For the twelfth straight year family, friends, and fans of slain Bay Area graffiti legend Mike DREAM Francisco will gather in a celebration of the beloved artist's life and legacy in what will be the biggest Dream Day (the official name of the day bestowed by the City Of Oakland) celebration to date at the Oakland Metro Operahouse where DJs, MCs, B-Boys and (naturally) graffiti writers will all gather and display their talents and honor the man who was killed not too far from the venue in cold blooded murder during a robbery on Feb 17th, 2000. Yesterday I caught up DJ/writer/TDK member Martin "WillieMaze" Aranaydo who, along with a tight knit crew of DREAM supporters has been tirelessly keeping the artist's legacy alive and looking out for the well being of the slain artist's son Akil who was only an infant when DREAM was killed. "Dream Day 10 we got the City of Oakland to officially acknowledge the anniversary, if you can call it that, of Mike's murder as Dream Day so we can imagine our city without gun violence," said Aranaydo yesterday, taking a break from prepping for tonight's event and recalling how last year was especially hard for everyone. "Dream Day 11 was a tough year [because] Akil's mother/Dream's partner, Nikki Sellers (aka The Dream Kween) lost her fight with cancer. We raised money to retain a lawyer when her family tried to keep Akil in Wisconsin. [So] money from the event went directly to bringing him home to this community that loves and honors the memory of his father."
Another individual busy getting for tonight's event is DREAM's brother Mike Francisco who I also talked to yesterday to ask him about the importance of this year's event and his feelings on everything? "This year marks the 12 year anniversary of my brother's passing, and as we're moving on to the 3rd annual celebration of Dream Day I feel a bit overwhelmed from all the love and support from the community," he said. "It seems like every year this event gets bigger and bigger, another historic lineup with some of the Bay Areas top DJs, MC's, BBoys/BGirls, and Graff writers, to top it off some artwork by Dream and his crew TDK. This year L*Roneous will be one of the co headliners along with Equipto from Bored Stiff, and L*Roneous will be filming a video for a track he produced for Dream, so as u can see it's going to be one memorable night." It certainly will be with, in addition to Equipto and L*Roneous, performances scheduled from Renegade Rockers, Dub Esquire, Mic T, DJ Shortkut, DJ Platurn, Tim Diesel, Pam the Funkstress, Sake One, DJ Fuze, Max Kane & Teeko, and WillieMaze himself too.