Amoeblog

Historic Event For A City That Once Banned Rap, Oakland's Hiero Day 2016 Elevated It To Best Damn Hip-Hop Festival Ever

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2016 07:07am | Post a Comment

Oakland's annual all day hip-hop festival, Hiero Day 2016 that took place two days ago, was both amazing and historic. Only in its fifth year, the Hieroglyphics collective curated event has not only already established itself as the best annual music and cultural festival in The Town (Oakland). But this annual Labor Day's sold-out, talent-packed, festival comprised of three different concert stages, each offering top notch and totally diverse hip-hop acts, elevated Hiero Day into the best damn hip-hop festival anywhere! Attended by respectful hip-hop fans of all generations and races, but each sharing an appreciation for all styles of hip-hop, Hiero Day 2016 exuded the most positive, peaceful, uplifting vibe of any hip-hop event of its scale that I have ever witnessed anywhere. And that prevailing positive vibe that permeated the air on Monday all seemed to fuel  the energy of the acts on stage and their tight sets. Monday's diverse list of over 50 performers included Too $hort, Paris, the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Dilated Peoples, Murs, Mr. Lif, Just Blaze, Young L, and the Hieros themselves.. 

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Bay Area DMC Battle, WFMU Record Fair, Prince + Hip-Hop, New Releases, Yung Jake @ MoMA + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 30, 2016 04:42pm | Post a Comment
DJ TRAPS - once again wins Bay Area DMC Regional - photo from the 2016 DMC Bay battle by James Mak - c/o Joysco Photos and Joysco Studios

Props to DJ Traps (pictured above c/o  James Mak / Joysco Photos) who won the recent 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle. Repeating the feat he accomplished exactly three years ago in the same battle (2013 Bay DMC was held in SF), he will again head to NYC this upcoming August to rep the Bay for a chance to take the USA title. Held in Fremont on April 22nd and presented by both Official Rane DJ and Adisa, the Bishop's Hip-Hop Chess Federation, who hosted the event, the runners up in the battle were AkikoLUV - Akira Funabashi in second place, and Primo, Adrian Primo Silva in third place. Meanwhile the results of the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals also held at same venue on the day were winner DJ IQ, with runners up Prolifix in second place and DonPaco in third. Congrats to all the participants! Scroll down to end of this Amoeblog to see group picture of the Bay Area DMC event by hardworking Bay Area hip-hop photographer James Mak. Upcoming 2016 DMC Regional battles include next Saturday, May 7th, in Austin Texas. More info.

 
Shattering the (sometimes true) stereotype that rappers with "Yung" in their stage name are mostly superficial, lacking in intellectual merit, and low in substance, Los Angeles based rapper Yung Jake blew minds and stereotypes last night at NYC's MoMA. There the CalArts grad took part in MoMA’s adventurous Slithering Screens: 10 Years of New Frontier at Sundance Institute: series by performing his engaging multi-social media show that melded Tweets, YouTube viral videos, memes and GIFs, and more including of course rapping. The presentation, that lasted three hours, was s mixed media statement on life in this Internet age by the West Coast artist who hails from Long Island, NY. 

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2016 DMC Bay Area DJ Battle with Keith Shocklee, DJ Quest, Mista B, T-K.A.S.H. and Adisa, The Bishop

Posted by Billyjam, April 22, 2016 06:39pm | Post a Comment

It's DJ battle season again with the DMC's annual regional DJ battle series moving to the Bay Area this weekend.  Happening in Fremont tonight are both the 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle and the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals.  To turntable participants this competitive event is a big deal.  Going to battle at the DMC could mean repping the Bay Area at the anticipated annual national finals in New York City in August. Tonight these battle DJs will be judged on a myriad of factors.  Considered will be the technical and musical aspects of scratching and beat juggling, as well as originality and whether the DJ routines display some sense of musical composition. It can be put a lot of pressure on these turntable competitors (many of them young guys, entering a DJ battle for the first time) to calmly and confidentially recreate in a battle environment, the routines  they've spent months of intense practicing at home.

In addition to tonight's battles, there will be lots of great music. Public Enemy / The Bomb Squad's Keith Shocklee will be throwing down a partyrocking set, while both DJ Quest and Mista B will each present live turntable showcase sets. Also on stage will be the event host / emcee T-K.A.S.H. who many know from his collaborations via Paris' Guerilla Funk label, plus Adisa, The Bishop whose Hip Hop Chess Federation is presented the event, along with Rane. As reported on the Amoeblog, longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist/activist/author Adisa, The Bishop recently published the book "Bobby, Bruce, & Bam: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess." 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle and the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals are at 7pm this evening at Hip Hop Chess Federation located at 42660 Christy St. Suite B Fremont, CA 94538. For more info see flyer above or visit DMC website and the Bay Area DMC Facebook page. Below are videos by tonight's on stage performers.

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DJ Precision Wins 2015 DMC US Finals Again, With Manwell Placing Second And Dwells In Third Place

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2015 11:49pm | Post a Comment

At Webster Hall in New York City this evening the heated national annual turntablist battle for the best DJ in the USA, the prestigious 2015 DMC US Finals, took place with Queens' own DJ Precision winning the title at the East 11th Street venue. The DJ has won three times (including this latest battle) in the six minute battle, plus he also won in this year's DMC US Supremacy, which adds up to an impressive four DMC US titles in all. 

An icon within the turntable community and a regular DMC battle participant and winner, Precision (born Perrin Wright ) won the national title last three years ago at the 2012 US DMC US Finals DJ battle. At that DMC US Finals battle, also held at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on the west side of Greenwich Village, the runner up was Virginia's DJ I-Dee, but then last year won the US Finals (the previous year's 2013 US DMC Finals winner was DJ Esquire). At that 2012 US DMC Finals, the third place slot was earned by LA representative Manwell who made it back into the finals again this year where he took second place. Meanwhile, in third place this year was DJ Dwells -  the supertalented young winner of the NYC Regional battle for two years in a row. In last year's US Finals, Dwells, who is now only 15, took second place. This year, despite been tipped by many as a potential winner of tonight's battle, he was overtaken in the heated turntable showdown in which other talented participants included DJ Ambideckstriks, DJ Ease, and DJ Throwdown.

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DJ Battles and Skratch Music Enjoying Peak in Popularity And Creativity As Proven By 2015 DMC NYC Regional At Webster Hall

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2015 12:20pm | Post a Comment
2015 DMC NYC Regional winner DJ Dwells photo above and all photos used in this Amoeblog
are by kind permission of
Ignacio Soltero (more pics/info here and here)

 

DJ battles and skratch music are enjoying a peak in both popularity and creativity right now. Age matters less than passion and commitment when it comes to skills and style displayed in turntablism. And Lord Finesse is a hella funny guy! Those are just a few of the things made quite apparent in Manhattan recently at the highly competitive but ever-entertaining 2015 DMC New York City Regional DJ battle where 15-year-old DJ Dwells took the title for the second year in a row, with the Bay Area's DJ Dstrukt coming in second, and As-One in third place. 

Overseen by Christie Z-Pabon (pictured right), the smoothly run, perfectly on schedule four-hour event took place on May 23rd at Webster Hall where the widely diverse and appreciative audience proved the point that the turntable-based art form, which has gone through some highs and lows in popularity over the past couple of decades, is indeed in a most healthy state currently.

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