Amoeblog

Hiero Day 2014 Artists Preview

Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2014 11:20pm | Post a Comment
 
 

Hiero Day 2014 -- happening Monday, September 1st in Oakland in the blocks surrounding 95 Linden Street (Linden Street Brewery) -- may only be in its third year, but this ambitious, annual, refreshingly non-mainstream, all-ages East Bay hip-hop festival has quickly become the best Bay Area hip-hop festival of the year. Hiero Day features the extended Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective along with a slew of equally talented hip-hop friends (mostly Bay and Cali hip-hop acts) performing on three different stages throughout the day.   I attended last year's Hiero Day and was so impressed with how fun and how peaceful this musically rich event was!

Hiero Day is free and all-ages with a truly indie feeling, and no nasty corporate overtones. In fact it is more like an expanded modern day continuation of the Living Legends' Unsigned & Hella Broke jams back in the day. Fittingly, Mystik Journeymen are among those on the bill at Hiero Day 2014 - a day that will attract hip-hop appreciative fans in the thousands to enjoy great music, a variety of tasty food trucks, tables selling cool hip-hop clothing, a skate contest, and (for vinyl fiends and crate diggers) the beat swap meet.

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Hieroglyphics Producer DJ Toure Talks to the Amoeblog About His Long Awaited Solo Debut "Toure's Theory: Session One"

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2013 04:45pm | Post a Comment

DJ Toure documentary (electronic press kit 2013)

Last Tuesday DJ Toure, DJ/producer and member of Oakland's longtime Hieroglyphics crew, released his long-awaited solo album, Toure's Theory: Session One, which initially was expected to drop last year but due to his busy schedule got bumped back until now. The prolific artist, who in addition to working with the Hieros crew including member Casual  has, over the years, produced tracks for the likes Too $hort, Freeway, Devin The Dude, Phonte, Father Dom, Beeda Weeda, The Grouch & Eligh, Goapele, E-40, and Forty Wata's rapper son Droop-E, has been down with the Hieros since day - initially joining the crew as the DJ for his (elementary school mate) Casual .

The above Dylan Freitas-D'Louhy directed electronic press kit video gives some insight into DJ Toure's rich history (coming up in Oakland upbringing with fellow Hieros (Casual, Tajai, Opio, and A-Plus) as well as some background on the new album that includes many of the aforementioned artists he's worked with including members of the Hieros - Opio, Pep Love, Del The Funky Homosapien, and Casual; plus such Bay Area artists as Too $hort (see new video below for the album track "Mind Yo Business" that also features Jacoria Marzett.), E-40, Mistah FAB, Clyde Carson, B-Legit, J. Stalin, Nio Tha Gift, and The Jacka, as well as such other guests as Philly rap star Freeway.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: 09.21.12: E-Lit, Kanye West, Murder Dog, Homeboy Sandman, DJ Shadow, DMC World Championships + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 21, 2012 08:38am | Post a Comment
             

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 09:21:12

1) Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam)

2) Casual Respect Game Or Expect Flames (Nature Sounds)

3) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)

4)  Homeboy Sandman First of a Living Breed (Stones Throw)

5) Brother Ali Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Thanks again to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for the latest lowdown on all the new hip-hop releases via the above video clip in which he runs through all the new CD and vinyl releases for this week. And a good week it is! New releases include Brother Ali on Rhymesayers with the album Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color that comes with production by Jake One, and Homeboy Sandman (who I will be interviewing here on the Amoeblog in a couple of weeks) on Stones Throw with the album First of a Living Breed that follows two EPs from the prolific NYC artist currently on tour with Brother Ali (they will play the Fillmore in SF on Oct 25th). Other new releases in the store include the brand new Kanye West along with his G.O.O.D. Music crew who finally dropped their awaited first compilation album  Good Music Cruel Summer (note its title includes Summer - not Fall). The 12-track album features along with Kanye such artists as Big Sean, Pusha T, Common, Kid Cudi, Cyhi the Prynce, John Legend, R. Kelly, Jay-Z, 2 Chainz, Raekwon, and Marsha Ambrosius. Of the new album Amoeba.com wrote, "like Watch the Throne, his full-album collaboration with Jay-Z, it’s also a chance to loosen up without having to fully shoulder the expectation set by his solo output (and his ego). …..The non-Kanye songs have their appeal, as well, as on the appropriately faded sounding “Higher,” featuring The-Dream; and the fun, hard-hitting “Sin City,” featuring a pack of artists, including John Legend, singing and rapping over a big beat and sheets of synthesizer. West can’t help be the star of his own show, though, coming back in with what can only be described as a megaballad: 'The One.'"

