Amoeblog

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.14.14: Top 5, Qbert Galaxxxian Review, 206 Zulu, ILLEST DJ/B-Boy Battles, Valentine's Day Rap + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2014 07:07pm | Post a Comment


The photo above (as all other pics of show by James Mak of Joysco Studio for the Amoeblog) was taken last night at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with DJ Qbert joined by emcee A-Plus (Souls of Mischief) - one of the several artists that would join the DJ/producer throughout his hour long set that featured artists who appear alongside him on his soon to drop new album Galaxxxian (the rap counterpart to his other new album the instrumental Extraterrestria).  Others included emcees  P.E.A.C.E.  (Freestyle Fellowship), Bambu, Z-Man, and Unity, producer Dan The Automator, and "scratch guitarist" The Genie who like most of the night's guests had collaborated with Qbert. The night, which kicked off at 9pm with a nice hip-hop set from DJ Hard Rich from Thud Rumble, also featured individual sets from P.E.A.C.E. and Bambu (whose 20 minute solo set featured Jus Jones as his DJ), two incredible sets from Qbert's longtime friend collaborator and fellow Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP) member DJ Shortkut  who killed it with richly diverse sets that ranged from electro fueled new hip-hop to golden era classics, reggae and new UK garage, plus some nice beat juggling and scratching - including an impromptu quick session with Qbert.

DJ Qbert, plus Dan The Automator, P.E.A.C.E., Bambu, and DJ Shortkut + host Fran Boogie tonight in SF Promises To Be Off The Hook

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2014 04:58pm | Post a Comment
Some are calling tonight's star-studded hip-hop show at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with West Coast underground hip-hop icons DJ Qbert, Dan The Automator, P.E.A.C.E., DJ Shortkut, and Bambu - a comeback or (due to the first two listed acts) a kind of a Dr. Octagon two-thirds part reunion (referencing the landmark 1996 Bay Area produced Dr. Octagonecologyst album produced by The Automator, featuring Qbert, and re-catapulting its microphone star Kool Keith to post Ultramagetnic MC's solo fame). But to paraphrase the lyrics of that well worn LL Cool J song; don't call it a comeback, they've been here before. In fact they never went away. Sure there was a long gap between Dan The Automator's Deltron 3030 projects (his 2000 collab with Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Kid Koala that only enjoyed a sequel last year) and an even wider one between Qbert's last official album (1998's Wave Twisters) and his soon-to-drop 2014 two-album set Extraterrestria and GalaXXXian for which tonight's concert is a special pre-release party/concert for.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #67: Changes to The State of The City, Valentine's Day In The Big Apple, Concerts + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 12, 2014 05:04pm | Post a Comment


Under a big banner emblazoned "One New York Rising Together" new New York City mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to provide New York City residents with a "fair shot at a better life" in his first "State of the City" address earlier this week, and by so doing offering hope to a good percentage of the population of this expensive city to live in. In Monday's 43 minute speech he spoke of “a budgetary challenge that is unprecedented” and called for expanding “living wage” laws - proposing that New York City set its own (higher than average) minimum wage.

De Blasio's distinctly progressive liberal leaning speech, which further separated him politically from his two mayoral predecessors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg and placed him more in line with the vision of the late NYC Mayor Fiorella La Guardia (Mayor of NYC for three terms from 1934 to 1945 - pictured right), also pushed his policies of raising taxes for the city's rich to pay for universal prekindergarten, amping up job training programs for the unskilled, and providing ID cards to those New Yorkers that are in the USA illegally. What actually unfolds and the impact of these radical changes proposed by this new mayor will have remains to be seen, but is sure to cause much local and national debate in the interim.

Ariel View Of NYC (2014)

The above video, which was uploaded to YouTube over the weekend, is a pretty impressive (albeit likely controversial) aerial view from high above the Big Apple with some unusual views looking straight down to the streets far below. Made by a camera attached to a drone that was, according to the YouTube account belonging to the camera gear company DSLR Pros, the "video was given to us from an anonymous source."  The description goes on to read that,  "As beautiful as it is we do not recommend flying in locations like NYC" and since it was posted on Saturday has disabled comments from being made which is what prompted me to imply it is likely controversial since the gut reaction from most, I imagine, would be memories of 9/11 and anything remotely related (regardless of how beautiful the footage above may be) is bound to trigger such mental connections - even 13 years later.

Thank You, Shirley Temple

Posted by Billyjam, February 11, 2014 05:41am | Post a Comment

Shirley Temple "On The Good Ship Lollipop" from Bright Eyes (1934) 

Thank you, Shirley Temple Black, for lifting a nation's spirits during the depression with songs and films like "On The Good Ship Lollipop" (above) from the 1934 movie Bright Eyes and "When I Grow Up" from 1935's Curly Top (these are just two of 40 film she made as a child star). Temple, who became a diplomat as an adult, died yesterday at age 85. Rest in peace, Shirley Temple, and thanks for all those movies, songs, and dance routines.


Shirley Temple "When I grow Up" from "Curly Top (1935)

JR Valrey Discusses His Second Book, Unfinished Business: Block Reportin' 2

Posted by Billyjam, February 10, 2014 09:25am | Post a Comment

jr valreyOakland author JR Valrey has just published his powerful second book - Unfinished Business: Block Reportin 2. The author/journalist/broadcaster/activist who is also known as the People's Minister of Information will be doing two Bay Area book readings this month in celebration of this second publication in an ongoing series at both of the Bay Area branches of the wonderful Marcus Books: at the San Francisco Marcus Books (1712 Fillmore St.) on February 13th, and at the Oakland Marcus Books (3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way) on February 22nd.

Two years ago, during Black History Month 2012, JR Valrey acted as a guest Amoeblogger here and wrote an insightful piece titled The Black Experience Study Guide: My Top 7 Books, Movies, and Albums for Black History Month. That piece followed a profile/interview with Valrey from a couple of months earlier on the topic of his first book Block Reportin. This week I again caught up with the busy Oakland-based Valrey to talk about his latest book, its subjects, and some of the topics covered in it and his opinions on them.

 
Amoeblog: Is it fair to call Unfinished Business a sequel to / a continuation of your last book and does it continue that book's same format?

JR Valrey: I guess you can say that. The only continuity between Block Reportin" and Unfinished Business is that they are both books consisting of a compilation of interviews; interviews that I did as a print and broadcast journalist over the years.  The third installment of the series, which is yet to be named, will include 28 interviews so that the total number of interviews that I have put out in book form will number 100.

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