Amoeblog

New Oakland Femcee Glam I. Rock Was Born Into Hip-Hop And Born To Rock The Mic

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2013 08:05am | Post a Comment

Glam I. Rock "Feel" (2013)

At Glam I. Rock's in-store performance at Oaklandish last Friday evening the new female rapper from The Town delighted the hometown audience at the downtown retail store, that transforms itself in a concert space every first Friday of the month, as she ran through a string of songs off her recently released debut EP, The Feel (Savvie1ent/The Olive Street Agency). The 21 year old rapper was literally born into hip-hop since her mom is Oakland female rapper Nic Nac who came to fame two decades ago when she recorded with such artists as The LOX and Eve but most notably with Dru Down and the Luniz, and toured and performed with such legends as Too $hort, Ice Cube, and 2Pac.  Nic Nac has been a consistent positive influence in her daughter's artistic growth. "She's played a huge part in influencing me from a young age even before I was rapping.  Just being everywhere she was -- show rehearsals, video shoots, sessions. She had already put me in that element," Glam I. Rock told the Amoeblog in a recent interview noting that, in addition to her mom's music, some of the very first rappers she heard (and likely influenced her) from a  young age included A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, The LOX, Jay-Z and Nas.

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15 Months After The Death Of The Conscious Daughters' Special One, Fellow TCD MC CMG Has "Regrouped And Reinvented" Herself

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2013 01:32pm | Post a Comment

Coming to terms with, and starting to get over the death of someone close takes time. For each person this amount of time can vary. For Carla Green, aka femcee CMG of legendary Oakland female hip-hop duo The Conscious Daughters, it has taken up until now, 15 months since the sudden death of her longtime partner in rhyme Karryl "Special One" Smith, to feel like she has come to terms with the sudden passing of her "sister" and musical partner of two decades.

For The Conscious Daughters' CMG, whose rap name is an acronym for "Cash Makin Girl," it was only earlier this month when she felt fully ready to go out and perform the Daugther's music again. The show was a special show celebrating National Women's History Month two weeks ago at Yoshi's San Francisco on a bill along with Suga T, Yo-Yo, Lady of Rage, and The Coup's DJ Pam The Funkstress.

The concert was the first show that CMG felt ready to do since Special One's passing but it wasn't the first show she had  done. "That was the second show I did without Special One," she told the Amoeblog recently. "The first was when I had opened up for Too $hort back in March of 2012 and it was just too soon for me to perform.  I felt so empty and “not there”.  I was onstage but I was 100% absent. It was like I was in a dream and just standing there rapping. It wasn’t a good look!," she shared. But fast forward to March 2013 and CMG was finally ready, she says.  "I am [now] at peace with Special One’s death. I have regrouped and reinvented myself. I have a new DJ (Deeandroid) and she is fabulous.  We have been rehearsing and vibin’ – so, for this last show with Rage & DJ Pam, Yo-Yo and Suga-T, I was in rare form, feeling good, and really feeling juiced about performing again." Part of that reinvention and regrouping for CMG is realizing that she now has the responsibility "to carry on the legacy of Conscious Daughters" but that she is not doing it alone.  "I do feel that Special One is there on stage with me and most definitely watching over me….and I always hear Spesh’s voice in the back of my mind telling me what to do," she said adding that having DJ Deeandroid up on stage with her as her new partner is a real positive as a performer. "I don’t feel all alone and I can vibe off of her," she said of the gifted turntablist who many know as one half of the DJ duo Deeandroid & Celskiii.

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Rah Digga Returns With a Classic

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2010 09:54am | Post a Comment
rah digga
New Jersey female emcee Rah Digga is back after a decade long absence from the hip-hop world with a killer new album, appropriately titled Classic (Raw Koncept Media Group/Traffic). Early on in her rap career (mid 1990s) the artist born Rashia Fisher was part of the NJ based crew called The Outsiders. Even earlier (during the Das EFX era), she was known as Rah Diggity before settling on the rap name Rah Digga. Up until now, she had not been heard from since her acclaimed debut album, Dirty Harriet, dropped in 2000. 

Formerly the First Lady of the Flipmode Squad, and known by many for her collaborations with that collective's main man, Busta Rhymes (she first appeared on his second solo record, 1997's When Disaster Strikes), Rah Digga's career actually dates back some years before that connection.

For her long delayed sophomore album, which was released in mid September, she enlisted the production skills of Nottz, who had produced five tracks on Dirty Harriet. On Classic he handles all the production duties and in so doing brings out the very best in the Brick City (Newark , NJ) emcee on tracks such as the lead single "This Ain't No Lil Kid Rap." The video for this song is below and you can also listen to a remix version of the song featuring Redman right here.

