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Amoeba Music Berkeley Among Premier Bay Area Destinations For New Golden State Warriors Star Kevin Durant

Posted by Billyjam, October 24, 2016 03:30pm | Post a Comment
New Bay Area resident and recently signed Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant spent the weekend exploring (and seemingly loving) the Bay with premier destinations including a visit to Amoeba Music in Berkeley. See pictures from KD's adventures around the Bay.

Online posts to Reddit and Twitter last week asking for tips on what to do in his newly adapted Bay Area home, including suggestions on "dope record stores," resulted in the NBA star doing some crate digging at the East Bay Amoeba store on Telegraph Ave. where he was joined by popular Bay Area hip-hop artist Sage The Gemini. Both are pictured in a photo Durant posted to his Twitter account over the weekend. And last night the music loving/BART-riding basketball star, who is on the cover of the new (Nov. 3) issue of Rolling Stone, was up front in the mosh pit at the Kanye West concert in Oakland where he got mobbed by fans and shouted-out by Yeezy from onstage.

In July the 28-year old MVP award winner made headlines when he announced he would leave Oklahoma City Thunder to sign a lucrative $54.3 million 2 year contract with the Warriors, with a player option after the first year. His signing to join the Oakland based team with fellow NBA superstar Steph Curry gave the Golden State Warriors one of the greatest starting lineups in NBA history. With the new 2016-17 NBA season kicking off this week, KD has finally fully relocated to the Bay Area and begun to familiarize himself with the area, with a little help from his fans.  On Thursday he went on Reddit posting,  "Its KD. New to the area, still tryin' to get my feet wet and want to know what places in The Bay to check out...." In a separate post he noted how he's into music shopping, asking about,  "Any dope record stores … you would suggest?" A few days earlier he had sent out a similar request via his Twitter account when he Tweeted, "Getting familiar with my new city. Tell me what I’m going to love most about The Bay." Both requests resulted in him being inundated with suggestions, many of them mentioning Amoeba Music in San Francisco and Berkeley. "If you haven't been to Amoeba Music it's a great spot for diggin' vinyl of all genres," suggested one fan while another suggested SFMOMA, the Museum of African Diaspora, and checking out visiting Chicago artist Chance The Rapper's Bay Area appearances over the weekend.
 

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Historic Event For A City That Once Banned Rap, Oakland's Hiero Day 2016 Elevated It To Best Damn Hip-Hop Festival Ever

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2016 07:07am | Post a Comment

Oakland's annual all day hip-hop festival, Hiero Day 2016 that took place two days ago, was both amazing and historic. Only in its fifth year, the Hieroglyphics collective curated event has not only already established itself as the best annual music and cultural festival in The Town (Oakland). But this annual Labor Day's sold-out, talent-packed, festival comprised of three different concert stages, each offering top notch and totally diverse hip-hop acts, elevated Hiero Day into the best damn hip-hop festival anywhere! Attended by respectful hip-hop fans of all generations and races, but each sharing an appreciation for all styles of hip-hop, Hiero Day 2016 exuded the most positive, peaceful, uplifting vibe of any hip-hop event of its scale that I have ever witnessed anywhere. And that prevailing positive vibe that permeated the air on Monday all seemed to fuel  the energy of the acts on stage and their tight sets. Monday's diverse list of over 50 performers included Too $hort, Paris, the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Dilated Peoples, Murs, Mr. Lif, Just Blaze, Young L, and the Hieros themselves.. 

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Mistah F.A.B. Salutes Mac Dre In Music Video Homage To Slain Bay Area Rap Icon: "Still Feelin' It"

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2016 11:45am | Post a Comment

Mistah F.A.B. has just published his new music video homage to Mac Dre, "Still Feelin' It" featured on the Oakland rap star's latest album Son of a Pimp 2 that arrived in Amoeba back in late May.  For the production of the heartfelt video homage to the iconic Vallejo rapper, who was killed in Kansas in 2004, his production crew set up cameras both by the big Mac Dre mural at Foothill near High St. in Oakland (one of several in the Bay), as well as during the June 11th Mac Dre Art Show in Oakland produced by local artist Street Bleach. Meanwhile much of the rest of the partly crowd-sourced music video  features an entertaining series of brief home-video clips of diehard Mac Dre fans enthusiastically dancing Thizz style and throwing up the trademark T sign in tribute to the so-called Thizzard of Oz.. "I made a PSA and asked for small clips of Mac Dre fans dancing to the song, and the response was overwhelming," explained Mistah F.A.B. of how these fan parts of the video production evolved. That overwhelming response confirmed what F.A.B. already knew about the love that Mac Dre continues to command with rap fans everywhere.

"[It's] a real testament to his lasting legacy and the love people still have for him. Everyone surrounding him could relate to him. He was a voice of the underworld, but also incredibly charismatic and an energy of fun," said Mistah F.A.B. whose rise to fame during the Bay Area's bygone Hyphy Movement can be attributed in great part to Mac Dre who spearheaded the regional rap musical movement.  The 2016 Mistah F.A.B. song "Still Feelin' It" (video below) is a play on the 2004 Mac Dre hit single "Feelin' Myself" (found on the album Ronald Dregan For President 2004: Dreganomics). The Mistah F.A.B. track is brimming with Mac Dre cross references such as "I'm still tryin' to find out, who's Nancy Von Chillinwich?!" "Still Feelin' It" is just one of 21 tracks on the latest, long overdue Mistah F.A.B. star-studded, album Son of a Pimp 2 whose long list of impressive collaborators (local and national) includes Kendrick Lamar, E-40, G-Eazy, Too $hort, ScHoolboy Q, and Bun B.

