Hip-Hopping to Broadway

Can Def Poetry Jam bring two audiences together?

The rap world had better be careful. It is getting dangerously close to mainstream acceptance. Eminem's movie, 8 Mile, won raves from stuffy, middle-aged film critics and raced to the top of the box-office charts. Now Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam has barged its way onto Broadway. An evening of in-your-face street poetry by nine performers with noms de rap like Black Ice, Georgia Me and Poetri might seem to have an uphill battle in the land of Rodgers and Hammerstein. But the show, being marketed to urban audiences and sporting a relatively low $65 top ticket price, is attracting young,...

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