Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Longtime Oakland MC Naru Kwina (formerly Sir Quick Draw)

Posted by Billyjam, September 2, 2014 08:16pm | Post a Comment
His name may not be as familiar to the average Bay Area rap/hip-hop fan as such fellow Oakland rapping contemporaries of his as Too $hort but longtime East Bay hip-hop emcee talent Naru Kwina, who began his career back in the eighties along with a handful of other local rappers and is still making music to this day, is both a talented artist and an integral part of Bay Area hip-hop history's formative years.

Originally known as Sir Quick Draw, Naru Kwina began his hip-hop career when few others were recording and releasing music in the Bay Area compared to nowadays - and those that did make rap/hip-hop music had a tough time getting their music out there and heard. "I started rapping in 1979, the day I first heard Rappers Delight," he recalled recently. However it would several years later, in 1986, when I first met the artist. He had submitted a demo cassette tape for a Bay Area rap contest I produced on UC Berkeley radio station KALX in the Fall of that year. With a fresh upbeat inspired style and flow on the song he submitted ("Rapaholic") Sir Quick Draw's tape was so good that the judges of the contest (including Davey D Cook) all agreed that he was the best out of all the demo tape submissions. In fact in the months following the radio contest win, into the following year of 1987, the song "Rapaholic" that was recorded with his David K-OS got signed and released by Baywave/Macola Records as a 12" single. Then the year after that, in 1988, he would record another 12 inch single  - this time under the name MC Quick but again along with David K-Os entitled "I Like It Like That" (b side "I'm Just Rollin'").

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 06.07.14: Top 5, OMCA's VINYL, DJ Platurn, Too $hort, Dregs One @ Slim's, Scratch Cypher in The Town

Posted by Billyjam, June 8, 2014 04:20pm | Post a Comment


During last evening's Bay Area hip-hop themed Talk, Play, and Sip session I hosted at the Oakland Museum of California - as part of OMCA's ongoing Amoeba sponsored VINYL: The Sound and Culture of Records - several participants addressed in their shares the importance of hip-hop as a vehicle for a message of upliftment and/or awareness rather than simply mindless escapism and glorification of consumerism, sexism, and casual violence. Speakers including Bas-One, Adisa Banjoko (below), and Eric Arnold each addressed the topic as did DJ Platurn (pictured above) who observed that to his fellow speakers, who all came up in the era of politicized, positive thinking hip-hop via artists like Public Enemy and the Bay Area's Paris, were all conditioned to view hip-hop as a powerful medium of message and change. DJ Platurn's Talk N Play 45's record selections reflected that too, especially Too $hort's classic 1990 single "The Ghetto" (off Short Dog's In The House) which addresses the poverty and economic disparity of urban areas like Oakland. Also noted at last night's OMCA session was how Bay Area hip-hop has traditionally included many politicized artists. One such current example is Dregs One who, along with host Equipto and a grip of other SF artists and speakers (see flyer for full lineup), take over Slim's tonight in a benefit hip-hop show that will address pressing local community issues such as evictions, gentrification, and police brutality.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.28.14: New Releases, Swampkat (RIP), Too $hort Bowling, DMC 2014, Qbert in NYC, Ras Kass in San Jose

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2014 12:28pm | Post a Comment
    

Shout out to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for running down, in the above video, all the new and recent hip-hop releases to arrive at Amoeba lately in both CD and vinyl formats including Open Mike Eagle's Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes(on vinyl) and As Is on CD by longtime prolific Bay Area hip-hop soldier White Mic of Bored Stiff fame who, as E-Lit notes, also has a forthcoming release - a previous collaboration with Z-Man - now coming on vinyl. All of the releases showcased by E-Lit above can be found at Amoeba Music in the three retail stores (Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood) and in most, but not all, cases online at the Amoeba.com store.