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Hiero Day Shows Love For Oakland By Keeping It In "The Town"

Posted by Billyjam, September 1, 2012 07:48am | Post a Comment
It is only fitting that the setting for this Monday's (Labor Day) Hiero Day 2012 will be Oakland, CA. After all "The Town" (Oakland) is where the members of the globally respected, two-decade strong, hip-hop collective The Hieroglyphics came up in and, more importantly, stayed in. "We are lovers and supporters of our hometown. We have never left it, and have built a business empire that has hired many over the years. It is only right that we celebrate the positive in our own community as a form of tribute and to give back to a place that has nurtured and supported us," event organizer Tajai Massey of Clear Label Media Group Hieroglyphics Enterprises told the Amoeblog.

Massey is perhaps better known to most hip-hop fans simply as Tajai of the mighty Souls of Mischief crew who over the years, along with such fellow Hiero members as Casual, Del The Funky Homosapien, Pep Love,  Domino, Extra Prolific, and DJ Toure,  helped build the Hieroglyphics into an internationally recognizable and respected contemporary cultural entity. Indeed travel to any corner of the globe and odds are folks will instantly identify the Hiero's famous logo that was designed over 20 years ago by Del The Funky Homosapien.

Unfortunately due to his ongoing Deltron 3030 tour date commitments it seems like Del may not be able to make it on Monday for Hiero Day but (fingers crossed) reportedly there is a slim chance he may be able to make it. Regardless all of his other Hiero brethren will be there Labor Day in Downtown Oakland for Hiero Day which goes from 11am to 6pm and happens on San Pablo Ave. between 17th + 18th Streets (near the New Parish). "Members of Hieroglyphics performing Monday will include Opio, DJ Toure, A-Plus, Tajai, Pep Love, Casual, and Souls of Mischief," said  Walasia Al-Noor Shabazz - the General Manager at the Hieros' Clear Label Media company. And in addition to the Hieroglyphics first family of hip-hop there will be some of the very best of the Bay Area on stage too including Blackalicious, Planet Asia (technically from Fresno), Equipto, Moe Green, and Z-Man (who is still an honorary member of the Hiero camp since he put out a release via the Hieros a few years ago). Also performing will be the Kev Choice Ensemble and Honor Roll, plus DJ D Sharp.

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DJ Eddie Def and MC Dopestyle Team Up To Form Supreme Raw

Posted by Billyjam, July 9, 2012 02:40pm | Post a Comment

Supreme Raw (Eddie Def + Dopestyle) "Salty The Clown!" (2012)


Collaborating as a duo for the first time DJ Eddie Def and emcee Dopestyle are currently in the midst of finishing up recording a new album project together that the two longtime Bay Area hip-hop artists have christened Supreme Raw.

And Supreme Raw pretty much sums up the vibe of this raw, no-holds-barred, lo-fi hip-hop project as witnessed in the above video for "Salty The Clown!" - the first track to be leaked off the album that is scheduled to be released by summer's end.

This, as yet untitled, new full-length is described by Eddie Def as, "grimy hip-hop, old school 90's with chopped up samples," adding of its sound that it is, "in tradition of Gang Starr, Cypress Hill, Wu Tang type beats, ya know lo-fi hip-hop."

Although the DJ/producer and the emcee are both longtime Bay Area hip-hop artists it was only two years when they first met. "I met Dopestyle at a Casual show when me and DJ Quest were performing a set with Z-Man," said Eddie Def. "I gave him some beats and he responded back and we started working on some shit." Before long they had the makings of an entire album - one that features lots of cameos (not officially announced just yet but should be of interest to fans of West Coast underground hip-hop). "His flow is unlike any other," said Eddie of Dopestyle, "What I love him is that he is a topic rapper; interesting topics too! He raps about cancer. He raps about spousal abuse. He raps about people dying; serious shit and not the typical stuff people usually rap about."

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