Oakland's Mistah F.A.B. & Houston's Slim Thug Unleash Tracks Addressing Police MIsconduct

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2016 11:50pm | Post a Comment

Unveiled over the past 24 hours and within a couple of days of the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police and of Philando Castile by Minnesota police, both Oakland's Mistah F.A.B. and Houston's Slim Thug have each unleashed new songs with biting criticism of the rampant police brutality against African American men in their immediate communities as well as nationally. The brand new anti police misconduct track by Mistah F.A.B., who recently released, 21 track, guest-heavy latest album Son of A Pimp 2, is The Mekanix produced "6 Shots" that he posted online earlier today. Hear the new song below along with the new Slim Thug track. That Slim Thug song on the topic of police misconduct is "IDKY (feat. X.O.)" and is culled from the Texas rapper's forthcoming album Hogg Life Vol. 4: American King. That upcoming release, the final in the 4 part CD/DVD series that began in February 2015 with Hogg Life: The Beginning - Part 1 of 4,  is scheduled to arrive via the EMPIRE label into Amoeba on August 4th.

"This shit happens in the ghetto cos we're poor",  raps Mistah F.A.B. on his new protest song that includes other lyrics like “Same situation, black victim, white cop / same scenario; 6 months later, case dropped” and "shot Oscar [Grant] in the back with his hands up" with the haunting refrain "Mr. Officer, Mr. Officer. Death and jail the only thing they offer us."  And as Ice Cube had done 28 years earlier in N.W.A's landmark protest rap song "Fuck The Police" ("Black police showing out for the white cop"), F.A.B. also calls out black police officers. "What got me hot is there ain't no black cops speakin' out/coulda been your son, coulda been your daughter out there bleedin' out/tell me what good is having arms if you ain't reachin' out/tell me what good is having a tongue if you ain't speakin' out," raps Mistah F.A.B. on the track that, note, ends with a clip from a speech by African-American police officer Nakia Jones who did speak out against fellow officers.  As for a solution Mistah F.A.B: offered that, "Police forces need to invest more in prevention. And they need to be held accountable for their actions as well. We have to stop the 'bro-code' of police and courts standing in so
lidarity with each other just because they wear the same badge." He advises civilians to be fully aware of their rights and "how to react in escalating situations with the police."

"I was born and raised in the USA / Where we see cops killing blacks on the news every day / And they do it like it’s okay, like they know they gon' get away / To stop myself from thinking reckless I just ignore it and pray," raps  Slim Thug on the "IDKY" which he was going to wait until his new album dropped in four weeks before unveiling. But in light of the fatal shootings by police earlier this week the artist rushed released the album track as a preview single. "I remember thinking in the last few weeks this song might be too late cause it's been a minute since the last one and look here we go again twice in less than 24hrs," said Slim Thug in reference to the fatal shootings this week of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling who were the 558th and 560th people respectively killed by the police in the US in 2016.

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As "Dilla Day" Does For Jay Dee Each Year, "Mac Dre Day" (July 5th) Honors Legacy of Beloved Late Vallejo Rapper

Posted by Billyjam, July 5, 2016 04:27pm | Post a Comment

In a scenario somewhat similar to that of J Dilla, whose dedicated fanbase has exponentially grown since his death a decade ago, so too has the following of the late great Mac Dre multiplied since his 2004 (still unsolved) murder in Kansas City, MO. The Detroit rapper/producer and the Bay Area rapper share not only iconic status and popular posthumous releases (and merchandise) but also an annual date dedicated to their respective legacies.

These annual celebrations only further build upon these two hip-hop artists' fanbases. The annual Dilla Day happens in early February every year around the time of his birthday while Mac Dre Day (aka Dre Day) takes place every year on today's date, July 5th. Were he still alive, the artist born Andre Hicks would be celebrating his 46th birthday today. 

