Monday, July 28, 2008
Skillz in 1995
There used to be an annual concert in Richmond's Highland Park, called the "Park Jam." I think it ran for about 4 years or so, mostly local acts on a portable stage performing for neighborhood folks. D'angelo was billed one year, but he couldn't make it. One of the dudes from Shades of Lingo came out and rapped once. It was usualy a parade of wannabees and good-tryers, unless Skillz was performing. Once he took the stage, he made the event legit.
I think the concerts continued for a couple of years after this particular performance. Artie Jefferson, a local record shop owner who put the shows together, decided to quit while he was ahead. Even though the shows would go on into the night, there were no incidents in the park, which is now called Ann Hardy Plaza. But the area continued to decline and soon the neighborhood was frequented by people who didn't respect community events. The event retired with a perfect record.