Sales Pitch

A festival isn't Just Another Show. It's also an opportunity.

Consider the case of Citizen Cope, the hip-hop/blues/soul/rock/reggae
hybrid led by D.C.-bred singer-musician Clarence Greenwood.

The band is playing to some of its fans, the ones who know the lyrics
to the set-opening "Bullet and a Target." But Cope is also trying to
win converts, with both its live set and its recorded music, which a
band rep has been giving away free in CD form on the Pimlico infield.

Greenwood, the former DJ for Basehead, makes message music - a
thoughtful, if overly earnest, hip-hop hybrid with soulful, singsongy
lyrics. The whole thing suggests G. Love with a funkier brand of
special sauce.

There's clear commercial potential here, too. Literally: the band's
jaunty "Son's Gonna Rise" was used in a Pontiac ad. Here, Citizen cope
is campaigning for itself.


By David Malitz |  August 9, 2008; 6:13 PM ET Virgin Festival
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