Amoeblog

Neil Young, Equipto, Chill E.B., A Tribe Called Red, & Kalyn Heffernan Among Protesters of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2016 04:35am | Post a Comment

With the increasingly frequent number of organized protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) taking place across the nation, the number of outspoken protesters adopting the cause and taking it to the streets, online, and/or to North Dakota has similarly multiplied. Among this steadily swelling number of protesters, that culminated earlier this week with a national day of action at 300 different protests across the US, many are musicians. Hailing from varied genres and generations these include such artists as Neil Young, A Tribe Called Red, Equipto, Joan Baez, Trevor Hall, Michael Franti, Chill E.B., Buffy Saint Marie, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Indigo Girls, Dregs One, The Zotigh Singers, Raye Zaragoza, Jackson Browne, and DJ Troubleman. These are musicians who've either protested and or recorded protest music against the controversial pipeline. One high profile protester who could be added to this musician's list, considering that three decades ago he recorded a protest folk album, is Vermont senator Bernie Sanders who made a surprise appearance and speech in Washington DC during this week's (Nov 15th) national day of action.

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1st Annual Community Indie Fest (July 3) To Provide Community with Vehicle For Change Say Organizers Mic-T & DJ True Justice

Posted by Billyjam, June 17, 2016 09:24pm | Post a Comment

Embracing the current renaissance of conscious hip-hop music and culture being used a positive tool for change, particularly in the Bay Area, will be the 1st Annual Community Indie Fest on July 3rd at West Oakland's One Fam Community Event Center. The two main organizers behind the all-day, all ages, all encompassing cultural event are DJ True Justice and emcee Mic-T who say that their main goal is to provide their community with a vehicle for change through a positive gathering. As outlined in their mission statement for the eleven hour, two stage event: "From the #Frisco5 to the Black Lives Matter movement, it is evident that the indie hip-hop community from the 90's have grown to be mothers, fathers, and some even grandparents. It is their children who are in danger of police brutality, black on black crime, and drug abuse. Now more than ever we are using our influence as artists, community figures, and just everyday people to organize vehicles of change."

The 1st Annual Community Unity Indie Fest will encompass "art, culture, culinary greatness, and the great unifier-music" promise the two longtime respected Bay Area hip-hop artists who will be among the many performers on the day. Others include Paris, Equipto, Mystik Journeymen, Scarub, Myka 9, Rifleman, Dub Esquire, Sinestro Enigma, Vocab Slick, and the "Bay Area's finest DJ line up" featuring Ras Cue, DJ Ready, DJ D, Kevvy Kev, DJ Styles, DJ Squareopolis, plus DJ J-Cutt from legendary Oakland act APG Crew.. Additionally there'll be an open mic session, comedy performances, plus an 8 group talent battle.

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Interview with Longtime SF Hip-Hop Artist/Activist Equipto about Frisco Day (4/15)

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2016 10:30pm | Post a Comment
 
Not to be confused with other important dates in the hectic week ahead such as Tax Day (Note: 4/18 this year) or 4/16 (Record Store Day) or 4/20 (Dank Day), 4/15 is the newly assigned annual date to celebrate Frisco Day. That's 4/15 as in April 15th symbolizing the numerals of the 4-1-5 area code of San Francisco (aka Frisco). But 4/15 Frisco Day is more than simply being a day for residents to celebrate pride in their City by the Bay. It's more about solidarity among poor blue collar / working class San Franciscans who've been marginalized and endangered by the influx in recent years of high paid tech workers to their city. That's according to veteran San Francisco hip-hop artist and activist Equipto who is one of the organizers of Friday's 4/15 Frisco Day event. This week the Amoeblog caught up with the passionate and always politically outspoken emcee to ask him about 4/15 Frisco Day, and about life in general and hip-hop in particular in San Francisco in these gentrified times.


Amoeblog: So this is the first official 4/15  Frisco Day but it has been around for a minute already, right?

Equipto: Frisco Day, April 15th is a special day for certain Frisco die hards that I know. My friend Barry, who has the clothing company SFOG, has thrown dope intimate shows on 4/15 for some years now with performers like San Quinn, RBL, myself and more. But this year, this Friday 4/15, will be the first official Frisco Day for the public

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: New Releases, Reissues, Top 5, The Pharcyde, Too $hort, The People's Tree, Sketch McGuiney feat Sean Price & Ras Kass

Posted by Billyjam, February 1, 2016 05:55pm | Post a Comment
 

Now that February has arrived, 2016 hip-hop will officially kick into full gear with lots of new releases dropping. January is traditionally a slow month for new releases. This year was a little different since there were additional January releases that were reissues of older classic material, mostly on vinyl but some on CD too. These included latest (and there's been a few!) reissue of KMD's storied second album Black Bastards. The new 2LP pressing comes with gatefold pop-up album cover design and booklet included. Released by MF DOOM's record label Metal Face Records, it was recently profiled here on the Amoeblog.  Another 2016 vinyl reissue is Lil Ugly Mane's Mista Thug Isolation LP c/o Hundebiss, which is among the entries on the latest Amoeba Berkeley Top Five hip-hop chart (see below). That chart, courtesy of E-Lit, also includes the must-get 2LP reissue of the classic 1995 album from The Pharcyde, Labcabincalifornia, c/o Bicycle Music Company

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Park Blvd. Records and Tapes

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2015 02:30pm | Post a Comment


Bucking the trend of record stores closing up shop, Oakland's Park Blvd. Records and Tapes opened up shop at the start of this past summer. In the five plus months since that opening business has been brisk for the specialized record store that is part of a new music retail business model that seeks out a small but dedicated customer base. They've found their niche and, in turn, fans of that musical niche have found them and their new retail space. While the small record store carries several genres of popular music and mostly older era (examples include 80's hardcore punk 45's) Park Blvd. Records and Tapes' main focus is hip-hop/rap records and tapes. Those records and tapes (plus some CDs, DVDs, and books) feature quite a concentration of older classic hip-hop material including a good size ratio of Bay Area rap/hip-hop from the 90's.  Stocked with some select new hip-hop releases their customers, who travel from all over, are more interested in those specialty items that normally they might only find online or at well stocked stores like Amoeba Music. A quick glance around the store's vinyl display bins and cassette and CD shelves provides ample proof. The selection includes ample amount of classic early era Bay rap and hip-hop releases by such artists as Too $hort, IMP, Hugh E. MC, E-40, Mac Mall, C-BO, Mac Dre, Dre Dog / Andre Nickatina, Celly Cel, Digital Underground, Spice 1, 2Pac, Chunk, 11/5, 415, Souls of Mischief, RBL Posse, and Bored Stiff.  Stocking releases in various formats of bygone eras along with brand new nationally popular hip-hop releases from artists like Drake or Mac Miller, it is the speciality items that attract customers to their store. The 2014 Park Blvd., Oakland CA shop, whose name outside simply reads "Records and Tapes," was vacant for three years before its latest incarnation. Before that it was a fortune teller's place of business.  That was back when the old Parkway Theatre was still down the block a bit, and before relocating crosstown to 24th Street off Telegraph.

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