I recently caught up with Rah Digga to ask her about her career, including why the long gap between her two albums and why she is making a comeback at this time. "Well, for me, I never really stopped recording but I was recording more at my leisure. And as the dawn of the ten year anniversary of Dirty Harriet started approaching I just started reaching out to different producers that I had worked with on the first album," she said. She ended up working with Nottz, with whom she says she has "a great chemistry" and notes, "Our chemistry is so crazy that once we got in the studio I basically just stayed there. And so the Rah Diggawhole album was recorded in just two weeks."

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Interview with Ava DuVernay About Her Documentary My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip-Hop, Premiering on BET Tonight

Posted by Billyjam, August 30, 2010 11:40am | Post a Comment
 Trailer for My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip-Hop (2010)

While making the documentary My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip Hop, which premieres on BET tonight at 10pm, what surprised director Ava DuVernay most was "the vulnerability of the women," citing one in particular, the Lady of Rage. "You think of emcees as invincible on the mic and my view of Lady of Rage is always in "Afro Puffs" [video below] Lady of Rageand she's got her leather jacket, and she's grabbing the mic, and she's killing it, and Snoop's to the right and Dre's to the left," said the LA based director, who herself started out as an emcee. "But then when you sit down with her [Lady of Rage] she's just, she's a woman. She's a sweet, kind of vulnerable artist who talks about her journey in a really transparent, beautiful way. And I found that again and again and again, whether it was Salt n Pepa or [MC] Lyte or YoYo or Rah Digga, that they are emcees but they are also women. So it was really just sitting down woman to woman and having some really great conversations and I think I was surprised by that. I was more prepared for the emcee side but I saw more of the sister side."

As a filmmaker, DuVernay came to critical acclaim with her 2008 feature debut, the documentary about the Good Life cafe in LA where coincidentally she began her own hip-hop career on the mic. Titled This is the Life, the excellent documentary won a slew of awards at various film festivals, was released theatrically, played on Showtime, and was one of the featured films in last year's Amoeba Music Monday Movies series at Space 15Twenty near the LA Amoeba store. The success of This is the Life led to many things for DuVernay, including her two-hour concert documentary on New Orleans' Essence Music Festival that aired on TV One over the weekend, and tonight's BET documentary, which includes interviews with such artists as Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, Trina, The Poetess, Roxanne Shante, The PoetessSalt n Pepa, Eve, YoYo, Lady of Rage, Jean Grae, and Rah Digga.

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HILARIOUS STAGE DUO KIKI & HERB TAKE THEIR SHOW BACK TO SF

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2007 08:20pm | Post a Comment

Heads up on the Kiki & Herb show coming soon (or rather returning) to San Francisco, scheduled to open Friday July 13th at the A.C.T. on Geary with tix starting at only $12 and going up to $45. My advice is get 'em now while you can -- especially at the cheaper end prices -- before reviews get out on this side-splittingly hilarious duo's show that makes its way back to the Bay from New York City where the cabaret comedy duo with a punk attitude got nominated for a Tony after their successful Broadway show. The talented duo started out in San Francisco in the early nineties before taking their cabaret drag act East a few years later.

I recently caught their most current show at Joe's Pub in New York where they did about a month of Sunday nights. Before going, I honestly had no idea what they would be like. I just knew that the show, in which Kiki (Justin Bond) and Herb (Kenny Mellman), was some sort of irreverent drunken drag comedy musical live show -- but frankly, that description sells it short -- way short. What it was, is one of the most entertaining, quick-witted, satirical-comedic, music-based stage performances I have ever witnessed. It was one of those perfectly crafted performances that is so smoothly delivered that it comes off as totally improvised, which it is not, and the ninety minutes or so of the show zipped by like it was only 20 minutes. Brilliant! Check this review of their Broadway show from the New York TImes.

AFFORDABLE SF ARTIST EXPO: It might seem hard to recall a time when artists exchanged ideas and information (images, sounds, videos, etc.) not via laptops, Blackberrys, or iPhones, but in person. It was really not that long ago. In fact, when the Expo for the Artist & Musician started back in the year 2000, there was no MySpace or YouTube and while most individuals had Email addresses and/or websites, the digital age wasn't in the progressive state it is in today. Regardless, then or now, nothing beats that personal touch -- especially when it comes to artists literally reaching out and meeting other artists and sharing ideas in a common physical space. And that is exactly what the affordable, recommended annual Expo for the Artist & Musician does. It is only $25 to secure a table at the event, which happens on Saturday, September 15th (11AM - 6PM) at SomArts 934 Brennan. Click right here for more info.

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