Best Bets


July 28, 2005|By Mason Marcus

Rapping royale

Outside of the hype and glamour of MTV, BET and Hollywood exists the underground world of the city's hip-hop community, which throws itself into the limelight tonight for The Element Party's StyleWarz. A creation of Timmy Grins and P-Funk, the party is a celebration of counterculture hip-hop that rejects the commercialization and portrayals of violence in the mainstream rap world. The party tonight, StyleWarz, will be a $500 winner-take-all "Battle Royal" competition in which two judges and the crowd will pick out the MC with the best rhyme, flow, lyrics and ability to hype the house. The party will be DJ'd by P-Funk, hosted by C-Love and will include the featured acts Tha Plague and Unreal.

Element's StyleWarz is tonight at 5 Seasons, 830 Guilford Ave. Doors open at 9 p.m., the competition begins at 10 p.m., after party until 2 a.m. Admission is $5 for women, $10 for men. Two-for-one drinks until 10 p.m. Call 410-625-9787 or visit or www. for more information.

Lounge poolside

Weekdays, the Merritt Athletic Club in Canton's outdoor pool area is for lapping. Saturday nights, it's for lounging. From 9 p.m.-2 a.m., the pool area takes on a South Beach atmosphere, complete with lounge chairs, palm trees, couches and bars. Called Aqua Lounge, it offers bottle service (where they bring you the bottle and fixings and you mix your own drinks) along with several traditional bars.

Weather permitting, Aqua Lounge is open 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays at the Merritt Athletic Club's outdoor patio, 3401 Boston St. Call 410-818-7500 or visit www.aquabalti

Another long strange trip

Like its predecessor the Grateful Dead, the transient jam-band Widespread Panic can't seem to stay in one place for very long. Tuesday night, Cracker opens for the band, which will perform in the city as part of a national summer-long tour. The neo-hippie group, which has been producing records since the late '80s, has found a home belting out Southern rock with a touch of bluegrass, folk and jazz to fans widespread across the country.

Widespread Panic plays Tuesday at Cavalier Telephone Pavilion at Pier Six, 731 Eastern Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $36 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster .com. Call 410-659-7100 or visit for more information.

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