On September 26th and 27th, Oakland's Middle Harbor Shoreline Park will be transformed into a mecca of music, art, and food by the inaugural Bay Area Vibez Festival, an urban lifestyle event that celebrates diversity through live music and the arts. Supporting regional youth and music programs, Bay Area Vibez is endorsing HipHopSavesLives.org (HHSL) as the festival's charity partner. HHSL works in conjunction with Sankofa.org (a non-profit founded by Harry Belafonte) to better spread social justice, through youth and music, with a plan to bring portable music studios to community centers in both San Francisco and Oakland.
With over 25 bands and DJs on multiple stages, we know this is just the beginning for this ambitious festival. On Saturday, September 26, Aloe Blacc performs with Sankofa Sound (a collection of musicians that align themselves with a-list artists who gather through Sankofa.org), along with the festival headliners, multiple Grammy winners Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen “Ragga” Marley. Also performing Saturday are Morgan Heritage, The Grouch & Eligh, Tarrus Riley, Fishbone, Cut Chemist, Mod Sun, Queen Omega, I-Live, Skip Marley, Forrest Day, I-Wayne, and Black Am-I.
New releases to arrive at Amoeba this week include the technically soul - but with a hip-hop flavor - brand new album from prolific and diverse Seattle hip-hop producer Jake One along with blue-eyed soul singer Mayer Hawthorne entitled Tuxedo via Stones Throw Records. Tuxedo is also the band name of these two collaborating talents' alter egos who, as Aquarius (Mayer Hawthorne) and Taurus (Jake One) are dressed up in tuxedos - looking somewhat reminiscent of Dan the Automator and Prince Paul as the Handsome Boy Modeling School – and presented by the label headed by Peanut Butter Wolf (a man known to dress up himself) as descendants of the one- word moniker family of funk, where you will find groups such as Chic, Shalamar, Plush, and Zapp. For a better idea of Tuxedo's infectious retro dance grooves peep their video for the album track "Do It" (scroll down) and pick up their album available in CD, vinyl, and digital download formats.
Here is our list of gift ideas culled from recent Hip Hop releases (with a few classics thrown in), plus 10 Hip Hop vinyl reissues from 2014 every fan should have.
Diabolic - Fightin' Words
Fightin' Words is a long delayed release from East Coast rapper Diabolic which has been in the works for four years. Originally intended to come out on Viper Records, the album instead got released via the recently founded WarHorse Records. Mic collaborators include such hard hitters as Vinnie Paz, Apathy, and R.A. the Rugged Man, while production is handled in most part by DJ Premier.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Pinata
Fans of Nas' widely acclaimed 1994 debut album Illmatic (recently featured here in an Essential Records Amoeblog) will be pleased to know that legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock has just unleashed a remix of the hip-hop classic and a documentary. Amoeba friend Pete Rock (who was one of the contributing producers of the essential album along with DJ Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, and L.E.S.) uploaded the 44 minute album/documentary remix tape simply titled Time Is Illmatic earlier this week as a download via SoundCloud.
The film Time Is Illmatic is being screened during Nas' ongoing tour in which he is performing Illmatic in its entirety live onstage. The tour stopped in the past couple of weeks at the Fox in Oakland and the Orpheum in LA. Both the tour and the documentary have been earning rave reviews. So too has Pete Rock's new celebratory mixtape since it was uploaded on Monday of this week.