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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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 08:21:09

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2009 06:26pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six: 08:21:09 (c/o Luis)
Gas Mask Colony
1) Gas Mask Colony Genuine Masters of Ceremony (Gurp City)

2) The Boy Boy Young Mess Prices On My Head Vol. 2 (Click Clack Records)

3) J-Billion The Beautiful Loser (Risky Bizness Productions)

4) Kaz-Well FIsh Outta Water (Tape Vault Records)

5) Heliocentrics Fallen Angels (Now Again)

6) Slaughterhouse self-titled (E1 Entertainment)

As my man Luis @ Amoeba Music San Francisco points out in his quick run-down of the new hip-hop top six CDs of the week, two thirds are Bay Area homegrown releases, proving the Bay (and SF in particular these days) is in a most healthy and prolific state of rap creativity. In the number one chart position is Gurp City's own Gas Mask Colony with the brand new full-length Genuine Masters of Ceremony. Also repping the Bay is Messy Marv under his alias The Boy Boy Young Mess and his second installment in the mixtape series Prices On My Head (The Money On Yo Family) Vol 2 with an impressive lineup that includes guests Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy & Lil Webbie. Meantime, SF rap artist Kaz-Well -- self described “hip-hop geek" -- has a nice retro hip-hop feel to his brand new CD Fish Outta Water which, note, is titled exactly the same as the new release from SoCal hip-hopper Chali 2na. Great minds think alike, I guess.

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REST IN POWER MIKE DREAM FRANCISCO - 40th BIRTHDAY

Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2009 03:55pm | Post a Comment
Mike "DREAM" Francisco 1993 interview @ No Justice, No Peace art opening

Exactly forty years ago today, August 15th 1969, Mike "DREAM" Francisco was born. But instead of what should have been a landmark birthday celebration today, this August 15th is just another sad reminder to those loved ones and friends and fans of the late, great Bay Area graffiti artist of how Mike "DREAM" Francisco's life was prematurely, senselessly halted nine years ago. On February 17th, 2000 on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, DREAM was gunned down and killed, the victim of a random street robbery.  Mike DREAM Francisco

Not only was DREAM (or "King Dream," as he is referred to by many) a gifted and prolific artist, with a passion for hip-hop -- having collaborated with countless hip-hoppers, including Hobo Junction over the years -- but he was also a most outspoken individual, one concerned about his community, and one never afraid to speak out against the ills of society.

Had DREAM been allowed to live today, you can bet he would have been at the front of the protests against the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police earlier this year. In fact, in 1993 he was one of the featured artists in the anti police brutality show No Justice, No Peace at downtown Oakland's Pro Arts Gallery. Above is a rare interview with DREAM at the opening of that show by A Debonair Affair's Melinda Bell which, despite the poor audio quality, gives you a great insight into the kind of person DREAM was: down-to-earth, fun, & witty, but also most passionate about his beliefs. I first met DREAM around 1990 and was instantly struck by what a genuinely good spirited and generous person he was, always upbeat and interested in what others had to say. But what is perhaps most profound about the DREAM interview above is how he defines what "reality" means to some people, like himself, as  "to brothers like us reality is watching people die on the streets everyday!"