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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Mistah F.A.B. Salutes Mac Dre In Music Video Homage To Slain Bay Area Rap Icon: "Still Feelin' It"

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2016 11:45am | Post a Comment

Mistah F.A.B. has just published his new music video homage to Mac Dre, "Still Feelin' It" featured on the Oakland rap star's latest album Son of a Pimp 2 that arrived in Amoeba back in late May.  For the production of the heartfelt video homage to the iconic Vallejo rapper, who was killed in Kansas in 2004, his production crew set up cameras both by the big Mac Dre mural at Foothill near High St. in Oakland (one of several in the Bay), as well as during the June 11th Mac Dre Art Show in Oakland produced by local artist Street Bleach. Meanwhile much of the rest of the partly crowd-sourced music video  features an entertaining series of brief home-video clips of diehard Mac Dre fans enthusiastically dancing Thizz style and throwing up the trademark T sign in tribute to the so-called Thizzard of Oz.. "I made a PSA and asked for small clips of Mac Dre fans dancing to the song, and the response was overwhelming," explained Mistah F.A.B. of how these fan parts of the video production evolved. That overwhelming response confirmed what F.A.B. already knew about the love that Mac Dre continues to command with rap fans everywhere.

"[It's] a real testament to his lasting legacy and the love people still have for him. Everyone surrounding him could relate to him. He was a voice of the underworld, but also incredibly charismatic and an energy of fun," said Mistah F.A.B. whose rise to fame during the Bay Area's bygone Hyphy Movement can be attributed in great part to Mac Dre who spearheaded the regional rap musical movement.  The 2016 Mistah F.A.B. song "Still Feelin' It" (video below) is a play on the 2004 Mac Dre hit single "Feelin' Myself" (found on the album Ronald Dregan For President 2004: Dreganomics). The Mistah F.A.B. track is brimming with Mac Dre cross references such as "I'm still tryin' to find out, who's Nancy Von Chillinwich?!" "Still Feelin' It" is just one of 21 tracks on the latest, long overdue Mistah F.A.B. star-studded, album Son of a Pimp 2 whose long list of impressive collaborators (local and national) includes Kendrick Lamar, E-40, G-Eazy, Too $hort, ScHoolboy Q, and Bun B.

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As "Dilla Day" Does For Jay Dee Each Year, "Mac Dre Day" (July 5th) Honors Legacy of Beloved Late Vallejo Rapper

Posted by Billyjam, July 5, 2016 04:27pm | Post a Comment

In a scenario somewhat similar to that of J Dilla, whose dedicated fanbase has exponentially grown since his death a decade ago, so too has the following of the late great Mac Dre multiplied since his 2004 (still unsolved) murder in Kansas City, MO. The Detroit rapper/producer and the Bay Area rapper share not only iconic status and popular posthumous releases (and merchandise) but also an annual date dedicated to their respective legacies.

These annual celebrations only further build upon these two hip-hop artists' fanbases. The annual Dilla Day happens in early February every year around the time of his birthday while Mac Dre Day (aka Dre Day) takes place every year on today's date, July 5th. Were he still alive, the artist born Andre Hicks would be celebrating his 46th birthday today. 

Every year for the past several years, with major input from the folks at Mac  Dre's Thizz Nation there have been Mac Dre tribute concerts in various Bay Area cities from Petaluma to San Jose and San Francisco where tonight's Mac Dre Day celebration will take place at The Regency Ballroom at 7pm.

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Hip-Hop Top Ten, Bay Area Shows, Mr. Lif, De La Soul, DJ Shadow, The Mekanix, Too $hort & E-40, Mistah F.A.B., Mac Dre Art Show 2 + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 8, 2016 03:13pm | Post a Comment
Hip-Hop Top Ten 06:08:16

1: Mr Lif Don't Look Down (Mello Music Group) (also avail on vinyl and cassette)

2: Homeboy Sandman Kindness For Weakness (Stones Throw) (LP)

3: Aesop Rock The Impossible Kid  (Rhymesayers Ent.)

4: Shabazz Palaces Live At Third Man Records (LP) (Third Man)

5: ElZhi Lead Poison (Glow 365)



6: Open Mike Eagle & Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival  (Mello Music) (LP version)

7: The Mekanix  Under The Hood (Livewire)

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Imagine No Guns: John Lennon & All The Talented Artists Senselessly Shot & Killed Might Still Be With Us Making Great Music

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2015 04:09pm | Post a Comment
"Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace"

New York City: By 9am this morning when I passed by Strawberry Fields on the west side of Central Park, already a substantial size crowd had gathered to pay tribute to John Lennon who was murdered 35 years ago on this date.  One guy with eyes closed intently strummed "Imagine" on his acoustic guitar as the solemn crowd around him gently sang along. Dedicated to Lennon's memory, the landscaped section of the vast city park is across the street from the famed Dakota Building. It was outside that NYC landmark on December 8th, 1980 that the beloved Beatle was fatally gunned down and killed by a deranged "fan." 

If Lennon's murder had occurred today undoubtedly there would be politically motivated, second amendment advocates, rushing to defend the use of firearms. I'd bet that they'd reason (as was the case in aftermath of San Bernadino last week) that if John Lennon had been carrying a concealed weapon that he could have defended himself.  Even back in 1980  Lennon's assassination brought forth to public discussion the issue of gun control in America. But even the cold blooded murder of the 40 year old John Lennon did not affect US gun laws, or sales of guns. In fact the sales of deadly firearms has multiplied in the years since; bringing with them the toll of human suffering. This morning Yoko Ono tweeted the image above with the disturbing statistic that in the years since the murder of her late husband that over one million people have died by gun violence. 

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