Hip-hop concerts, parties, and events from the Bay to LA and beyond in the week ahead include Too $hort doing a most worthwhile charity event that offers fans a chance to go both bowling and into the studio with the godfather of Bay Area rap while simultaneously helping out the East Oakland self-described multi-service community transformation hub Youth UpRising that Short has long been involved in.  The ongoing Too $hort Charity Buzz auction fund drive, that offers the final winner "one hour of recording time in the state of the art music studio at Youth UpRising, a 25,000 sq. ft. community transformation center in the heart of East Oakland. Following the recording session, join Too $hort for a game of bowling at Lucky Strike, a stylish bowling lounge in San Francisco," is currently up to $850 with the estimated value on this item listed as $2000. Bid here and help a worthy cause and yourself at the same time. Auction ends March 11th.  In the South Bay tonight, Saturday March 1st, LA rap vet Ras Kass along with Indjnous headlines a show with Motion Man (whose classic 1993 song/video "Mo Like Flows On" is below), Jeff Turner, Opski Chan, Audio Dru, plus DJ Abraham and others. Show at Back Bar 418 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113. 9pm 21+ $10 more info

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.14.14: Top 5, Qbert Galaxxxian Review, 206 Zulu, ILLEST DJ/B-Boy Battles, Valentine's Day Rap + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2014 07:07pm | Post a Comment


The photo above (as all other pics of show by James Mak of Joysco Studio for the Amoeblog) was taken last night at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with DJ Qbert joined by emcee A-Plus (Souls of Mischief) - one of the several artists that would join the DJ/producer throughout his hour long set that featured artists who appear alongside him on his soon to drop new album Galaxxxian (the rap counterpart to his other new album the instrumental Extraterrestria).  Others included emcees  P.E.A.C.E.  (Freestyle Fellowship), Bambu, Z-Man, and Unity, producer Dan The Automator, and "scratch guitarist" The Genie who like most of the night's guests had collaborated with Qbert. The night, which kicked off at 9pm with a nice hip-hop set from DJ Hard Rich from Thud Rumble, also featured individual sets from P.E.A.C.E. and Bambu (whose 20 minute solo set featured Jus Jones as his DJ), two incredible sets from Qbert's longtime friend collaborator and fellow Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP) member DJ Shortkut  who killed it with richly diverse sets that ranged from electro fueled new hip-hop to golden era classics, reggae and new UK garage, plus some nice beat juggling and scratching - including an impromptu quick session with Qbert.

Chuy Gomez: The Post KMEL Interview

Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2013 06:16pm | Post a Comment
Chuy Gomez's Top 5 Favorite Things About His 20 Years At KMEL

1) Being able to be at the People's Station when that meant something.

2) All the Chuy Klause Christmas and being able to help!

3) Being able to work with John London, Renel, and Rick Chase and all the other folks
that made up [the] original Family

4) Being able to put so many people on.

5) Summer Jams and meeting so many artists

Two weeks ago KMEL fired beloved longtime DJ/radio personality Chuy Gomez. After 20 long radio years' service on the popular Bay Area hip-hop and R&B radio station located at 106.1 on the FM dial the powers that be fired their most popular DJ with no explanation or apology. Yes as is typically the case in the cold world of the corporate radio business no forewarning was given to this loyal dedicated employee of two decades. Nor, upon being let go, was even a reason given to Chuy for his sudden, unexpected dismissal. Insiders say it was merely a calculated cost cutting move by the Bain Capital owned media empire where the bottom line is the almighty dollar - not music or people. Simply put Chuy's unceremonious dismissal was another case of business as usual in the halls of the Clear Channel radio station where pleasing shareholders and maintaining advertising revenue rules above all else. In the eyes of corporate radio execs on-air "personalities" are not viewed as persons but merely interchangeable cogs that can be replaced with increasingly cheaper labor. On the very day (August 16th) they let Gomez go the Clear Channel radio station deleted the Chuy in the Morning profile page from its website with the intent of erasing any association of him with the station.

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