Bananas is a monthly underground hip hop showcase that goes off every third Tuesday of the month at Kaos Network in Leimert Park. Six years running, Bananas is the place to be for enterprising hip hop artists who are making a name for themselves in L.A.’s underground scene. The lineup is determined by Kyle Guy (alter ego of posi rap superhero VerbS), who packs in a substantial list of young and hungry artists, rare talent, and out-of-town troubadours each month.
Bananas isn’t just another obscure affair – You can always count on a core group of regulars in addition to an unpredictable mix of exquisite creatures from all corners of the city, many of whom would probably never find their way to Leimert Park without the lure of Bananas.
“It’s a big-ass rap party,” says Guy, who is apt to book more than a dozen acts for each show. “There are people from all walks of life coming out.”
It’s an eclectic mix, where the money-and-hoes rappers get to mingle with the punk-rock hip hop heads. You never quite know who will pop up, like guitar virtuoso John Frusciante, who made a discreet appearance earlier this year, or any number of local legends from Leimert and beyond.
Signor Benedict the Moor
Hip hop may dominate, but that’s not all there is to the Bananas lineup. R & B, Afro Caribbean dance, live beats and sidewalk ciphers are all par for the course at this monthly gathering. Bananas goes off on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, with a few rare “Green Bananas” shows here and there.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve mostly like heard by now that 99% of Los Angeles is FREAKING OUT because the 405 Freeway is closing this weekend for repairs. The attitude is worse than doomsday fears for Y2K and the rapture, and Angelenos dread this event like nothing else they’ve ever faced. I think it’s hilarious and awesome and awesomely hilarious.
While L.A.’s cyclists are given one more reason to laugh in the face of the absurdity and impracticability of car culture, some have also embraced this as an opportunity to have a whole lot of F.U.N. while making a statement about the awesome effectiveness of bikes as transportation: Bike vs. Plane. The contenders in this showdown are several of L.A.’s Wolfpack Hustle riders, who will be facing Jetblue’s $4 Carmageddon promotional flight from Burbank to Long Beach.
The showdown begins in just two hours (10:50a.m. PST), when the cyclists will depart from a North Hollywood home in conjunction with Joe Anthony, who will leave by car en route to the Burbank Airport and take his comped seat on the Jetblue 12:20p.m. flight.
The finish line is the Long Beach lighthouse. The cyclists and the driver who delivers Anthony to the airport have all agreed to obey all traffic laws. So, does traveling to a (small) airport, through check-in and security lines, boarding, flying 40 miles, and making your way through the airport and over to a landmark using more “traditional” means of transportation take less time than hopping on a steel pony and pushing the pedals the same distance? All I gotta say to that is: Ride on Wolves! I can already hear the pack’s howls.