Hopie's "Raw Gems" Record Release Party & Concert At 330 Ritch, Sept 15th, To Showcase Talents of This Gifted Bay Area Femcee & Other Bay Area Female Artists

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2011 11:43pm | Post a Comment
Bay Area female emcee Hopie may not yet be a household name but that could all soon change once the hip-hopper's brand new self-released album Raw Gems, which with production by 6Fingers captures the artist at her best and in some excellent company (guest  spots from  MURS, Del the Funky Homosapien, LuckyIAm, Moe Green, Psalm One, Josie Stingray, and Donwill) makes its way out into the hip-hop sphere and hip-hop fans catch up on this San Francisco secret. The new album, which dropped this week, is the third full-length album from the artist who until very recently went by the rap name Hopie Spitshard and who was also known as simply Hopie Spitta. Tomorrow night (Thursday September 15th) the Manila, Philippines born and Daly City, San Francisco raised artist will be throwing a big record release party / hip-hop showcase at 330 Ritch for which she'll be joined by an array of local talents  including DJ Snayk Eyez, La Femme Deadly Venoms, Rocky Rivera, and Hard Candy

A lot of good things, it seems, have happened in this artist's life of late; on both a personal and an artistic level. In her personal life Hopie, who many of her diehard fans feared had dropped out of the hip-hop game for good since they hadn't heard much from her for a few years, had taken a couple years off to focus on law school which she graduated from last year. Since then the tireless woman has kept busy working in the studio on both Dulce Vita, which dropped earlier this year, and on the brand new Raw Gems

Hopie "Space Case (feat. Del)" (2011)

While not on her albums, in concert she frequently collaborates with North Bay battle champ, turntablist extraordinaire DJ Snayk Eyez who had nothing but positive things to say about her. "Her sound is unmatched. While listening to earlier versions her album she asked if I'm able to categorize it, and after thinking about it, I really can't. Her music is in its own category, which is cool because everyone's striving to express their own individuality, and she's definitely on that path," said Snayk Eyez. "Her foundation is hip-hop but [at] the same time, she brings together all sorts of elements that inspire her as an artist, whether it be certain samples and styles, or even a featured artist that she grew up listening to, like Del or MURS," continued her on stage turntablist collaborator who joined her onstage at Peoples Park (behind Amoeba Berkeley) at the start of the summer for this year's Hip Hop In The Park festival. He'll be with her at tomorrow's show too, and two weekends ago joined her at the Fader Fest at Mezzanine in SF when she both performed and MC'ed the historic hip-hop DJ event that reunited the Invisibl Skratch Piklz after a decade.

For the ever humble femcee hosting the Fader Fest was the dream of a lifetime. "Life keeps presenting me with these amazing opportunities," she told the Amoeblog earlier this week, describing the Fader Fest as, "Outerplanetary. I am a heavy hip-hop head, and if this was ten years ago, I would have been in the audience, backpack and all. [So] to have hosted it was a huge honor." In keeping with the Fader Fest's turntablist theme Hopie displays a refreshing respect for the skratch DJ as artist. In addition to regular collaborator Snayk Eyez joining her at this week's record release party also on the bill (which she handpicked) is the superskilled female turntable orchestrators La Femme Deadly Venoms comprised of  Deeandroid & Celskiii along with DJ Lady Fingaz and KatOIO - the female turntablist quartet that placed 2nd in last year's USA DMC battle. "I respect all elements. As a teenager I tried everything before settling in rap. So I have immense respect for DJs," said Hopie. "Now compound that with the fact that I am Filipina from San Francisco / Daly City and [that] one of the most influential DJ crews of all time were some nondescript Filipino kids from SF and Daly City, and you have yourself a true fan!"

Raw Gems, which is the artist's third album, nicely showcases Hopie's lyrical range which is perfectly complimented by her numerous guests. I asked her how she managed to enlist such an impressive guest list on her indie album? "I’m a hip hop head and I sought to do an album with a collection of artists I’d want to hear on a mix CD. Surprisingly, it wasn’t difficult to get these artists, and I want to say that it’s because they are all indie underground hip hop artists, and I feel like we like to support one another. The community I’ve felt in hip-hop is incredible. I still can’t believe some of these iconic artists really fuck with me the way they do, but I like to think it’s because they see that what I want to do is genuine, that I’m a fan and I want to continue this legacy for an artform that mesmerized me as a teenager," she said of such collaborative talents as Psalm One ("her tone is so confident and nonchalant"). And as for some of the other female hip-hop artists she admires? "The one who changed my whole shit was Lauryn Hill. I miss hearing Missy Elliot; I lust for a new Missy album with Missy production and the whole nine. I like Nicki Minaj. I like hearing her voice after hearing a bunch of burly-voiced men. All the women on the line up for my release party are amazing, as well."

Unlike so many contemporary hip-hop acts - especially female artists - Hopie is in complete control of every aspect of her career. Hence for her record release party she personally chose each participant with a distinct focus on female talent. "They are all women," said Hopie of the 330 Ritch's lineup. "We’ve smoked blunts together, met each others’ families, sat in studios together and rocked shows together." For her set, with the backing of the lone male onstage Snayk Eyez, Hopie will showcase music from the new album plus some tracks off her previous two releases. Likely she will perform the new album tracks "Like Love" and "Knock." Of the track that features MURS she recalled, "I heard the beat to Knock online, actually. It was a beat 6Fingers, who I spend so much studio time with, uploaded on his site, but never showed me personally. I guess he didn’t think it would be something I wanted. I called him and basically snatched it up. I wrote "Knock" that day, and MURS sent me his verse a little later. I love that joint!"

Hopie "Like Love" (2011)

For the new album Hopie has videos for "Like Love" (a song she describes as "a love story....something I have to challenge myself a little more to do than with other songs because I’m not an emotional person") and "Space Case" which features Del the Funky Homosapien. I asked her if she enjoys making videos as much as making music? "I’m pretty hands-on with everything I do, even videos since I feel like they are a logical extension of the song and should be an accurate portrayal of who I am as an artist," she said, adding that, in reference to the "Space Case" shoot, that, "I sat in with the director, David Dutton, several times too before David created a monstrosity of a treatment. I also had numerous meetings with my style team, Step HEAVVY, for costume design. Videos are a lot of work, but I love doing them. I think they are another creative itch I have to scratch every so often. Not as often as music, but I think comparing the two are apples and oranges. I really look at my videos like another creative project aside from music."

Before letting Hopie go I asked her, in looking ahead, what she would like to achieve from her hip-hop career? "I want to be able to look back and say I really did it. That I made my own brand of hip-hop and pushed that shit the same way I felt that my favorite groups created their own sound and people really believed that that shit was the truth," she replied, continuing, "I rocked a Hiero hoodie and opened my third-eye. I skipped lunch for a week and bought $80 headphones just to hear the bass on Dead PrezLets Get Free. I lived that shit because they went all in. I love that!" Hopie Spitta's new album Raw Gems is available at Amoeba Music. She will celebrate its release with a concert at 330 Ritch tomorrow night (Sept 15th). "I want to thank everyone for their support. It really means a lot to me to be able to share these projects with people. I want to see everyone at my release party and slap their hand," concluded Hopie, adding, "Shout out to 6Fingers!"

Hopie's Raw Gems record release party/concert at 330 RItch is a 9pm show. 21+ $5.
More event info  More club info. More artist info.

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Del The Funky Homosapien (13), Snayk Eyez (5), Murs (29), Hopie Spitshard (2), Deeandroid & Celskiii (1), Hopie (2), Hopie Spitta (1), Hopie Spitshard (2), Raw Gems (1)