DREAM DAY 2016: Celebrating Life & Legacy of Mike "DREAM" Francisco [1969 - 2000]

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2016 03:10pm | Post a Comment

It is now sixteen and a half years since internationally revered, pioneering Bay Area street artist Mike "DREAM" Francisco was senselessly murdered in Oakland CA. But both the positive influence and the iconic status of the beloved artist/activist & integral part of Bay Area hip-hop history from the 80's up until his death in February 2000, has grown substantially in the years since. This is thanks in part to his family and friends keeping his legacy alive via such things as the annual DREAM DAY celebrations that have taken place every year since his tragic death. DREAM would have celebrated his 47th birthday this week. These annual tributes to DREAM have taken place thanks to the tireless committed efforts (nearly two decades later) of such dedicated folks as Mike's brother John Francisco, and DJ WillieMaze of the longtime Local1200 turntable crew.  In fact WillieMaze was the one instrumental in accomplishing in getting the DreamDay Proclamation passed through the City of Oakland. Following him investing his time and patience wading through all the red tape, finally six years ago, the City of Oakland officially proclaimed every February 17th "Dream Day."  That bittersweet date is when DREAM was murdered in Oakland back in 2000 during a random armed robbery on San Pablo Ave. A few years ago OPD solved DREAM's murder when they arrested two guys from West Oakland (both were pretty young at the time of the crime) who are each currently serving 25-to-life sentences in prison.

Mistah F.A.B. Salutes Mac Dre In Music Video Homage To Slain Bay Area Rap Icon: "Still Feelin' It"

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2016 11:45am | Post a Comment

Mistah F.A.B. has just published his new music video homage to Mac Dre, "Still Feelin' It" featured on the Oakland rap star's latest album Son of a Pimp 2 that arrived in Amoeba back in late May.  For the production of the heartfelt video homage to the iconic Vallejo rapper, who was killed in Kansas in 2004, his production crew set up cameras both by the big Mac Dre mural at Foothill near High St. in Oakland (one of several in the Bay), as well as during the June 11th Mac Dre Art Show in Oakland produced by local artist Street Bleach. Meanwhile much of the rest of the partly crowd-sourced music video  features an entertaining series of brief home-video clips of diehard Mac Dre fans enthusiastically dancing Thizz style and throwing up the trademark T sign in tribute to the so-called Thizzard of Oz.. "I made a PSA and asked for small clips of Mac Dre fans dancing to the song, and the response was overwhelming," explained Mistah F.A.B. of how these fan parts of the video production evolved. That overwhelming response confirmed what F.A.B. already knew about the love that Mac Dre continues to command with rap fans everywhere.

"[It's] a real testament to his lasting legacy and the love people still have for him. Everyone surrounding him could relate to him. He was a voice of the underworld, but also incredibly charismatic and an energy of fun," said Mistah F.A.B. whose rise to fame during the Bay Area's bygone Hyphy Movement can be attributed in great part to Mac Dre who spearheaded the regional rap musical movement.  The 2016 Mistah F.A.B. song "Still Feelin' It" (video below) is a play on the 2004 Mac Dre hit single "Feelin' Myself" (found on the album Ronald Dregan For President 2004: Dreganomics). The Mistah F.A.B. track is brimming with Mac Dre cross references such as "I'm still tryin' to find out, who's Nancy Von Chillinwich?!" "Still Feelin' It" is just one of 21 tracks on the latest, long overdue Mistah F.A.B. star-studded, album Son of a Pimp 2 whose long list of impressive collaborators (local and national) includes Kendrick Lamar, E-40, G-Eazy, Too $hort, ScHoolboy Q, and Bun B.

