Bay Area Hip-Hop TV Show "Distortion 2 Static" Calls It Quits After Ten Years

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2011 08:08am | Post a Comment

For the past decade the Bay Area half-hour, hip-hop TV show Distortion 2 Static (D2S) has been diligently covering the wide world of hip-hop with an emphasis on both homegrown and national hip-hop, from each element of the genre and providing viewers with a steady stream of talent. Additionally, as its website states, it "offers an intimate perspective into a progressive Hip Hop culture by highlighting the current events within the community and profiling those who are committed to advancing its art forms. The D2S brand also extends itself into fashion, music, and nightlife entertainment." But this week, after one long decade, D2S will call it quits (ten years is "the perfect time to move on" they say) and rather than mourn will celebrate the departure of the show that began in 2001 with a big party on Friday night (Black Friday 11/25) at club Mighty, 199 Utah Street in San Francisco in a farewell party that they are dubbing All Black Everything: Celebrating 10 Years of D2S. that will include sets by DJ Neil Armstrong.

What I personally liked about D2S, which aired on the WB channel in SF, whenever I caught it, (and I watched it mainly in the first half of its decade run on TV and online in clips for the second half of its run) was its genuine love of hip-hop culture in all its elements from graffiti to b-boying and DJing and rapping: and how it lovingly covered so many areas from classic underground 1990's hip-hop videos to (then) new hyphy artists - and amazingly managed to squeeze it all into a half hour show with commercial breaks. The impressive list of artists who appeared on the show is so long that it might be easier to list those who did not grace the screen of D2S. Even more impressive to me was how, despite its budget restrictions, the hard working folks behind D2S did a super slick job on editing and graphics etc. etc.  I have talked to many other fans of the show over the years who similarly thought highly of its commitment to hip-hop's legacy with many comparing it to Yo! MTV Raps back in its early days. Clearly the show was a labor of love with its makers going out of their way to make a quality show for little or no profit.

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REL Song/Video "Public Transit" Addresses Violence & Abuse of Power By Police

Posted by Billyjam, August 3, 2011 12:12pm | Post a Comment

REL "Public Transit" (2011)

The brand new video for "Public Transit" by Bay Area producer REL (of the Drums & Ammo collective) revisits the still touchy topic among Bay Area residents of the fatal Oscar Grant shooting by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on the Fruitvale BART platform in the early hours of New Year's Day, 2009. The instrumental (and sample based) track also addresses other Bay Area & Northern California incidents of fatal attacks on unarmed citizens on public transit by police. These include Ernesto Duenez, Jr. and, according to producer REL, "Charles Hill and Kenneth Harding, [who] have suffered a similar fate at the hands - and weapons - of Bay Police while utilizing the city's public transportation."

"The song and video were made to express the feelings of confusion, hurt, and anger in our community as a result of three police officer-involved shootings that have taken place on Bay Area public transit lines," shared REL who shot and directed the above video himself using just his iPhone while riding the BART; later editing in excerpts of YouTube clips of these recent police attacks. "The hardest part was being able to get across all of these emotions without any words at all," said REL of of the track that will appear on his forthcoming experimental instrumental album On My Way.