Interview with Bay Area Hip-Hop Artist Turned Novelist Bret Alexander Sweet on "Among The Veils"

Posted by Billyjam, October 12, 2015 01:30pm | Post a Comment
Bret Alexander Sweet is the Bay Area hip-hop artist turned author who expertly channeled his writing skills as an emcee (Karma with Kemetic Suns, and Fundamentals) into being an accomplished author. This year Alexander Sweet, who works in mentoring inner city youth in entrepreneurship and is the son of prominent Bay Area civil rights attorney and social entrepreneur Clifford Charles Sweet, published his impressive first novel Among The Veils.  With a distinct musical backdrop to its storyline (references songs and musicians throughout) the work of fiction is clearly fueled by Alexander's love and broad knowledge of music. The book is the Oakland, CA resident's first in an ambitious five-part series of publications. Already half completed the author, who graduated from Berkeley High School in 1995, has scheduled the sequel to Among The Veils - to be entitled Sanctuary In The Veils - for a late 2016 planned publication date. 

As a hip-hop artist in the nineties Sweet was a founding member of Kemetic Suns, a member of Fundamentals, as well as founder of the underrated indie label House Kemetic Suns whose releases included the cassette The PatterFall Wars (scroll down to hear). As mentor/teacher Alexander was awarded Certified Teacher of the Year by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship in 2004 which led to him a few years later founding the Dualism Group whose mission statement he outlined as an, "early stage venture capitalism firm and consulting arm geared toward helping underserved entrepreneurs launch and expand their companies in order to bring jobs to lower income communities."   Recently I caught up with Bret Alexander Sweet to find out more about his book and its inspiration.

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Remembering Matthew Africa Through the Music He Loved

Posted by Billyjam, September 11, 2012 10:30am | Post a Comment

"RIP to one of the best beat diggers, djs, and all around nicest dudes in the game. You will be missed, but your spirit will live on brotha."

The above comment, posted by Tha Megatron online yesterday, is just one of the literally hundreds of tributes  that have been written about beloved Bay Area DJ Matthew Africa who was tragically killed last Monday (9/3) in a car crash. Since Thursday last, when the shocking news of this well-known and well-liked DJ's sudden death began circulating, friends and fans from the Bay and beyond have been mourning his passing through memories of the music that Matthew himself loved so much and happily shared via his radio shows, blogs, 2 Busy Sayin’ Yeah or Stay Hatin podcasts, club sets, and mixtapes. That comment by Tha Megatron was posted on the MixCrate page for Matthew Africa's final mix, "Matthew Africa: Plays Seven Inches," made a few weeks ago. On August 14th, the tireless crate-digging Bay Area DJ made what would be the last entry on his blog. And in true Matthew Africa fashion, it was all about music and records, and about how he was really looking forward to spinning 45s at the upcoming weekend's 45 Sessions - both to play records and to hang out with fellow music fanatics/DJs like DJ Platurn, E Da Boss, DJ Enki, and Joe Quixx.

Record Store Day 2012: Hectic from Amoeba in Cali to the East Coast at spots like NYC's Good Records

Posted by Billyjam, April 21, 2012 05:14pm | Post a Comment
New York City: As reported here on the Amoeblog today by Billy Gil at the Hollywood Amoeba, Record Store Day 2012 has been hectic with folks lining up outside the Sunset Blvd. store from 2:30am this morning, eight long hours before Amoeba would open its front doors. Up north in the Bay at both the Berkeley Amoeba and the San Francisco Amoeba a similar scenario was playing out with folks showing up long before doors opening for their chance to snag some of the much coveted Record Store Day 2012 exclusive releases. Of that long list of exclusive releases among the top most sought after items was a release by the group Phish which was what the folks first in line outside the San Francisco Amoeba wanted as reported on the Amoebog YouTube posting earlier this afternoon. Back here in NYC shoppers were also hot to track down Phish. "All day we got calls for the Phish and Flaming Lips records," Jonathan Sklute who owns the East Village Good Records store told me this afternoon, adding that. "A friend of mine I was talking to over at [nearby] Other Music said that they got about 700 calls for Phish but they didn't have near that many copies to satisfy that level of demand."

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