Amoeblog

Oakland Rapper Kamaiyah Fully Reppin' The Town in Video for "Build You Up" off Her Forthcoming Major Label Debut

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2017 02:21pm | Post a Comment


Hardworking and hella talented Oakland rapper Kamaiyah, now signed to Interscope Records with her major label debut slated for later this year, demonstrated her unwavering love for "The Town" (Oakland) with the unveiling yesterday of the 100% Oakland-proud music video for "Build You Up" (see below). The positive-message lyrically laden, uptempo, throwback, early nineties sounding song (complete with that era's raggamuffin rap breakdown and video with her + dancers donning 90's styled T-shirt logos) is a teaser of the born-in-the-nineties rapper's forthcoming Interscope full-length Don’t Ever Get It Twisted. That anticipated late 2017 release follows her acclaimed 2016 indie release, the impressive mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto.

For the new Damien Sandoval directed, Interscope Records produced music video the dedicated Oakland artist insisted on keeping it local and in The Town with location shoots including MacArthur BART platform (pic above) as well as on the BART train, outside the Fox Theater in the Uptown district of Oakland, and by the Grand Lake Theatre over by Lake Merritt. On previous, pre-major label music videos by the artist, such as the Oakland shot "Fuck It Up (feat. YG)" and "I'm On" (featuring such Oakland locations as Uptown's The New Parish and East O's 99th Ave & MacArthur),  Kamaiyah's made a point of consistently and proudly featuring locations in her East Bay city. So major props to her for continuing this practice on her latest music video.

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Remembering Oakland Rapper Seagram, Exactly 18 Years After His Unsolved Murder (Includes Rare 1991 Interview Excerpt)

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2014 07:07pm | Post a Comment

Seagram "The Ville" (from The Dark Roads)

Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the death of talented Oakland rapper Seagram who on July 31st, 1996 was shot and killed on the streets of East Oakland. Seagram Miller was only 26 years old with two albums to his name (his third would be released posthumously) and had not yet reached his artistic potential nor had he gotten the full level of appreciation that he deserved. A smart, intelligent, articulate wordsmith whose way ahead of its time debut album (The Dark Roads on Rap-A-Lot) addressed the realities and consequences of the gangsta life that he was unapologetically a part of right up to his tragic death - a violent shooting murder that was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle at that time as such: "Oakland police Sgt. Gordon Melera said the two men had just exited a van in the 1900 block of 24th Avenue, an area in East Oakland known for violence and drug trafficking, when they were fired upon Wednesday night." That same article also noted how three years previously Seagram had escaped an assassin's bullet writing that, "Police said Miller's song about a rival gang in 1993 angered an Oakland drug kingpin, which led to an attempt on Miller's life. Miller escaped injury in that shooting, but a San Leandro police officer was wounded" but that OPD would not speculate whether his fatal shooting, in which Seagram's rap associate Gangsta P was seriously shot but not killed, was related to the earlier 1993 attack. Even 18 years after that fatal night in East Oakland the murder is still unsolved. Also of note from a Bay Area hip-hop historical perspective is that in that same year of 1996 two other Bay rap greats were also shot and killed: Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas two months later, and Mr Cee of R.B.L. Posse who was killed in San Francisco on New Year's Day of that year.

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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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THE HIGH DECIBELS' NEW HIGH PROFILE C/O SUPER BOWL AD

Posted by Billyjam, February 3, 2009 12:39pm | Post a Comment

Pop quiz: what Oakland rap act was featured prominently in a television commercial spot during Sunday's big Super Bowl event? If you answered MC Hammer, you would be partially correct, as indeed the long fallen-from-grace (and riches) bygone Oakland pop-rap star was featured along with another former big baller, Ed McMahon, in the funny (but in a sad/tragic way) Cash4Gold commercial in which Hammer and high decibalsMcMahon are seen selling off their worldly possessions to get some needed cash.

But also on Sunday there was another Oakland rap act featured, or rather their music was featured, in the new series of always anticipated Super Bowl commercials.

New up-and-coming Oakland hip-hop group The High Decibels' song "That Dude" was prominently featured in the "Sphere of Summer" Super Bowl Commercial spot for Budweiser's new Bud Light Lime line of beer. The commercial, which aired in the game's exciting final quarter, was one of many anticipated new TV commercials unveiled during Super Bowl and which famously cost advertisers $3 million per 30 second spot to run on NBC but are viewed by tens of millions of potential customers.

Considering that the High Decibels are a relatively little-known group with only one album out on a small indie local label, I was curious as to how they landed their music on such a major TV spot. So yesterday I caught up in person with the group's mainman/guitarist KC, who I hadn't seen since I did an Amoeblog profile on the High Decibels back in October when they had just put out their debut album HD on Rolling Jack Records and were doing a record release party in SF. In addition to putting together the hip-hop band, whose two emcees are Duke and Chief, KC also oversees the management and business of the group. high decibels

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