Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Looking Back With Bas One To 1980's Hip-Hop In The Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2014 12:34pm | Post a Comment
       

Everybody knows the story of New York and hip-hop, stresses Bas One (aka Bas-1), but the Bay Area story really needs to be told so for this edition of Hip Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I invited the longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist (left is cover art of his 2001 album For The Mentally Astute: Theory Of A Throw-Up) and hip-hop fan to take us back to the decade that he fell in love with hip-hop as a young guy growing up in the Bay with a passion for breaking and graf art, DJing and MCing - when it was all new and fresh. So I met up recently in Berkeley CA (off Telegraph Ave. - not far from Amoeba Music) to have Bas One do an exclusive interview for the Amoeblog Hip-Hop History series to share his memories and insights on hip-hop in the 1980's from a Bay Area perspective. In the above video interview, conducted on the Berkeley sidewalk in the late afternoon after the sun had just set and twilight was setting in, the ever knowledgeable hip-hopper for life takes it all the way back, recalling a myriad of things from the 80's in the Bay Area. Throughout the 14 minute interview he name checks such things as the Demons of The Mind break crew (AKA Medea Sirkas), the Royal Rockers breaking crew, CJ Flash, Dug-One (Doug Cunningham) and the TMF crew, DREAM and the TDK crew, Reaganomics, the crack epidemic, MC Hammer, and the long gone iconic "Oakland Is Proud" burner piece (see below and scroll over for more info) that was over by East 12th Street and was featured in a ton of music videos, photo shoots, and even in the opening credits of Mark Curry's sitcom Hangin' With Mr Cooper.  The above Bas One video is well worth watching/listening to for fans of hip-hop in general, but especially those in the Bay Area.

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Archivalist / Filmmaker Rick Prelinger To Premiere "Lost Landscapes of Oakland" At OMCA

Posted by Billyjam, February 22, 2014 11:00am | Post a Comment

East Bay history fans should make note that this afternoon at the OMCA (Oakland Museum of CA) there will be a premiere screening of Rick Prelinger's Lost Landscapes of Oakland, with live narration by the filmmaker, and followed by a Q+A session. This Oakland themed production is part of the writer/archivalist/filmmaker's ‘Lost Landscapes’ series of archival compilation films on the history of San Francisco (Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, eight annual films, 2006-2013, and Lost Landscapes of Detroit, three films, 2010-2012.) Today's East Bay themed presentation is about "highlighting the hidden histories of Oakland" with a montage of "rarely-seen film clips of life in Oakland, captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen, and industrial filmmakers" according to OMCA curators. The fact that Prelinger will do accompanying live narration himself is an added bonus. Plus, like so many of the wonderful events that OMCA produces, this too further breaks down that wall between exhbiti and museum goer. Those who attend today will undoubtedly be mostly local residents who know Oakland and the East Bay first hand. They are encouraged to participate and share stories about their own memories of Oakland and the East Bay. Event from 3pm to 5pm. All ages. Admission to screening/lecture included in general museum admission. More info

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.21.14: Step Brothers, Dag Savage, Kendrick, Childish, Wu-Tang, Equinox Saints + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 21, 2014 11:56am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five for Week Ending February 21st 2014


1) The Step Brothers Lord Steppington (Rhymesayers  Entertainment)

2) Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city (Aftermath)

3) Dag Savage E&J (Dirty Science)

4) Childish Gambino Because the Internet (Glassnote)

5) Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) (RCA)

Rickey Vincent Discusses "Party Music" - His New Book on the Black Panther Party House Band, The Lumpen

Posted by Billyjam, February 20, 2014 11:00am | Post a Comment


Rickey Vincent
- the veteran Bay Area funkateer, radio DJ, University of California-Berkeley professor, and author of the bible of funk music (Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One (St. Martin's Press) is back with a new book that beautifully melds two of the author's passions - the history of local music and politics - and this month has doing some readings in San Francisco of his book. Next week he will be at the Main Public Library on Wednesday Feb 26th. "Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers' Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music" - recently published by Chicago Review Press is the story the short-lived five member funk band The Lumpen who, back in the late 60's/early 70's in Oakland, were the Black Panthers house band. Little known for many years after the fact the Lumpen were a close knit collective of activist musicians who used music and song as their medium to deliver their revolutionary ideology with the record "Free Bobby Now" about Bobby Seales. Even Vincent, a scholar on funk and local music, did not know about The Lumpen until he randomly found out about them about. Vincent instantly knew he had to learn more about the Lumpen, their music, and their historical impact, and to share this information with the public at large. The result is Party Music which neatly ties together the black music tradition with the black activist tradition. This week I caught up with Rickey Vincent to ask him about his new book, the significance of its content, and what to expect at his San Francisco book reading next week.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #68: Snow City, NYC Rat Map, JT @ MSG + Other Concerts/Events

Posted by Billyjam, February 19, 2014 12:40pm | Post a Comment

While Californians have been stressing over the drought and lack of water, back in New York City the opposite scenario has been playing out with people here praying for a reprieve from the seemingly never
ending barrage of extreme weather - with one snow storm after another hitting the area. In fact so extreme and severe has this weather been that for the first time in 36 years the normal  alternate-side parking street parking rules (very rigid in NYC whereby you have to move your car parked on street several times a week for street cleaning) have all been suspended for a total 19 day stretch (as of today), making it the longest New York City five borough wide snow and freezing temperature weather-related suspension of parking rules since 1978. The good news though is that the weather is about to get better (temperature wise) here in NYC with temps expected in the lower 50's by Friday - however rain is expected to hit NYC for the next few days.

Another thing that distinguishes New York from most other US cities is its large out of control rodent population with thet age old estimate being that there are four rats to every person in New York City - meaning approximately 32 million rats dwell throughout New York. Hence it is not surprising to see them scurrying anywhere in NYC - not just in subways and parks - but near (or inside) eateries too sometimes. Hence many here in the Big Apple were happy to learn about, via the Gothamist site this week, about the rat map of New York that was created by New Yorker Steven Melendez who, based on data from Health Dept. restaurant inspections, drew up his map of what places to avoid - provided you do not wish to visit restaurants that have received  fines/citations for "evidence of rats or live rats" or even mice. Based on citations from 2013 his map is broken in to zip codes for places with citations and gradings by the NYC Health Dept. Note that a restaurant that was cited for mice and/or rats in its most recent graded inspection will have a C grade. His unsettling but informative rat map shows that some areas, such as the NY 10128 zip code on the Upper East Side where huge construction is underway for the 2nd Avenue Subway, have a serious rodent restaurant problem. The Queens Village/Bellaire area of Queens also has a lot of rodents with a shocking 61% of its eateries having being cited for rat or mice infestation. Yikes! NYC Rat Map left with the darker shades indicating zip codes with higher density of eatery rodent citations.

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