DaVinci "Blame Game"
Geographically the Fillmore District of San Francisco may not be that large an area but, in terms of its influence on, and contribution to the Bay Area's rich rap/hip-hop legacy, it has played a major role. Since the late 1980's when rappers such as Hugh EMC and Rappin 4 Tay from the Fillmore (aka Fillmoe, or The MOE, or Filthy Moe) first broke on the Bay hip-hop scene, there has been a non-stop steady flow of rap talents coming out of this SF hood (check back in two days on the Amoeblog for Jim Browskee's list of Fillmore rap acts), which have included such notables over the years as San Quinn, JT The Bigga Figga, Andre Nickatina (formerly Dre Dog), Equipto, Big Rich, Roach Gigz, and the subject of this Amoeblog, DaVinci who has deservedly been winning accolades everywhere he goes of late including last year when KMEL radio voted him part of their prestigious Bay Area Freshman 10 list.
Since beginning his career less than a decade ago this super-gifted lyricist has released a series of singles/videos that have gotten play and props all over. Just recently DaVinci wound up production on his soon to drop Feast Or Famine EP. This EP release, which will include such winning tracks as "Pangea," will be the prequel to his forthcoming & highly anticipated, next "real" album The MOEna Lisa whose title is a loving nod to his SF neighborhood. In fact, as a few listens to any of his music will quickly attest, the Fillmore is never far from DaVinci's heart or his thoughts, nor his lyrics. For example on last year's album The Day the Turf Stood Still on songs such as "What You Finna Do?," which included a sample culled from a PBS documentary on the SF district, he lyrically examines the negative impact of the gradual gentrification of the area he grew up in. He accurately notes how, over the past few decades, longtime African American residents of the Fillmore are systematically being relocated to outer Bay Area suburbs - only to be replaced by more upscale, typically white, residents. "Down the corner of the street used to be the spot/Till they replaced all the liquor stores with coffee shops," raps DaVinci in the song - just one of many that focuses on his beloved Fillmore hood. I recently sat down with DaVinci to talk about San Francisco and his promising rap career. That interview follows below.