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Uptown Theater Returns This Year—And So Does Prof?

Plus students demand answers about Azad's death, dairy farmers are crybabies, and parks do markets in today's Flyover.

4:01 PM CST on March 7, 2023

Jay Boller|

The Uptown Theatre circa 2021.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

The Uptown Theater Has Booked Some Music

If someone told you at the end of 2020 that, within two years, local rapper Prof would be one of the first acts booked at the most high profile new music venue in town, how would you have responded? That year, Prof first tried to distance himself from his longtime DJ/hypeman Fundo, who’d been described as manipulative and abusive in a series of social media posts. And then, when the rapper’s own gross tweets about underage girls were dug up, Prof’s label sought to distance itself from himRhymesayers dropped him, saying, “We were complicit in promoting and marketing music that perpetuates misogyny.” It’s worth noting that Prof has hardly been blackballed locally—he played the Palace just last year. Nor has the controversy been a career setback: When Rhymesayers decided not to release his album Powderhorn Suites, Prof put it out on his own label and it peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard albums chart.

Anyhow, today the new Uptown Theater announced that Prof was one of the first four acts it had booked. (He’s there for two nights in June—including, erm, an all-ages show.) Live music will kick off on May 5 at the former movie theater, which is currently being converted into a 2,500-person music venue by developers Swervo (the folks behind the Armory), with wholesome local pop-rockers Yam Haus. Australian singer-songwriter Ruel is booked for June. And in September, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic will land the mothership in Uptown.

Students March to Demand Investigation Into Khalil Azad’s Death

Led by the group Minnesota Teen Activists, hundreds of students from across the Twin Cities marched from U.S. Bank Stadium to the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis yesterday demanding an investigation into the July 2022 death of Khalil Azad. Azad was found dead in Crystal Lake two days after Robbinsdale police tried to pull him over for a traffic stop; the Hennepin County Medical Examiner later deemed the case an “accidental drowning.” (You can find more details regarding the incident here, along with a description of the state of Azad’s body when it was discovered.) The students said they want law enforcement to release all video from the police chase, and they’re also asking for an independent investigation into all agencies involved, including the Medical Examiner’s Office. Meanwhile the Robbinsdale Police Department has announced that it will release body camera footage this week, and also requested that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension review the case.  

MN Dairy Farmers: Milk is Our Word!

Have you ever brought home a carton of soy, almond, rice, or oat milk, only to be shocked to learn that, upon consuming it, you’ve purchased something that did not come from a cow? That very scenario is keeping Minnesota Milk Producers Association up at night, and, if they get their way, these types of products would be required to call themselves “beverages” or “juices” instead of “milk.” “Dairy farmers are offended that someone would try to steal their whole livelihood,” Lucas Sjostrom, executive director of the MMPA, tells MinnPost

Sen. Tina Smith is on their side. She’s co-sponsoring the Dairy Pride Act, which would ban plant-based drinks from “misleading consumers and putting hardworking dairy farmers at a competitive disadvantage.” MinnPost says the Act is unlikely to pass; so far, the courts haven't been on their side either. In 2018, a class-action lawsuit against Blue Diamond was thrown out after a court deemed its “almond milk” product label was not misleading; vegan company Miyoko’s Creamery also won a lawsuit that sought to remove the word “butter” from its packaging.

Park Board Gets Into the Farmer's Market Biz

Look out, Minneapolis farmer's markets—the Park Board is stepping onto your turf. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has announced that this year it will run five weekly Minneapolis Park Markets: at Lake Harriet, Market Square, Water Works, Minnehaha Falls, and The Commons. Vendor applications are due March 31. There's not much more for us to say—you know what a farmer's market is! You can find more details here.

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