Amoeblog

Live Concerts From Prisons and Mental Institutions

Posted by Billyjam, December 16, 2013 08:08am | Post a Comment

The Cramps Live at Napa State Mental Hospital(1978)

In Bay Area rap history there are several instances of artists rapping live from jail - perhaps most notably the late great Mac Dre rapping over the phone from Fresno County Jail back in the early nineties and X-Raided at that same period rapping over the phone on series of occasions that would finally be released as the 1995 album Xorcist (in later years the still incarcerated rapper would get smuggled in recording gear to record albums). But there are also many instances of artists performing for inmates at jails and prisons, as well as other institutions.

Of the performances in mental institutions perhaps the best (and the best known) is from when The Cramps, in June 1978, did a live show from the California Mental State Hospital in Napa. Also performing were San Francisco's wonderful post punk act The Mutants. It was when the pioneering psychobilly gods had just had just finished up recording Gravest Hits - to be released the following year that would include the track "The Way I Walk" that they are captured performing in the Napa hospital concert clip above care of Target Video.

The great Leonard Cohen also did a series of free concerts about forty years ago in mental institutions but without much media attention at the time. According to Sylvie Simmons' bio I'm Your Man Cohen performed, like the Cramps, at Napa State Hospital as well as at Henderson Hospital (in the UK), and at an unnamed facility in Montreal (Canada). Reportedly he booked these shows "without fanfare" and on his own dime, reportedly telling a reporter a few years later that he was drawn to mental hospitals because he had "the feeling that the experience of a lot of people in mental hospitals would especially qualify them to be a receptive audience for my work." Cohen later commented, according to Simmons, that “I’ve always loved the people the world used to call mad.”

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Incarcerated rapper X-Raided Stabbed by Fellow Inmates Over Refusal to Produce Their Rap CD

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2010 06:25pm | Post a Comment
X-Raided
A group of inmates on the "A" Facility Sensitive Needs yard area at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA  are now facing attempted murder charges after they recently tried to kill imprisoned Sacramento rapper & regular Amoeblog contributor Anerae "X-Raided" Brown (aka CDC # K-17737). According to the prison's recently released incident report, Brown was stabbed and sliced a total of seven times in the prison yard melee that escalated into a riot between a group of black and Mexican inmates. He was attacked near the basketball court on the recreation yard by a group of inmates, identified by R. Rodriguez (Search and Escort Officer #1), as a "known Northern Rider affiliates." Northern Riders are former members of the notorious Northern Mexican prison gang XIV,  who reportedly have been kicked out of the Norte and were removed from the mainline of the general population for their own protection. 

According to the prison's Lt. Lantz, it was determined that Brown, who is fast recovering from the recent stabbing (carried out with a State issued toothbrush that had eight razor blades taped and tied to it) but is in solitary confinement awaiting transfer, was the victim in this case and will not be facing disciplinary action or criminal charges. But what is most bizarre about this incident, according to Brown's attorney, is that his attackers had, "attempted to extort" the longtime incarcerated Sacramento rapper. "They wanted him to produce and release their rap album," he said of two of the accused inmates (identified simply as "inmates R. Werth and Gonzales"), who are each serving life without the possibility of parole. Apparently, when X-Raided, who oversees the running of the Bloc Star Entertainment rap music label from behind bars, refused to have anything to do with their music, the attackers' plans for the prison yard attack, that happened in late March but is only now being reported on, were hatched.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 02:12:10

Posted by Billyjam, February 12, 2010 09:41pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:12:10

Strong Arm Steady
1) Slum Village Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 (Barak Records)

2) Slug & Murs + Aesop Rock FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

3) Strong Arm Steady In Search of Stoney Jackson (Stones Throw)

4) Evil Empire/Drake It's Been A Pleasure (Urbane)

5) Young Lay Black N Dangerous (Atlantic)

That classic newly reissued Slum Village CD, Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 on Barak Records, that has been a popular item at Amoeba San Francisco recently, is similarly doing well at the Berkeley Amoeba Music, where this week it is number one. Other chart entries at the Telegraph Avenue store include the Khaynree-produced 1994 release from Vallejo rapper Young Lay Black N Dangerous (this is the album that includes the killer track "Got 2 Survive" featuring Ray Luv, Mac Mall and 2Pac), the third installment in the FELT series (Slug and Murs, who teamed up with producer Aesop Rock this time out), and the Evil Empire Drake mixtape CD It's Been A Pleasure (with a very impressive guest list that includes Gucci Mane, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne & Young Money, Usher, Young Jeezy, & Rick Ross).

HIP-HOP BEHIND BARS: A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT BY X-RAIDED, PT V

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2009 08:08am | Post a Comment

Today we have the latest in the ongoing series by guest Amoeblog contributor, incarcerated Sacramento hip-hop artist Anerae "X-Raided" Brown. Here, he continues a topic that he began in a previous Amoeblog about the creative process in prison.

In the previously published first part he wrote about the fact that incarcerated individuals sometimes have an advantage when it comes to being creative because they can focus more easily on their art due to lack of distractions. In this second piece on the same topic, he writes about the importance of certain programs for inmates and one in particular that was cut some years back due to the state's budget crisis. As you know, California's budget crisis has only worsened in recent times and those in the prison system, where things are already chronically overcrowded, are feeling the crunch most.



The Creative Process in Prison, Part Two: by Anerae "X-Raided" Brown

art class in prison

Once upon a time, before California's well documented budget crisis, before the California Department of Corrections indisingeniously added "Rehabilitation" to their name, there existed a program titled Arts in Corrections. For this program, so called Free-Staff, often unpaid citizens that volunteered their time and expertise, would come into institutions to teach inmates such skills as how to play musical instruments, how to paint, or draw, or bead, and many other crafts and hobbies that would allow interested inmates to occupy their time in productive ways. And oftentimes Free Staff would learn a thing or two from random exceptionally talented inmates.       

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HIP-HOP BEHIND BARS: A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT BY X-RAIDED, PT IV

Posted by Billyjam, December 7, 2009 09:00am | Post a Comment
Anerae "X-Raided" Brown
Today we have another installment in the ongoing exclusive Amoeblog series Hip-Hop Behind Bars: A First Person Account by X-Raided, in which long-incarcerated Sacramento rap artist and label owner Anerae "X-Raided" Brown writes from behind the bars of Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA  where he is serving a 31 year to life sentence. In this edition, he writes about his two most recent releases, the two volumes in the Unforgiven series, which are available at Amoeba Music.

As outlined in his last Amoeblog entry, X-Raided, who somehow manages to run a record label and release albums from behind prison bars (he's released a dozen projects since his incarceration back in the early nineties), has released three albums just this year, all with Unforgiven in the title. One is entitled Eternally Unforgiven, recorded, he said, "to get my voice back out there" after a gap in releases. Meantime, The Unforgiven 1: In the Beginning is an updated version of the album he released ten years ago via Sacramento's Black Market Records. The new 2009 version, released on the artist's recently formed Bloc Star Entertainment label, features completely different sequencing, added tracks, and remixes. The goal of this release was to bring new fans up to speed and to prepare them for The Unforgiven 2: Assisted Suicide, which, according to X- Raided, "is here to let y'all know I'm back and I'm serious. Anybody think we ain't on fire, listen to the "Mortal Combat" remix and tell me we ain't the best. I put the rhymes on Unforgiven 2 against anything out there." What follows is X-Raided's track by track breakdown of each of these Unforgiven volumes.

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