obstacles and maintain a consistent outlet for the music or culture. Surprisingly enough, Eastpointe, of all places, has been home to one of the exceptions. The all-ages Wired Frog at 21145 Gratiot Ave. has been showcasing local talent since the fall of ’98 with everyone from ghetto superstars Al Nuke and Jiggy Jack to wordsmiths Bizarre and Bugz (R.I.P.) making appearances.

Just as important has been the willingness of Quiet As Kept Entertainment, the evening’s host, to encourage unknown MCs and groups to perform as well. Overall, the vibe favors a younger teen crowd whose sensibilities tend to favor the hardcore sounds of No Limit rather than Gangstarr, but they’re hip-hop fans nonetheless. At times rowdy, and definitely excitable, they show an appreciation to see their friends perform – possibly for the first time – or compete in a battle of the MCs. Admittedly, the size of the crowd fluctuates from "standing room only" to "are they open tonight?" but this doesn’t change the fact that as one of the few places for metro Detroit youth to express their creativity, Wired Frog is making its mark on Detroit’s music scene. Daniel D. Zarazua writes about music at the Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

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