The local hip-hop music scene is moving into territory previously charted mostly by rock acts. Take this weekend, for example, when Conduit Entertainment’s family of rappers plays the White Water Tavern, at 7th and Thayer streets, on Saturday, April 1.
Conduit is the brainchild of Brian Rikuda, a transplanted Californian who teamed with Pine Bluff native Chane Morrow to form the group to showcase Arkansas hip-hop acts. Not only have the acts gotten some notice nationally in the past couple of years, but Rikuda himself was front and center recently on the Black Entertainment Television network show “The Ultimate Hustler.”
Hip-hop is an industry that buys and sells the lifestyle surrounding it, and the truth is that despite the romantic lyrics and videos that indicate otherwise, it’s more than just hustling and scheming. It involves a lot of hard work, dedication and integrity. That’s how Dame Dash, who played host to “The Ultimate Hustler” — BET’s answer to “The Apprentice” — sees it. And Rikuda (aka “B-Dot”), a Stanford University grad, took home the honor of being the “biggest baller” in the contest. He also got some great loot: a car, a chain and a lot of high-dollar shoes. Rikuda has expanded his horizons, joining the board of the clothing line featured on the show, called Okinali, which blends classic professional pieces with the more urban gangsta look.
Meanwhile, as for the tongue-lashing and chain-flashin’ at Saturday’s White Water show, Conduit will bring Arkansas Bo, DK, Goines and more to the party. Showtime is 9 p.m., and the cover charge is $5.