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Sharp Notes March 04 2004

Ludicrous protest of Ludacris: The National Alliance, a white supremacist group, distributed more than 2,500 flyers urging Casper, Wy., residents to protest a hip-hop concert scheduled at the Casper Events Center on Sat., Feb. 21. The show featured local rappers Ludacris and Chingy, a recent arrival, as well as Mississippian David Banner — all promoters of "a criminal culture," according to the Alliance.

The group cited a previous concert by recently incarcerated New Orleans rapper Mystikal, who received six years in jail for sexual battery committed against his hairstylist. The flyer carried Mystikal's image and read: "Over a month ago, the city welcomed the rapist rapper Mystikal. Now the city is throwing out the red carpet to welcome yet another black rapper. Why are we allowing this violent diversity to be forced into our city."

The show must go on, though, and in this case it did. The city's vice mayor, Guy Padgett, deemed the Alliance's actions, well, ludicrous. He said blaming "a whole group for the crimes of one person is outrageous."

In an MTV.com interview, Ludacris, who brings his show home Thurs., March 11, commented on the resistance: "All we do is make sure we're prepared for anything that's going to happen, do our show and get the hell on. We've had opposition in a lot of places over the past four years."

But the question remains: Why did the rappers plan a trip to central Wyoming in the first place? To the residents of the boxy state, "crunk" is probably known as the sound a five-speed makes when it stalls at a traffic light.

Speaking of crunk ... : On Tues., Feb. 24, crunk patriarch Lil Jon released the first album through his BME imprint's new distribution arrangement with Warner Brothers: the two-in-one The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present: Trillville & Lil Scrappy.

In a move that makes you wonder why the concept behind Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was ever confusing, the Trillville-Scrappy album will be sold in two different forms: One version features Trillville on the cover and will have the songs that feature him arranged first in the tracklist. The second layout showcases Lil Scrappy as its cover model, with his songs up front. It's fine if you prefer one rapper to the other, but if you like both equally, this could be an agonizing decision. Lil Jon could accidentally be playing you right into the hands of iTunes.

Lil more crunk: According to www.AllHipHop.com, Lil Jon's measuring tape of success is still going, now halfway "from the window to the wall." After extending his brand from MCing and production to Crunk!!! energy drink and, naturally, porn, the crunkyard dawg is getting his own radio show. A two-hour show of urban hits syndicated by American Urban Radio Networks, "Crunk Radio" will air weekly and features co-host Emperor Searcy, a former Club 112 resident.

According to the Feb. 25 episode of Comedy Central's "Chapelle's Show," most of the between-song banter on "Crunk Radio" will consist of Lil Jon barking "What!" and "O.K.!" and "Yeah!" In a skewering portrayal of Cap'n Crunk, Chapelle assumes the role of Lil Jon, navigating a conversation at an airport check-in counter with a Barbara Walters-type using only those three words — and a non-sequitur sentence of sophisticated speak. So, Lil Jon's insane in the membrane, but not in the brain.

Local Show(s) of the Week: The ghosts of the last phase of venerable Athens indie label Kindercore return to Atlanta. The grating riffs and airtight rhythms of D.C.-influenced post-punkers Paper Lions are the featured sounds at The Earl on Fri., March 5. On Sat., March 6, Jet By Day and I Am the World Trade Center co-headline the Echo Lounge. JBD is still peddling the angst-ridden, semi-emo thump of the group's latest, Cascadia. Meanwhile, IATWTC is previewing material from its New Order-ish forthcoming disc, The Cover Up.

No one likes goodbyes, and Sat., March 6 will be a tough one for Atlanta scenesters to stomach. Though you might know the quintet is leaving, Aerial may help you temporarily forget while the group serenades fans with its simultaneously ambient and moving soundscapes. Aerial's CD release/ATL fleeing party takes place at 2High Studios, up I-75.