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Decolonize Oakland Mural Reactionary Art To The Occupy Movement

Posted by Billyjam, March 8, 2012 02:19pm | Post a Comment

If recently you've either been on BART near in the vicinity of the Fruitvale station or driven along 880 in East Oakland odds are you've already spotted the big wide bright new mural bearing the word "DECOLONIZE" that takes up a wide wall at 12th Street and 16th Ave. The monumental mural is the latest politically charged artwork by the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP). To catch the eyes of  the thousands of daily commuters that pass by the piece is strategically positioned near both the freeway and the BART tracks to get the message of the monumental mural to as many people as possible. “Decolonize is a universal message to all people of the earth to reconnect to their ancestry, the earth, to their traditional medicines and knowledge, and to a global consciousness that we are all related. Everyone on the planet has indigenous roots to somewhere,” said artist Lavie Raven - one of the ten contributors to the large scale mural that is 200 feet wide and 30 feet high and took two and half days of concentrated work to complete. The other artists are CRP regulars Mike 360, Release, Beats 737, Desi, Rate, Abacus, Pancho, Yesenia, and Dora.

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Is The Hip-Hop World Ready For Kreayshawn & The White Girl Mob?

Posted by Billyjam, May 27, 2011 09:12pm | Post a Comment
       
    Kreayshawn "Gucci Gucci" (2011)

If the response to the trash-talking, dank smoking, young white, Bay Area female rapper Kreayshawn's hotly buzzed, self-directed & edited music video above for her latest catchy track "Gucci Gucci," which has racked up over 1.1 million views since it was uploaded on YouTube eleven days ago, is anything to go by then the video maker turned rapper's White Girl Mob show tonight (with Lil Debbie & V Nasty) at the modest sized SF  SOM Bar on 16th Street will certainly be a sold-out affair.

But for all the accolades that Kreayshawn, who counts Diplo, Das Racist, and Soulja Boy as among her biggest fans, has accumulated during her relatively short rise to fame, the diminutive but far from meek white female artist has also been attracting a lot of hate. An awful lot of hate in fact. "LOL ignorant ass hood rat bitch turned ignorant hipster hood rat bitch. What is hip-hop nowadays?" wrote one non-fan in response to one of her online video interviews, while another wrote, in response to the "Gucci Gucci" video, "Jesus Christ this is atrocious."

As for the haters out there, Kreayshawn appears to be taking it all in her stride; even with a seemingly mischievous sense of delight. It's almost like she knows how to press peoples' buttons (especially older hip-hop heads) and gets a real kick out of it. She is to staid rigid hip-hop ("the four elements man" school of thought) what the Sex Pistols were to established 70's rock. In one interview she rightfully ranks herself in the don't-give-a-fuck new school of rap alongside such other young buzz-worthy acts of this digital age as Odd Future (who she's "homies with") and Lil B (who she's produced videos for). But with each interview she gives and with each music video she unveils Kreayshawn manages to simultaneously win new fans and alienate many hip-hop heads.

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The Town Part VII: Oakland Faders DJ Collective Proves There's Strength In Numbers

Posted by Billyjam, February 16, 2011 08:22pm | Post a Comment

The super-talented East Bay based Oakland Faders hip-hop DJ collective has grown in its ranks since founding members DJs Spair and Platurn formed the party rockin'/turntablist group, originally a DJ duo, a dozen years ago. These days Spair, while still officially a member, resides down in Las Vegas where he DJs clubs, casinos, and big parties, while back in The Town (Oakland) DJ Platurn is now flanked by such renowned fellow Oakland Faders as Joe Quixx, DJ Zeph, DJ Enki, DJ Mere, and Ammbush. Meanwhile, another Oakland Fader in exile, DJ Icewater, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York but makes regular trips back to the East Bay to collaborate with his crew. Same with DJ Spair, who was up from Nevada in the Bay two weekends ago with the crew to DJ for the monthly Fade at Era party in Oakland at Era Art Bar & Lounge.

Each DJ of the eight member Oakland Faders has his own rich Bay Area hip-hop history that collectively dates back to before the Faders formed. And if you were to round up all of the productions, remixes, records and mixtape CDs that the Oakland Faders are responsible for, both individually and as a crew, you'd fill several crates with some top quality hip-hop. At Amoeba look for these releases as well as for their PCKPR (Piece Keeper Clothing) line T's with an exclusive CD.

One thing that I have always loved about the Oakland Faders is their Oakland Raiders derived logo above, something that has evolved slightly over the years. "The first time we did the Oakland Faders logo we actually used the [Raiders] logo. That was back about ten years ago in the Stray Records days. And that was a straight rip but you can only run with that for so long," said Platurn in reference to the common knowledge of how well guarded copyrighted NFL logos can be. "So right now it's kind of a cartoon derivative of it at this stage. Basically we took the swords and made them into [turntable] tone arms, and instead of a helmet he's wearing headphones."

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The Town Pt VI: Oakland's Cole Coffee, Where Conversation is Celebrated & Music is Appreciated

Posted by Billyjam, February 9, 2011 11:11am | Post a Comment

Long before Oakland (aka "The Town") was a hipster destination teeming with endless cafes offering good quality coffee, there was the North Oakland coffee spot known as Royal Coffee, and in more recent years known as Cole Coffee. In 1987, Royal Coffee, which morphed into Cole Coffee in 2005, first opened on 63rd Street near College Avenue in North Oakland near the Berkeley border. Offering strong, quality, affordable coffee with no pretensions and located just half a block down from La Farine bakery, it immediately built a loyal following. Even the recent era influx of new Oakland cafes similarly offering choices of quality coffees and teas has not affected the College & 63rd Street business one bit. This is because Cole, nee Royal, is as much of a social gathering point as it is a place to buy a good cuppa joe.

When Cole Coffee's owner Michael Murphy purchased the business from Royal Coffee six years ago,  changing the name to Cole Coffee at the time, he was already quite familiar with the business and its loyal clientele. "I managed Royal Coffee from 1992 until I puchased the business in 2005," he told me. He recalled how back when he started managing the business that, "Royal only had the 63rd Street location and then opened the cafe in 1995." Cole Coffee is one business split into two locations that are side by side. At the front cafe part (corner of 63rd & College) you can sit down inside or outside and specialty coffees are custom made on drip in front of you. Then the Cole Coffee shop round the corner down a bit on 63rd (with an apartment door entrance separating the two) is where you can buy coffee by the pound to go and cups of the reliably strong roasted and tasty house coffee. About a dozen small round green cafe tables line the outside on 63rd and snake up around onto College.

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December 7, 2010: The Town

Posted by phil blankenship, December 7, 2010 10:22pm | Post a Comment
The Town movie ticket stub
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