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Long Beach Funk Fest #3 with Fred Wesley, Steve Arrington + More Is Free & Happening All Day Today (August 20th) in the LBC

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2011 10:12am | Post a Comment

Fred Wesley & The New JB's "Soul Power" - They perform at 9:30pm tonite @ LBC Funk Fest

If you love the funk, have some free time today, and are anywhere in SoCal you should drive over to the city of Long Beach (aka the LBC) for the third annual, all day, free Long Beach Funk Fest with a constant flow of performances starting at 1pm and running through til 11pm tonight from such acts as Steve Arrington (formerly of Slave and recently collaborating with Dam Funk), and Fred Wesley & The New JB's. And best of all the festival is a free event!

Other performers today will include Ronkat Spearman's Katdelic, Zigaboo Modeliste of the Meters, Str8 Fonk feat. Patryce 'Choc'let' Banks, Delta Nove, Pinot, Lil Big Ups feat. Lonnie 'Meganut' Marshall, and The Big Ol' Nasty Getdown. Additionally the Sea Funk Brass Band will be parading throughout the festival today, and there will also be several dance performances, Kid's Zone of Funkativity activities and drumming, vendors, and other activities to keep all occupied. And all day DJs will be spinning in both the DJ tent and at the Armadillo stage. Official after party funk jam session starts at 11:30pm in the Rhythm Lounge at 245 Pine Avenue in Long Beach and goes til closing time.

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THE MOMENT THAT CHANGED POPULAR HIP-HOP FOREVER

Posted by Billyjam, October 14, 2007 06:21pm | Post a Comment

If there was one moment in hip-hop that changed the direction of the genre forever it would have to be in late '92 when thdr dre nuthin but a g thange advance promo single from Dr Dre's first major post-NWA project, The Chronic, surfaced. Just weeks in advance of the December 1992 release of that classic rap album, which went on to sell over four million copies and fully cross over gangsta rap into pop music territory, white label copies of "Nuthin But A 'G' Thang" featuring the then little known young Long Beach City (LBC) rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg (heard only before this on the Dre produced Deep Cover soundtrack/single) got serviced to DJ's across the country. I was one of them and I will never forget the reaction the record got both on the radio and in clubs at the time. One night back then I was DJing at the Kennel Club (now the Independent on Divisidaro in SF) and people who normally didn't care for rap were banging on the DJ booth window demanding to know "Who/what the fuck was that?" Music fans went crazy for that addictive combo of Dre's dope production (fully utilizing the Leon Haywood "I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You" sample) and of course Snoop's hypnotic, laidback rap drawl (check out how young he looks in the video above!) that suddenly made street/gangsta themes digestible to all. 

Of course, the album that spawned "G Thang" and which took its name from sodr dre the chronicme sticky icky Cali weed, The Chronic would truly crystallize this turning point in hip-hop -- taking both West Coast and gangsta hip-hop to commercial heights undreamed of before this point. To many, this point represented the downfall of hip-hop since we have never fully recovered from its influence on popular rap. To me, as a fan of both "gangsta" and "conscious," or of both "rap" and "hip-hop," its success is bittersweet. I love good music no matter what its lyrical content might be, but I long for variety within popular hip-hop and I especailly miss the popularity of more positive hip-hop groups like Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr.

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BLAST FROM THE PAST: SWEET POTATO PIE

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2007 09:20am | Post a Comment

Not to be confused with the East Bay based Hieroglyphics' producer of the same name, Domino the SoCal rapper with the Southern drawl that betrayed his real roots, who arrived in the rap world in late 1993, was the pop-rap artist who scored hits with "Ghetto Jam" and "Sweet Potato Pie." He was signed to Outburst but was picked up by RAL (Rush Associated Labels). Despite his LBC claimed roots and his Snoop Dogg affiliations, he sported a delivery that was less gangsta and leaned more toward the pop/RnB spectrum of hip-hop music -- a catchy sing-song style, I guess you could call it. Not too long after he arrived in December 1993 he scored his first hit, "Ghetto Jam," which garnered Gold status after six straight weeks atop the Billboard maxi-single charts. It was followed up soon after with an even bigger hit -- "Sweet Potato Pie" (see video above). The album's groove-laden production came care of AMG and Battlecat and would prove to be Domino's only real hit. His delayed sophomore follow-up album, 1996's Physical Funk, and subsequent releases, including 1997's Dominology and 2001's "D-Freaked It" all fell short of the mark.