Most everything it seems about Main Attrakionz
, who played an extremely well-received in-store at
Amoeba Berkeley this past Tuesday (June 30), is atypical of the image one might have about Oakland rap and what it should sound/look like. For starters the young, longtime North Oakland rap duo comprised of Mondre M.A.N.
(Damondre Grice) and Squadda B
(Charles Glover) have just released their new album, 808s & Dark Grapes III,
on Vapor Records
, which is the label owned by none other than Neil Young
and whose releases to date feature such distinctly non-rap acts as Jonathan Richman
and Pegi Young
(Neil Young, an Oakland rap fan! Who would've thunk?). Secondly the Pleasanton-based production duo of Friendzone
and Dylan Reznick
), who produced the entire new album and joined them onstage at Amoeba this week, may not look like they would have been paired with these two Oakland rappers, but the collaboration totally works! And thirdly I have never before witnessed an Oakland rap show where the act's former middle school mentor acts as their hype-person and gets on the
mic to give a rousing introduction. But such was the case with new Vapor Records' act Main Attrakionz who were introduced by Marian Meadows
who has known the pair for half of their lives, ever since she mentored them back when they first started seriously rapping at age twelve at North Oakland's Carter Middle School
. Her glowing in-depth and informative intro that dated back to day one (literally) of when they started - before they started entering "the middle school talent show circuit"
- included her stressing how they put in endless hours of practicing, referencing
that old saying about hours of practice needed to master an art, noting that, "You know how they say when you've passed ten thousand hours? Well when you start when you're 12 years old, you've passed that 10,000 hours but are in the hundreds of thousands of hours!
" Indeed, as noted in the Amoeblog interview
conducted with Main Attrakionz before Tuesday's in-store, the duo have been incredibly prolific. While this new album may only be their second official album they've already released more like 15 albums worth of material. For Tuesday's Amoeba Berkeley concert, that ran about half an hour and got the loudly appreciative in-store crowd hyped, they focused on new album material. 808s & Dark Grapes III
is available from Amoeba in CD format with LP vinyl version to follow in the near future. See the full Amoeblog profile/interview on Main Attrakionz here