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'sRappers 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 $hortdoing 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 withMotion 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.
DJ Traps working his winning routine @ last night's 2013 San Franciso Regional DMC DJ Battle
Proving that you really can make lemonade out of lemons DJ Traps - last night's winner of the 2013 San Francisco Regional DMC DJ Battle - shared during his acceptance speech that his personal life had not been going so good lately but that, via his craft, he had managed to turn all that negativity into something positive. "I been through a lot of shit recently," admitted the winner of the prestigious DJ battle without going into detail. "But I took it all out here," he said gesturing towards the two turntable and mixer set up on which he had just done his stunning six minute winning routine of the heated, high caliber DJ battle.
The competition - the second annual Bay Area DMC Regional in a row after a noticeable six year gap of any DMC battles in the Bay - was a fun and talent-packed turntable competition that was as much a DJ battle as it was a reunion and gathering of Bay Area hip-hop DJs of the past few decades. In addition to young DJ cats like Santa Rosa competitor DJ Lazy Boy (aka Gregory The Great) there were OG Bay Area DJs like DJ Apollo, Pos Red, DJ Quest, and QBert who all started out in the 80's as well as next generation DJs like Teeko, Snayk Eyez, and Golden Chyld who arrived on the scene in the 90's. The whole event, that ran from mid afternoon into the evening at Neck of The Woods on Clement St. in San Francisco, exuded good vibes and a shared love by all in the house for hip-hop DJ'ing and scratch music. DJ Lazy Boy, who placed third in the competition, said during his acceptance speech onstage with DJ Apollo - the MC of the night - that he had grown up listening to the Triple Threat DJ crew (the Bay Area supergroup featuring Apollo along with Shortkut and Vin Roc - another one of the night's judges) and that he used to practice his DJing to, using routines done by Apollo as his template, noting that "it was an honor" to now be onstage alongside his turntable hero.
Following a great warm up set by Mista B, who dug deep in his crates to spin lots of old school and golden era classics (Grandmaster Flash + Furious Five featuring Melle Mel, Run DMC, Audio Two, etc.) plus a bunch of throwbacks from the Bay Area including IMP/Cougnut and Rated X/C-Funk, the SF DMC battle started with the first round of each of eight DJs doing two minute routines.
The renaissance in the turntable arts and all it entails, including skratch music and hip-hop DJ battles, that began in the past couple of years - following a bit of a lull for close to a decade - continues its resurgence in San Francisco this weekend when, for the second year in a row after a noticeable six year absence, the prestigious DMC (now celebrating 30 years) DJ battle returns for a Bay Area regional battle. And considering that the Bay Area has long been viewed as one of the main epicenters of turntable culture and battle-DJing this is a most welcome return.
"We're excited for this one," said veteran San Francisco DJ/producer DJ Cue who as well as working behind the scenes will also be a special performer at the event. The 2013 DMC San Francisco Regional Battle takes place on Sunday afternoon/evening (April 28th) at Neck Of The Woods on Clement Street in The City. For his anticipated performance DJ Cue will be joined onstage by his longtime turntable crew partner DJ Quest who two decades ago, along with Eddie Def, formed the legendary San Francisco turntablist crew the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters (BPSH). At that time the BPSH crew made history by releasing the first DJ battle record, Hamster Breaks, something no doubt that will be on DJ Cue's mind on Sunday.
"I would say that this year marks a good twenty one years now that the Bay DJ's have been really solidly in the battle scene. Hamster Breaks came out twenty years ago. Invisbl Skratch Piklz won DMC twenty one years ago. And the DJ's from here have been strong ever since. Our history is strong here and we are together supporting the event and forward movement of the battle scene and to wherever it goes," said the Bay Area proud DJ Cue who is also one of the organizers of this weekend's event which he describes as a true group/community effort.
Pharoahe Monch "Clap (one day)" Extended Music Video Version (2011)
Pharoahe Monch, who plays San Francisco's 330 Ritch tonight (Thursday June 2nd) and The Pagoda in San Jose on Saturday, has the distinction of being one of that rare breed of emcees who has managed to sustain a career for two solid decades, which is an eternity in hip-hop and to keep reinventing himself along the way. The Queens, NY Monch, who came to fame as one half of the much heralded (read critically but not commercially acclaimed) early 90's hip-hop act Organized Konfusion, went solo after the split and by the end of the decade enjoyed the biggest commercial success of his career with his 1999 solo debut Internal Affairs which spawned the raunchy rap hit "Simon Says" (see video below).
Since then Monch has released just two more albums including 2007's Desire (with live band backing he did a wonderful instore performance at Amoeba Berkeley around that same time) and this year's excellent W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) which includes the anti-police brutality track "Clap (One Day)" as seen above in its extended video version. The albumW.A.R. was a hot item at Amoeba when it dropped two months ago. It was the number one selling hiip-hop album at Amoeba Hollywood the first week of April. Since the newt album dropped the artist has been busy promoting it by doing lots of gigs including several in Cali and Nevada this week. Tonight, Weds June 1st, he plays Fulton 55 in Fresno. Tomorrow, Thursday June 2nd is the big San Francisco show, that also features DJ Apollo spinning all night, at 330 Ritch (that's the club's address too) in downtown San Francisco. 9pm 21+ $15 More info here Saturday, June 4th he plays at the Pagoda (inside the Fairmont Hotel) at 170 S. Market Street, San Jose. 10pm, 21+ $15. And Sunday, June 5th, he plays at the Underground at 555 East 4th St in Reno, NV. 9pm 21+ $10. More info.