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New Hip-Hop Vinyl, Shows, Top 5 Music Videos: Aesop Rock, Blu & Nottz, Damu, Yoni & Geti, Zion I, Mistah F.A.B., Mister Freedom

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2016 08:03pm | Post a Comment
Top 5 Hip-Hop Records 07:18:16

1: Blu & Nottz Titans In The Flesh  12" with ten tracks (Coalmine)
 
2: A$AP Ferg Always Strive & Prosper LP (RCA)
 
3: Analog Brothers Pimp To Eat LP reissue (Mello Music Group)

4: Bahamadia Kollage LP (Capitol)

5: Damu The Fudgemonk Untitled V1   7" (Redefinition/Fat Beats)

Future Pick: Atmosphere Fishing Blues LP (Rhymesayers Ent.)  release date 8/12/16 but pre-order now

 
It's mid-summer 2016 and hip-hop is in full on creative mode with a slew of new releases including the top five vinyl releases (LP, 12" and 7") above that include such new releases as Blu & Nottz and reissues such as the 1996 Bahamadia repress of Kollage, and the Analog Brothers (feat. alter egos of Kool Keith and Ice-T). There are also some incredibly innovative new hip-hop music videos out there these days such as the top five that follow below. And right now all over the US there's a rich variety of hip-hop shows and tours to choose from. For example in the Bay Area in the week ahead coming through town will be EPMD at Public Works on Thursday as part of their Strictly Business 30 Year Anniversary Tour in which they'll perform that 1988 album (28 year anniversary?) in full as well as dipping into their treasure trove of golden era hits from other albums including Unfinished Business. Associated with the latter part of that same throwback era, and on that same night but across the Bridge over in Oakland will be The Artifacts and Ed O.G. Unlike EPMD however they'll be playing newer as well as older material. With San Francisco emcee supertalent Z-Man as well as Karen Less, Mike Fish & The Monolyth, Unlearn The World, and Bottled Water also on the bill, the show takes place at Shadow Ultra Lounge/Level 13 located at 341 13th street Oakland, CA. 9pm 21+ $12 at door.  Meanwhile for a taste of some of hip-hop's modern progressive sounds that, at times embrace alt rock, I recommend the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Saturday (July 23) with  Yoni & GetiYoni & Geti is the duo comprised of brilliant Chicago emcee Serengeti and WHY? frontman Yoni Wolf who he's been down with a good few years. Wolf co-produced Serengeti's  Family & Friends album for Anticon in 2011. In May of this year the two released their collaborative album Testarossa on Joyful Noise (also avail on vinyl). This current US tour, which will end a week later (July 30th) in Denver, CO at the Larimer Lounge, is in support of that new album.

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Oakland's Mistah F.A.B. & Houston's Slim Thug Unleash Tracks Addressing Police MIsconduct

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2016 11:50pm | Post a Comment

Unveiled over the past 24 hours and within a couple of days of the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police and of Philando Castile by Minnesota police, both Oakland's Mistah F.A.B. and Houston's Slim Thug have each unleashed new songs with biting criticism of the rampant police brutality against African American men in their immediate communities as well as nationally. The brand new anti police misconduct track by Mistah F.A.B., who recently released, 21 track, guest-heavy latest album Son of A Pimp 2, is The Mekanix produced "6 Shots" that he posted online earlier today. Hear the new song below along with the new Slim Thug track. That Slim Thug song on the topic of police misconduct is "IDKY (feat. X.O.)" and is culled from the Texas rapper's forthcoming album Hogg Life Vol. 4: American King. That upcoming release, the final in the 4 part CD/DVD series that began in February 2015 with Hogg Life: The Beginning - Part 1 of 4,  is scheduled to arrive via the EMPIRE label into Amoeba on August 4th.

"This shit happens in the ghetto cos we're poor",  raps Mistah F.A.B. on his new protest song that includes other lyrics like “Same situation, black victim, white cop / same scenario; 6 months later, case dropped” and "shot Oscar [Grant] in the back with his hands up" with the haunting refrain "Mr. Officer, Mr. Officer. Death and jail the only thing they offer us."  And as Ice Cube had done 28 years earlier in N.W.A's landmark protest rap song "Fuck The Police" ("Black police showing out for the white cop"), F.A.B. also calls out black police officers. "What got me hot is there ain't no black cops speakin' out/coulda been your son, coulda been your daughter out there bleedin' out/tell me what good is having arms if you ain't reachin' out/tell me what good is having a tongue if you ain't speakin' out," raps Mistah F.A.B. on the track that, note, ends with a clip from a speech by African-American police officer Nakia Jones who did speak out against fellow officers.  As for a solution Mistah F.A.B: offered that, "Police forces need to invest more in prevention. And they need to be held accountable for their actions as well. We have to stop the 'bro-code' of police and courts standing in so
lidarity with each other just because they wear the same badge." He advises civilians to be fully aware of their rights and "how to react in escalating situations with the police."

"I was born and raised in the USA / Where we see cops killing blacks on the news every day / And they do it like it’s okay, like they know they gon' get away / To stop myself from thinking reckless I just ignore it and pray," raps  Slim Thug on the "IDKY" which he was going to wait until his new album dropped in four weeks before unveiling. But in light of the fatal shootings by police earlier this week the artist rushed released the album track as a preview single. "I remember thinking in the last few weeks this song might be too late cause it's been a minute since the last one and look here we go again twice in less than 24hrs," said Slim Thug in reference to the fatal shootings this week of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling who were the 558th and 560th people respectively killed by the police in the US in 2016.

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