Amoeblog

Prince [1958 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, April 21, 2016 12:31pm | Post a Comment

Like everyone I know who's been texting me or posting online regarding this morning's breaking news of the death of Prince, I too am in utter shock. Between the recent passings of David Bowie and Phife Dawg of Tribe and now Prince (all artists I love and whose entire catalogs I own), I don't know how many more of these sudden unexpected deaths of my musical heroes that I can take. In case you somehow missed the news story, it was confirmed by several sources that earlier today the artist born Prince Rogers Nelson, who went by the name Prince as well as that symbol of his, has died at age 57 at his Paisley Park studios in Minnesota. While no exact cause of death has been announced yet, according to TMZ, authorities had responded to a medical emergency this morning at the artist's famed home/studio where reportedly he was found "unresponsive" after collapsing. This is shocking and totally unexpected news since Prince had been very active lately doing shows all over, and making music including his recent two part HITnRUN album series.

Prince's death follows the (possibly related) news from a week ago that he had been hospitalized with the flu. That story made headlines when his private jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Illinois following a show by the artist, one of the many shows he had been doing lately. Just a couple of months ago, in late February, Prince was in Oakland, CA at the Paramount where he dedicated his two performances to former collaborator (and GF) Denise "Vanity" Matthews of Vanity 6 fame who died just ten days earlier. The Bay Area singer was also age 57.  But this news of Prince's passing news is just too sad for me! So rather than dwell on it, I am going to go and put on Prince's music, and listen to it for the rest of the day. Below is a list of some of those albums plus a video of a performance by Prince in NJ from January 1982. Rest in Peace Prince. You really will be missed!

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Bay Area 420 Guide: Get Blunted with Cypress Hill, Burn One For Bernie, Berner, Pep Love, Z-Man, Shortkut, Deuce Eclipse, Lazyboy +

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2016 11:59am | Post a Comment


4/20
may not be an officially recognized national holiday (yet) but that matters little to the legions of pot enthusiasts, especially in the Bay Area, who will gather at various venues and events throughout today to celebrate the annual hemp holiday. Think of 4/20 as the Record Store Day for cannabis connoisseurs. It's a day when new strains are unveiled, when clubs do giveaways and specials, and musical acts including lots of hip-hoppers perform to celebrate the beloved date. Assigned to the 20th day of the fourth month, which is derived from the daily 4:20pm designated dank time, 4/20 is a relatively recent phenomenon.  While it has only been around for a couple of decades, 4/20 day celebrations have exponentially grown in popularity over time, especially in the past few years.

Fueling this noticeable national increase in public celebrating of cannabis consumption, are the steps been taken by many states across the US toward legalizing or non-criminalizing cannabis for either medical or recreational use. While Colorado may have legalized weed and California just okayed it for medical use, from travels throughout both states, my experience is that California is much more open and free minded about cannabis consumption (not to mention way more affordable!). Consequently some of the best 4/20 celebrations are taking place in the Golden State today, especially in the Bay Area where Cypress Hill are among the many artists performing. Below is a rough guide to 4/20 events in the Bay.

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Post Record Store Day Hip-Hop Rap Up: J Dilla, J. Rawls, Roots Manuva, Mr. Lif, Homeboy Sandman, Madchild + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2016 09:58pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2016 (April 16th) was another popular crowd-drawing event at record stores all over the country.  Even hours before opening time Saturday morning, outside the three Amoeba locations (LA, SF & Berkeley) there were long lines of folks fiending for the doors to open to the many great RSD exclusives. All those articles we've been reading about the ever increasing number of record collectors out there proved to be true, based on the numbers that swarmed to record stores on Saturday. By 7am outside the Hollywood Amoeba on Sunset Blvd. vinyl collectors and music fans of all ages had formed a long line that snaked down Ivar Avenue and around the back parking lot, as reported here on the Amoeblog.

Similarly up in the Bay Area collectors swarmed to both Amoeba stores early in the day, as well as throughout Record Store Day. Even at 8pm Saturday evening when I stopped into the Berkeley Amoeba
store, there were still a lot of RSD shoppers crate digging in the store's various genre sections including hip-hop vinyl. Because of the fact that the DJ and records are such a central component of hip-hop music and culture, understandably Record Store Day is a very special day for hip-hop fans.  Both DJs and casual collectors of hip-hop earmark the annual date and plan ahead . As for all the hip-hop RSD 2016 releases, the most (deserved) attention-grabbing release this year was J Dilla's The Diary. The past few days I've been listening non-stop to this highly recommended sixth posthumous release from the (now) iconic Detroit hip-hop producer/emcee, and can attest that it deserves all the hype.

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4 Turntable Set by DJ Shortkut & Maseo Tonight At Mighty SF Marks End of An Era

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2016 07:03pm | Post a Comment

Longtime San Francisco nightclub Mighty has been recently sold and in the coming months will be temporarily shuttered when the popular 6000 square foot venue located between the Mission and Potrero Hill, that opened 13 years ago, will undergo a total makeover and remodeling of its current simple, warehouse like design. Then at a later still to be determined future date, it will reopen under a new name as a more upscale nightlife destination, one that reportedly will not likely not feature much or any hip-hop. In fact already it is phasing out its hip-hop themed events with tonight, April 15th 2016, being one of the very final ones (Warren G is booked for four weeks) at Mighty. And tonight's show will be a good one: one that will feature a grand finale 2 DJ / 4 turntable performance by DJ Shortkut (Invisibl Skratch Piklz / Beat Junkies / Triple Threat DJs) with Maseo of De La Soul that promises to be off the hook. The pair have shared a stage many times before. Back in 2011, along with Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, they teamed up to perform the Heavy Boogie produced Adidas Originals Breathe & Stop Tour of Asia. [see photo below, courtesy of Joey Too Fresh, of all three on stage in Manilla]

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Interview with Longtime SF Hip-Hop Artist/Activist Equipto about Frisco Day (4/15)

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2016 10:30pm | Post a Comment
 
Not to be confused with other important dates in the hectic week ahead such as Tax Day (Note: 4/18 this year) or 4/16 (Record Store Day) or 4/20 (Dank Day), 4/15 is the newly assigned annual date to celebrate Frisco Day. That's 4/15 as in April 15th symbolizing the numerals of the 4-1-5 area code of San Francisco (aka Frisco). But 4/15 Frisco Day is more than simply being a day for residents to celebrate pride in their City by the Bay. It's more about solidarity among poor blue collar / working class San Franciscans who've been marginalized and endangered by the influx in recent years of high paid tech workers to their city. That's according to veteran San Francisco hip-hop artist and activist Equipto who is one of the organizers of Friday's 4/15 Frisco Day event. This week the Amoeblog caught up with the passionate and always politically outspoken emcee to ask him about 4/15 Frisco Day, and about life in general and hip-hop in particular in San Francisco in these gentrified times.


Amoeblog: So this is the first official 4/15  Frisco Day but it has been around for a minute already, right?

Equipto: Frisco Day, April 15th is a special day for certain Frisco die hards that I know. My friend Barry, who has the clothing company SFOG, has thrown dope intimate shows on 4/15 for some years now with performers like San Quinn, RBL, myself and more. But this year, this Friday 4/15, will be the first official Frisco Day for the public

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