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HipHopForChange Celebrates 3 Successful Years Of Utilizing Hip-Hop As Tool of Empowerment

Posted by Billyjam, April 2, 2016 04:42pm | Post a Comment


Bucking hip-hop's dominant negative image as fictionalized one-dimensional music merely celebrating materialism and misogyny, HipHopForChange refreshingly reminds us that hip-hop is a deep meaningful culture with a history rooted in positivity and empowerment. "The mainstream music industry sells sexism, drug abuse, homophobia, materialism, and gang violence as if these problems represent the cornerstones of hip hop culture" is how HipHopForChange articulates it on their website. Through their website and workshops for youth and recording studio and visible representation at various community events, HipHopForChange has been consistently educating and entertaining (edutaining) for three dedicated years in the Bay Area. Tonight at The Uptown in celebration, HipHopForChange will present a Bay Area hip-hop showcase with sets from Opio, BPos, Kev Choice, 2nd Floor Samurais, and DJ Ren the Vinyl Archeaologist. $10 8pm. Info

Odds are if you've gone out to hip-hop shows in the Bay Area over the past three years you'll have noticed the name HipHopForChange associated with many of them, especially conscious hip-hop.  The non-profit Oakland based organization believes in presenting a platform for hip-hop artists with empowering social justice messages.

More significantly HipHopForChange also goes out to schools around the Bay Area  to present and produce workshops and classes for youth. These interactive workshops introduce these kids to hip-hop culture and its deep history. They also demonstrate how hip-hop interacts with issues of social justice. These much needed workshops have traveled to high schools all over including in Bayview/Hunters Point, El Cerrito, and West Oakland.

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Team Wino's Toph One and DJ Marz Present "April Drools Party" @ Elbo Room To Raise Needed Funds for AIDS/LifeCycle

Posted by Billyjam, April 1, 2016 02:33pm | Post a Comment

DJs and cyclist-enthusiasts Toph One and DJ Marz are the organizers behind tonight's AIDS benefit concert at the Elbo Room in San Francisco that will feature sets by Bullet Proof Space Travelers / Scratch Hamsters (DJs Quest, Cue, Marz and MC Eddie K), Mista B, Luke Sick & Brycon, Lady Fingaz, B.Cause, DJ Baysik, and DJ Ewock of The Morph Life. Hosted by Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves (SF punk group that Marz is sometime member of), the night will also include standup comedy from Frankie Quinones  and Mike Evans Jr. plus live painting by Snow Monkey (Lords Crew) and Chris Micro (Trash Life). All of these artists will donate their time and talent for free. There'll be a raffle too tonight with prizes including an Amoeba gift certificate. The requested minimal $5 donation for admission go toward the upcoming annual AIDS/LifeCycle that takes place from June 5th to June 11th when 3,000+ cyclists will take on the long bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center

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"Ever Get The Feeling You've Been Trumped?" GOP Front Runner's Shocker That Presidential Run Was "Huge Prank For New Reality Show"

Posted by Billyjam, April 1, 2016 11:53am | Post a Comment
 
"I will officially be dropping out of the presidential race on Tuesday. The whole thing was a huge prank for my new reality TV show Ever Get The Feeling You've Been Trumped which will air this summer. It'll be huge, bigger than any other TV show ever," said Donald "Punk" Trump today in an Amoeblog exclusive (read full interview below). The GOP front runner admitted that his entire faux campaign from day one was merely a ruse for his producers to gather footage for this new reality show ("Most of the footage we didn't even have to shoot. The media did it for us for free! We must have 10,000 hours already from cable news alone!").

The admittance was made by Trump, who insisted "Punk" be added to his name while sporting a mohawk and citing both Ashton Kutcher's reality show punk'd and punk rocker Johnny Rotten as inspiration. Trump said his new show title is based on the Sex Pistols breakup announcement in San Francisco in January 1978 when Johnny Rotten famously, before dramatically dropping the mic, howled at the crowd. "Ah hah hah. Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Good night!" (video below) In his Amoeblog interview Trump also claims hat he was behind that famous moment in rock and roll history. 




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Famous Bay Area Rap Battles: Too $hort vs. KMEL

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2016 05:57pm | Post a Comment
Along with such legendary rap battles as Saafir vs. Casual, another one of Bay Area hip-hop history's most notorious public feuds was the mid-1990's battle in which radio station KMEL foolishly went head to head with the "Godfather of Bay Area Rap" Too $hort by banning his music on their airwaves, and stating that he hadn't had a hit in years and was at his career's end. Last Saturday at Oakland's Fox Theater the veteran Bay Area rap artist celebrated 30 years in the rap game. His show featured many surprise guests plus a smoldering hot live funk band backing him, along with opening acts Zion I, The Grouch & Eligh and DJ Fresh. Always a fan of funk and funk played live, the artist born Todd Shaw's live band included Kev Choice on keyboards while his many mic guests of the evening included Freddy B, E-40, Richie Rich, Silk-E, Mistah F.A.B., Lil Eazy E, and Raphael Saadiq who joined him on such songs as “The Ghetto” with Saadiq supplying the chorus part that was done by Gerald Levert on the original 1990 Too $hort version of the Donny Hathaway inspired hit single. Note that tonight's (March 31) added second show was cancelled at the last minute. Refunds at point of purchase.

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Roots of Reality Rap & Beginnings of Conscious Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, March 30, 2016 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Upon digging in crates of early eighties hip-hop today, I was pleasantly reminded of just how socially aware and outspoken so many of those early era hip-hop records actually were. It wasn't all "party over here, party over there, say hey" structured escapist rap, at least not from this period of the early 80's onwards. Of these 12" records, I picked out three to pop on the platter and listen closely to and present here via their YouTube clips: Divine Sounds' "What People Do For Money," Kurtis Blow's "8 Million Stories," and Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & Furious Five's 1982 Sugar Hill single "Message II (Survival)." As the title of the latter implies, the record was the sequel to the pioneering hip-hop crew's hit "The Message" from earlier that same year. [Both are found on the group's Best Of collection CD].  An international hit, it held a mirror up to the decay and neglect of the inner city told in catchy memorable rhymes on the stark reality of living in poverty in urban America. The antithesis of a rap party anthem, "The Message" was a cold slap in the face forcing all to look at the everyday struggles of living amidst poverty and violence. On the record Duke Bootee and Melle Mel traded such famous observatory rhymes, "Rats in the front room, roaches in the back. Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat. I tried to get away but I couldn't get far. Cos a man with a tow truck repossessed my car." "The Message" and its widespread success is regularly cited as the original "conscious rap" record and held responsible for kick-starting a sub-genre of hip-hop that would play a key role in the genre up to the present. However many over the years have protested this label, citing it as too limiting and restrictive a pigeon hole to fit an artist into. Most notable of late is talented hip-hop star Vince Staples who has vocally and mockingly rebelled against and dismissed the term "conscious rap" that he protests has been unfairly applied to his work.

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