The 9th Annual Black Expo — co-sponsored by the local paper Black Pages — kicks off a full weekend of seminars and presentation next weekend. One highlight is sure to be the Old-School Hip-Hop Concert scheduled for Fri. March 7 at 8 p.m. at the Gaillard Auditorium (77 Calhoun St.).

“The purpose of the Black Expo is to promote economic development through increased exposure for minority-owned businesses,” say organizers. “African-American owned businesses have the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the public and procurement officers from major corporations and government entities. It is also an opportunity for major corporation and government entities to develop viable working relationships with minority-owned businesses while marketing their products and services to a growing consumer market. This event is a family-oriented event that exposes the community to business opportunities and cultural resources.”

The impressive lineup of old-school rappers features Doug. E Fresh (“The Show,” “La-Di-Da-Di,” pictured at the left), MC Lyte (“Paper Thin,” “Ruffneck”), Big Daddy Kane (“Raw,” “I Get the Job Done,” pictured at the right), and Whodini (“Five Minutes of Funk,” “Haunted House of Funk”). Tickets are available for $40 and $30 (and $65 VIP) at the auditorium box office and through Ticketmaster.

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