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January 2000 Amoeba Music Magazine Ad Harks Back to A Different Time

Posted by Billyjam, August 16, 2016 10:20pm | Post a Comment

Sixteen and a half years ago the above Amoeba Music magazine print ad was published, right at the beginning of the new century. In one respect it's not long ago but in another it is a whole other time period in many ways. Hence this ad is a historic capsule that captures a bygone era in terms of the music industry, technology and Amoeba Music itself. This was still almost two full years before the Hollywood Amoeba Music store would open in November 2001 (see pic left).

It was also before this Amoeba Music website, that you are currently reading, became an important entity and integral part of Amoeba's distribution of music and information. Telling is that the Amoeba ad does not even include a URL web address, just street addresses and phone numbers. Noticeable also is that the ad was for CDs only. In the relatively short time since then vinyl has undergone a real resurgence while CDs have dropped in popularity with music collectors.

Prepared in the final weeks of 1999, it appeared in the January 2000 issue of Flyer SF which like so many print publications, once staples of the music industry, is long gone.  The ad filled the fold-out center pages of the pocketbook size zine that specialized in San Francisco club listings and reviews of related music. The print ad promoted an Amoeba in-store sale of various hip-hop and beat driven music by Jazzanova, Dieselboy, DJ Kicks, Blackalicious and also various artists on the Quannum and Solesides compilations that included DJ Shadow, Lateef the Truth Speaker, and Lyrics Born.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Atmosphere, Yasiin Bey/Mos Def, Drake, Guru's Jazzmatazz, Bad Boy 20 Years, Simpsons, The Get Down, Lando Chill +

Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2016 04:19pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five: 08:12:16

1: Atmosphere Fishing Blues (Rhymesayers Ent.) (LP/Vinyl and Cassette)

2: Lando Chill For Mark, Your Son (Mello Music Group) (LP/Vinyl)

3: Various  Bad Boy Entertainment: 20 Years Box-Set CD (Bad Boy) 

4: Slim Thug  Hogg Life Vol. IV: American Life  Deluxe Version (Hogglife Entertainment)

5: BadBadNotGood IV (LP/Vinyl)
   (Innovative Leisure)

Vinyl Reissue of the Week:
Guru Jazzmatazz (Virgin)

Among the new vinyl to arrive into the crates of Amoeba's hip-hop section this week is the "Vinyl Reissue of the Week" above: Guru's Jazzmatazz. Originally on Chrysalis via EMI, now re-released 23 years later by Virgin as part of their aptly titled Respect The Classics series, this classic and influential jazz infused 1993 solo debut, multi-collaborative project form the late great emcee half of Gang Starr stands the test of time. The talent-packed 12 track LP's many musical collaborators include Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers, Ronnie Jordan, and N'Dea Davenport. The music video for the LP's bi-lingual, head-nodding track featuring French emcee MC Solaar "Le Bien, Le Mal" appears below along with other video clips, many related to the above chart, including the track "Coroner" off the latest from Mello Music Group's Lando Chill For Mark, Your Son (also avail vinyl).

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15 Years Later, Prestigious DJ Battle Returns to Bay Area with 2016 DMC USA DJ Finals August 28th at New Parish

Posted by Billyjam, August 11, 2016 01:50pm | Post a Comment

Like an annual reminder that summer is winding down in New York City, traditionally at the end of August the US DMC Finals has been routinely taking place in the city that is the birthplace of the hip-hop DJ and hip-hop itself. That's where on the last weekend of August, DJs from across the US, who won their respective DMC regional battles, have been converging [at Webster Hall the past number of years] to fight it out on the ones and twos in this premiere battle DJ event. But this year will be different when the
DMC US Finals will be taking place outside New York City and on the opposite coast in Oakland, CA. There on Sunday August 28th at 5pm at the New Parish the 2016 DMC USA DJ Finals will be held. The prestigious battle will determine which DJ will go on to rep the USA in the 2016 DMC World Finals over in London a month later. This year's World Finals take place on Saturday September 24th at The Forum in Kentish Town where San Francisco's reunited Invisibl Skratch Piklz (Qbert, Shortkut, D-Styles) doing a headlining showcase set.

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