-- By doubleay
Two LP’s from the deceased Bay Area rap pioneer, Mac Dre, receive vinyl reissues.
A list of famed Bay Area hip-hop acts typically includes artists along the lines of E-40, B-Legit, Too $hort, or MC Hammer. While renowned for the success of their music careers, none of them have inspired and influenced hip-hop in the way Vallejo’s Mac Dre has. Born in 1970, Mac Dre established himself among California rap phenomena like Tupac Shakur, NWA, Warren G, and the aforementioned Bay Area veterans in the early '90s. The unique sound, style, and story-telling heard in his music met with his prison-taught business savvy, led him to conquer the Bay Area rap scene, but it was his unapologetic dedication to remain true to himself that propelled him to establish himself beyond.
Mac Dre - “California Livin’” (1993)
-- By doubleay
Mistah F.A.B. "Ghost Ride It" (2007)
Bay Area folks can check out Oakland rapper Mistah FAB (aka Mistah F.A.B. - the Yellow Bus Ridah) plus a DJ set by Tap.10 of the Honor Roll Crew playing a free show tonight (Thursday July 25th) as part of the MGD Get Fresh Tour at the Great American Music Hall on O'Farrell Street in San Francisco - thanks to the sponsorship of an American beer company who are offering tickets to those to RSVP in advance (I.E. right now) by visiting MGD.com/getfreshtour and logging to Facebook and saying you like their beer. You can tell a lie too about liking the beer or, if by chance you never tasted it, you can at the accompanying open bar with free booze all night at tonight's event. While North Oakland rapper Mistah FAB, who was one of the key players in the Bay Area hyphy movement some years back, may not be near as hot a commodity as he once was back in the mid to late 2000's (many blame the delay in his major label national release to his fall from popularity), he is still a talented artist with a fat back-catalog of songs to draw from such as "Ghost Ride It" above or the Traxamillion produced hit he made with Too $hort "Sideshow" (below) from that same period - at the peak of the short-lived Bay Area hyphy movement. Insiders have also been tipped FAB to make a bit of a comeback with his music being included in the soundtrack to the new movie Fruitvale Station about the killing of Oscar Grant. Doors for tonight's show are 8:30pm but show up early as a line is expected to form before then. The Great American Music Hall is located at 859 O Farrell Street (near Polk) in San Francisco, CA 94109. More club info here. And to ensure admission to tonight's show RSVP here now.
Today marks the anniversary of a sad occasion for Bay Area rap fans. On this date, November 1st, back in 2004, Vallejo rapper Mac Dre was shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri after a car pulled alongside the van he was in and fired several shots, killing the rapper born Andre Hicks on the spot.
Mac Dre had performed at a concert in Kansas City that weekend and was on his way out of town on Highway 71 when the car pulled up alongside the vehicle in which Mac Dre was a passenger and opened fire. The driver of the van crossed over into the southbound lanes of the highway before crashing into a ravine. By the time medical help arrived on the scene Mac Dre was dead from a single bullet wound.
If he were alive today, Mac Dre would be 40 years of age and, no doubt, the traditionally prolific artist would have recorded and released at least a dozen albums and Treal TV DVDs over the last six years. In honor of Mac Dre, below are a few videos by the artist including two from the 1990s, from his pre-Thizz stage and before he spearheaded the Bay Area's hyphy movement. You're missed, Mac Dre.
Mac Dre "California Livin'" (1992)
Mac Dre "Rapper Gone Bad" (1999)
Mac Dre "Thizzle Dance" (2002)
Recently ran into Mista B at Amoeba Music San Francisco (as pictured left) as the famed turntablist and member of SF's 4OneFunk crew (with Teeko, B.Cause, Max Kane) was dropping off copies of his tight new independently released CD SonicSoulSpace.
This latest production by Mista B comes hot on the heels of his collaborative mix CD with fellow 4OneFunk'er B.Cause titled Record Haterz. That ol skool Bay Area rap mix dug deep in the vinyl crates to deliver a flawless mix punctuated by forgotten gems by such bygone Bay rap greats as Totally Insane, 415 (feat. RIchie RIch), and 11/5.
Mista B will be flying out to New York in a couple of weeks to represent the Bay Area in the 2009 DMC US Finals Battle - the legendary DJ battle where skilled turntablists from all over, usually with endless hours upon hours of practice, converge in a heated battle that only last minutes but whose results go down in the history books forever. This will be Mista B's fifth time to enter a DMC battle. "I have mixed feelings upon competing again. Usually, DJs compete just once and [then] they're done. For me, it's not just about the competition but it's about sharing this so called art of turntabilism," he told me. "I feel that DJ battles are one of very few platforms to showcase the art. So with me, I still practice because I like to work on my craft, my skill if you will. Specifically beat juggling for me. I don't do it to be better than the next guy, but to be better than what I was yesterday and to show how graceful sounding this art is" Always pushing himself to improve and to innovate the SF who has been honing his diligently DJ'ng since 1993, told me that. "I took a class in college and a professor came up with the concept, "sound art." That concept stuck with me since so I like to consider what I do "turntable sound art." So now I just look for a medium to showcase the art. So here I am again, competing on a high level versus the country's best DJs, The DMC USA Finals again."
Here above and below are previews from a couple of new DVD documentaries on the topic of Bay Area street culture with an emphasis on rap music (namely hyphy), cars, dance, drugs, fashion etc.. Above is a clip from the forthcoming ILL Trendz production The Un-Told Story which focuses on Oakland, CA and features interviews with the likes of Too $hort, Richie Rich, E40, and Davey D. Meanwhile below is a clip from the new Ghostride The Whip: The Story of the Hyphy Movement which features many of the major playas from the Bay and is directed by DJ Vlad (Bay Area mixtape master who moved to NYC few years ago) and is executive produced by Peter Spirer (Rhyme & Reason, Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel).