Calendar » Get Out

From Gangsta to Gospel

XXX Affair showcases Cleveland's black music scene.


Hip-hop producer Aaron "AJ" Stone is banking on tonight's XXX Affair to rejuvenate Cleveland's rap and R&B scene. The event features performers on his Against the Grain label, such as Remixx, which will perform tracks from its new CD, 360. "My artists lead by example," says Stone, "from hardcore gangsta hip-hop to R&B to neo-soul."

Stone plans to release at least five CDs this year, including his own Primped, Primed & Potent. "But it's been a struggle, man," he says. "I'm trying to find an outlet to really release the talent from artists I have. There's not many underground venues here, like in Columbus. There, things are really jumping, especially on the hip-hop and R&B scenes." Meanwhile, Stone continues to scour Cleveland neighborhoods for unsigned rappers with "diversity, heart, and hunger" in their music. "I want to deal with people who want to make it," he says. "I don't look at anything I do as a demo. If you got it, put it out and shop it."
Fri., March 10, 9 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.