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Hip-Hop Rap Up: New CD + LP Releases, Events, News, Videos [De La Soul, ATCQ, PUTS, A$AP Rocky, Prophets of Rage, Hiero]

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2016 03:06pm | Post a Comment

New Hip-Hop Vinyl Releases

1: De La Soul And The Anonymous Nobody (A.O.I. LLC) (colored vinyl LP)

2: 2 Chainz Collegrove (Def Jam) (avail in CD)

3: A$AP Rocky  At Long Last A$AP (RCA) (avail in CD)

4: People Under The Stairs  The Gettin' Off Stage Step 2 [EP] (12") (Redefinition/Fat Beats)

New hip-hop vinyl releases for this week above include the highly anticipated new  De La Soul album And The Anonymous Nobody which A.O.I. LLC also released in a colored vinyl LP) LP version as well as on CD (as per the CD releases list below. Impressive is how both the LP version got dropped at same time as the CD since often the LP/vinyl version of releases comes one or two months or more later than the initial CD album version release. Such is the case with both the new vinyl releases this week for the 2 Chainz album Collegrove (Def Jam) which initially came out on CD back in March and the A$AP Rocky  At Long Last A$AP  vinyl LP version of the album that initially got released by RCA ON CD back in May.  Speaking of new CD only (so far) releases this week: the list below includes Mello Music Group's latest offering from Red Pill Instinctive Drowning (scroll down to see music video for title track), and old pal of the late great Mac Dre J-Diggs California Livin Part 3: Chasin My Dreams. Released on Thizz Entertainment it takes its "California Livin'" title part from an early career Mac Dre single that was produced by Khayree.

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DREAM Day 2016 Attracted Aerosol Art Fans Of All Ages, & Further Fueled Legacy of Legendary Late West Coast Street Art Pioneer

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2016 10:45pm | Post a Comment

It may be sixteen and half years since the death of Mike "DREAM" Francisco, but the dream and legacy of this widely beloved pioneering East Bay artist/activist is more alive than ever. This fact was made abundantly clear at last Saturday's DREAM Day 2016 at the Greenpeace Yards in West Oakland.

Organized by friends and family, notably DJ Willie Maze and DREAM's brother Lil' John Francisco, the annual heartfelt homage to DREAM celebrates the life and legacy of the Bay Area aerosol art pioneer who has become a bona fide Bay Area legend.  That most refer to him as "King DREAM" demonstrates just how revered he is by so many today. 

DREAM was equally artist and activist.  A pioneering figure in Bay Area graffiti history, DREAM was first and foremost a down-to-earth, real good person. He was instantly likable, always sharing and giving props to others, never ungrateful, but readily displaying his passion for hip-hop in all its elements, and for justice in his community. If DREAM were alive today he would be active in Oakland in the fight against injustices.  Back in the summer of 1992, DREAM and Plan B (murdered a month later) were at a Spice-1 video shoot where they painted a big "NO JUSTICE NO PEACE" piece for the East Bay rapper's Jive Records single "Welcome To The Ghetto." The following year DREAM, with other artists, continued the theme via the "No Justice No Peace" art exhibit at the Pro Arts Gallery in Downtown Oakland. The message of that 1993 Oakland art exhibit titled "No Justice No Peace" exhibit? "The problems that go on in our community, as far as East Oakland and any other ghetto out there. You deal with police brutality. You deal with the oppression by the city and by the government. You deal with that all the time," said DREAM in an interview with Melinda Bell at the time.

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Toots Thielemans [1923 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2016 08:00pm | Post a Comment

Earlier today 94 year old jazz harmonica artist Toots Thielmans died. Reportedly the Belgian born passed peacefully in his Belgian hospital bed where he'd been since last month with a shoulder injury following a fall. "Toots" was born Jean-Baptiste Frederic Isidore Thielemans in 1923 in Belgium. He arrived in America in 1952  joining Charlie Parker's All Star band. In the years since he would collaborate with such artists as Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Quincy Jones called Toots Thielemans "one of the greatest musicians of our time."

To many Toots will forever be remembered as the harmonica player on his Sesame Street theme (audio below). There is much more including such scores as "Midnight Cowboy," "Sugarland Express," and ''The Getaway," A passionate lifelong musician he was performing up until just a couple of years ago. The aptly named Toots 90 video below of him & ensemble doing John Barry's "Midnight Cowboy" is from only four years ago when he was already 90 years of age. Next month in the Belgium town of La `Hulpe, that he grew up in, a jazz festival in his name has been long planned.  

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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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