Kevin Durant's Hip-Hop Picks @ Amoeba Music
1: A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Marauders (Jive)
2: Mac Dre The Genie of The Lamp (Thizz Nation)
Ronald Dregan: Dreganomics (Thizz Nation)
3: Souls Of Mischief 93 Til Infinity (Jive)
4: J Dilla Donuts (Stones Throw)
5: Ol' Dirty Bastard Return To The 36 Chambers (Get On Down)
As reported here, over this past weekend newly signed Golden State Warriors member Kevin Durant hit the streets to explore his newly adopted home of the Bay Area. The NBA star's Bay exploration, inspired by tips from Warriors fans who responded to KD's online requests for suggestions of things to do in the Bay, included a shopping spree at Amoeba Music Berkeley where his crate diggin' resulted in picking up some Mac Dre and Souls Of Mischief, among many others. And note that all of the picks were on vinyl since Kevin Durant is a serious record collector with a steadily growing vinyl library.
It will truly be a Hiero Day on Saturday, June 25th in Berkeley at the UC Theatre. That's when the entire Hieroglyphics hop-hop ensemble will be performing on stage on the one night. Yep that's all the members of the 25 year strong legendary Oakland collective: Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual, the mighty Souls of Mischief (Opio, A-Plus, Phesto, and Tajai), Pep Love, Domino and DJ Toure. Having all these Hiero acts on the same stage on the same date doesn't even always happen on the official Hiero Day: the annual hip-hop music and culture festival that the veteran crew curate in their hometown each Labor Day weekend. In its five short years Hiero Day has rapidly grown and blossomed to become an institution, and one to be officially recognized as such by the City Of Oakland.
"I live in the Town now. My son goes to school here," LA born emcee Bambu (pictured above) told the early afternoon audience at Hiero Day 4 this past Monday (September 7th) between songs by his political rap group Native Guns from the Imperium Stage - one of several
"No negativity," stressed Bambu gesturing out across the large scale, violence free, annual festival that would again prove the naysayers wrong in that Oakland (aka The Town) can indeed produce a peaceful, positive, uplifting hip-hop festival with no negativity, just positivity! While the credit for this accomplishment goes to all of the participants - both on stage and off - it primarily goes to the Hieros themselves. As the event's producers, they have crafted something quite amazing out of their combined love of the culture that gave them their careers and the city that gave them their start. Indeed Hiero Day is the ultimate celebration of all things positive about Oakland, CA with the Hieroglyphics collective embodying and embracing the very essence of Oakland in 2015. Not too surprisingly then that former Mayor Jean Quan formally recognized September 3rd (9/3) as Hiero Day two years ago. However the Hieros themselves have done more to uplift The Town than any politician with a skewed agenda ever could!
This weekend marks the nineteenth year of Hip Hop In The Park - Berkeley's annual free, all ages, all elements inclusive, hip-hop event in Peoples Park, located behind Amoeba Berkeley. Since 1997, the Students For Hop Hop @ Cal have been presenting this always fun afternoon celebration of hip-hop culture. This year's headliner is Fashawn who has been winning over a whole wave of fans since connecting with Nas and the Queensbridge rapper's new label, Mass Appeal, on which he released the critically acclaimed The Ecology two months ago. Just in the past week, the Fresno rapper unleashed the album's second single and accompanying video, "Higher."
The Souls of Mischief along with their childhood friend and director of the engaging documentary on the Hiero crew, 'Til Infinity, Shomari Smith are all in New York City right now for the screening of the film tonight at the Helen Mills Theater on West 26th Street as part of the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF 2015). So far, the veteran Oakland hip-hop crew have included doing an interview with Birthplace magazine, and stopping by an old friend's radio show.
On his past Friday night's HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, the long time outspoken supporter of pot legalization said that 4/20 (aka today's date April 20th) should be made an official national holiday. He says this because already it is the day set aside to fully celebrate the positive effects of weed and the advancements and recent strides towards marijuana legalization and its accepted use for medical uses - it just needs a Federal stamp of approval. In showing his sincerity for his proposal Bill Maher noted that he had alredy created a Change.org petition that calls on Congress to make every year's April 20 date a national weed-related holiday. He is serious and has consistently championed the legalization of pot, routinely calling out President Obama on his slowness to fully promote legalization on a national level.
You can sign the Change.Org petition here which has already reached about 80% of its desired petition signees. Despite the general lax attitude towards weed in California these days, thanks mostly to the efforts of those who fought for medical cannabis legalization which date back to Proposition 215 (AKA the Compassionate Use Act of 1996) the California law concerning the use of medical cannabis, it is important to remember that it is still not legal for recreation use in the Golden State. And hence why a couple of grassroots political groups have recent filed ballot initiatives to try and make weed (medical and recreational) more accessible to adults in the State.The California Craft Cannabis Initiative is for both full legalization and for initiating both a cannabis trademark and a state cannabis commission. Meanwhile the other recently filed ballot initiative is The Compassionate and Sensible Access Act which is more of a health-care (versus recreational) rooted initiative that is pushing for weed to be viewed and fully accepted as a “legitimate, alternative medicinal treatment.” Both of these (or just one or neither) could well end up next year (2016) for voters in California to make a decision on at the ballots.