New black music (as they call it on BBC radio station 1Xtra, regardless of the skin color of whos making it) is viewed by some as having two faces: the powder-keg materialism of rap in opposition to the self-aware and socially-conscious hip hop. Never mind that the culture and influence of hip hop has as many facets as Fergies diamonds. In light of the recent nightclub drama downtown, one is clearly endorsed by our local governmentthe Mayors Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs that arranges performances year-round at City Halland one isnt. This afternoons Traffic Jam: Hip Hop & Spoken Word Mashup features some city- and critic-approved entertainment including MC Gabriel Teodros, DJ WD4D, and World Poetry slam champ Buddy Wakefield. The talented local slam poet Melissa Noelle Green, who received the 2005 Mayors Award for Excellence in Hip Hop, and Poet Populist Jourdan Keith will also perform. This is all good news for downtowners looking for a quality, thought-provoking (and free) way to spend their early evening. Its also the last time youll hear hip hop at the Hall for a while, as summers remaining menu includes rock, Cuban dance, and classical. Maybe next time the schedules put together, theyll invite DJ Mr. Supremea fixture at Tabella and a 2006 recipient of the Mayors award himself.