Every year for the past several years, with major input from the folks at Mac  Dre's Thizz Nation there have been Mac Dre tribute concerts in various Bay Area cities from Petaluma to San Jose and San Francisco where tonight's Mac Dre Day celebration will take place at The Regency Ballroom at 7pm.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Knxwledge, House Shoes, Oddisee, Marco Polo, Hieros, Community Unity, Mic T, DJ True Justice, Sinestro

Posted by Billyjam, July 3, 2016 10:03am | Post a Comment
Hip-Hop Top Five 07:03:16

1: Marco Polo Collectables Slice of Spice)

2: Knxwledge Wraptaypes (Cassette) (All City)

3: Oddisee The Odd Tape (Mello Music Group)

4: Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince "Yo Home To Bel Air" 
+"Parents Just Don't Understand" (12") (Enjoy The Ride Records)

5:  House Shoes  The Makings (Cassette) (Street Corner Music)

As  the music business continues to go through its ever shifting changes in this constantly evolving digital download age, the number of physical analog release continues to build each year, from reissues to new releases on vinyl and cassette. The current top five above includes cassette releases from LA based, Detroit producer House Shoes (The Makings on Street Corner Music) and from Knxwledge (Wraptaypes on All City). All City is the Dublin, Ireland record label (and similarly named record store) run by DJ OB who had released music by Knxwledge years ago and years before the LA based, NJ raised producer had put out music on Stones Throw.  Among the growing number of reissues on vinyl of out of print older releases is the reissue this week of the 1992 single  "Yo Home To Bel Air" / "Parents Just Don't Understand." The 12" record, re-released this past Friday by Enjoy The Ride Records,  was Initially released by Jive/Zomba almost a full quarter century ago.

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Def Jux Legend Mr. Lif Discusses His First Solo Album In Seven Years: "Don't Look Down" on Mello Music Group

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2016 08:45pm | Post a Comment

After a seven year span with no new Mr. Lif solo album, 2016 marked the triumphant return of the revered Boston emcee, who plays the Elbo Room in San Francisco July 7th, with the powerful album Don’t Look Down. The new ten track release's many guests include Del The Funky Homosapien and the group the artist born Jeffrey Haynes is a longtime member of, The Perceptionists. Released by Mello Music Group in CD, cassette, and vinyl formats, Don't Look Down finds the former Def Jux artist in top form and full of creative energy. As he says himself, he is more like a hungry young artist starting out than one who's been in the hip-hop game since the mid nineties. In short he is far from jaded. "I feel like I just started" not "the older guy" but "I feel brand new," he told me by phone recently. "For me, my career begins now," he stated. But that is not to say that he has been idle for the past seven years. Between  Don’t Look Down and his previous album, 2009's I Heard It Before, Mr. Lif has been busy, among other things, working on his home studio and performing and recording with Thievery Corporation. And a year ago he worked on the collaborative project Terra Bella with the Polish Ambassador and Ayla Nereo.

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New Zion I Song "Tech $" Tackles Tech Fueled Gentrification of Oakland and the Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2016 11:57pm | Post a Comment

In September Zion I will release the album the Labyrinth featuring the new preview track "Tech $"  (Anthony Cole directed music video below). "Tech $" is about the impact of gentrification in Oakland as a result of the Bay Area tech boom.  Zumbi has lived in the Bay Area since the nineties and has seen a lot of changes. In the ZIon I hit of a decade ago, "The Bay," he rapped of all the diverse things that made the Bay great on the anthem like track. The new song is not as uplifting.  On the post AmpLive, Mikos da Gawd produced track he recalls how, "In the nineties it was the dot com" but now it is full scale gentrification, an unavoidable scenario that's been noticed (and noted) by other Oakland hip-hoppers.

Prozack Turner
of Foreign Legion fame, who lives in East Oakland and runs the Oakland bar/club The Legionnaire Saloon on Telegraph Ave. near Grand Ave., addresses the topic of gentrification in the song "HIgh Enough." The brand new track, that features mic guest Brother Ali, is from a forthcoming solo album by the Oakland artist. Meanwhile another Oakland artist, Elujay, has themed his entire forthcoming album on the topic with the title Jentrify.

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