The 5th Element is a record store on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown. The store is owned by Saddiq of Rhymesayers Entertainment. When you first enter the store the smell of their favorite Nag Champa incense will immediately hit you. To your left there is a board with lists of upcoming shows and a variety of fliers laid out on a table. The store is full of music and has a wall full of records and a few large racks of CDs (as well as a few dvds). As you reach the back you will find some racks of t-shirts and sweatshirts for many hip hop artists. The store is often staffed by local artists or you will find some hanging out. Familiar faces include Saddiq, Felipe (Los Nativos), Brother Ali, Jaybird, Slug (Atmosphere) and his brother Jordon. The store is the best place in town to go find whatever hip hop gear or information you need.
Lots of people attend concerts of all genres, but what makes a concert better than just listening to an album? For some people, just being able to see the artist in person is all it takes for them to feel that a show was worthwhile. They would be just as happy with an artist lip-syncing to their album (however people get upset when they find out this is happening). For others it is the atmosphere that is created by the on stage interaction. Personally, I like shows where the artist goes beyond simply playing their CD. This really shows the ability of the artist. This is evident both in skill with instruments as well as skill in entertaining. A great band can change their songs and add a guitar solo or a transition. An emcee can do a freestyle verse (thought up on the spur of the moment) or test out a new song. Another important aspect is how the artist interacts with the audience. Some groups will simply say the name of the city they are in to make the crowd cheer, while this will work it is fairly generic and obvious that they do this in each city. A great artist can feel the vibe of the crowd and interact both verbally and musically.