Live Hip-Hop Music, an Airport Amenity That Can Lure Even Non-Travelers

December 9, 2011         The New York Times/The Bay Citizen

Mark Braun had just landed at San Francisco International Airport after a business trip to Florida. But rather than heading directly back to his home in Burlingame, he found himself lingering. “Normally I’m ready to get out of here,” he said, standing next to his roller bag.
Photo courtesy of SFO Museum.

Like hundreds of passengers that evening, Mr. Braun stayed at the airport for an unusual reason: to be entertained.

Although the airport has an extensive program of art exhibitions — it’s the only airport in the country with an accredited museum — and presents live music during the winter holiday and summer seasons, last Friday night featured something special: a free performance by DJ Qbert, the legendary hip-hop artist and turntable master.

Dressed in a blue plaid shirt, jeans and bright red Giants cap, Qbert, or Richard Quitevis, a San Francisco native, used the mezzanine level of the grand lobby of the recently remodeled Terminal 2 as his stage. He played his signature free-form scratch over funk, hip-hop and other beats on two STR8-150 turntables with people watching behind him and in the vast hall down below.

It was “a groundbreaking event,” said Nicole Mullen, associate curator of exhibitions, who estimated the crowd at 250 to 300.  (more)