Hip-hop and the city of Portland have had, shall we say, a contentious relationship of late. Scratch that: Of always.

But now, it appears local officials are finally willing to treat rap with the same respect it's previously afforded sea otters, sock knitting, the Norwegian constitution and, of course, the Decemberists—by giving it its own day.

By decree of the Mayor's Office, Oct. 15 in Portland will henceforth be known as "Hip-Hop Day." A live concert, featuring Vinnie Dewayne, Mic Capes, Jon Belz and others, will take place at City Hall that afternoon. In a statement, the always-hip Charlie Hales (aka DJ Sad Eyez) said he can't wait to get his swerve on. Well, not in those exact words:



I am so excited to have Portland hip-hop artists in City Hall. One of the things I love about this city is the creative energy we bring to everything we do. When The Decemberists launched their album in City Hall, we saw how there could be creativity in civic engagement. With the help of our wonderful partners StarChile and DJ O.G.ONE, we’re going to have some of Portland’s top hip-hop artists perform in City Hall, honoring hip-hop as an important piece of our identity as a city—and hopefully bringing people to City Hall who’ve never been here before.

The proclamation comes a little less than a year after the city auditor's office released an investigation into claims that the Portland Police Bureau unfairly targets rap concerts and related events, blaming a lack of communication for exacerbating the tension between police and the hip-hop community.

"And that's what this is about," said Idris "StarChile" Oferrall, a longtime Portland rap promoter, in a statement that circulated on social media before the official announcement. "We want to celebrate the music and culture of Hip Hop in Portland, just like any other genre of music, and not feel like we're being singled out because of who we are."

Others are more suspicious of Hales' motivations. On its Facebook page, Don't Shoot Portland—whose most prominent figure is rapper Glenn Waco [UPDATE: Waco clarifies the following post was not written by him.]—accused the mayor of pandering for the black youth vote:



SEASONS CHANGE ALERT: #BlackLivesMatter#CoOpting Alert!! Beware of False Motives of Politicians and other Organizations, Agencies, Non Profits, ETC… Its Funding and Re-Election Season. They will get their own BLACKS and will PRODUCE the Will of the People. (Their version of course- Don’t Fall For It)

Charlie Hales is running for office against our state Treasurer @Ted Wheeler he is attempting to create an image that young, black youth and the black community support him. Great photos and press….my question is why isn’t he paying them? Where is the proclamation to put music back in schools for all children?? Word for the wise any one will tell you that politicians will do and say anything to #GetElected a photo in City Hall guarantees #BlackLivesMatter Votes…which means fuck niggas on the streets demanding change. #CoOpting isn’t new. That shit works.

The Hip-Hop Day concert takes place Thursday, Oct. 15, at City Hall, beginning at 4 pm.