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Since the late ‘70s, hip hop culture has been an instrument of empowerment for communities without a voice to fully express themselves via the language of art. Grand Opus’ sophomore album “High Power” contains a perfect blend of thought provoking lyricism and hard hitting beats that make hip hop come alive and communicate a powerful message of empowerment and hope to the Black community.
One of the most glorified celebrity couples in hip hop right now represents a symptom of a much larger issue in our community, especially in relation to promiscuity, commitment and self-control. When Cardi B and Offset’s relationship began, it sprouted out of a bed of confusion. Their public engagement was quickly followed with a baby. As fans were anticipating a wedding, the couple surprisingly revealed that they had already been married. The short marriage has been tremulous thus far with infidelity sprinkled throughout. Now the couple are already separated.
It’s all about the ancestors, believe it or not. The invisible realm controls the outer. Those who believe in magic are in touch with reality – a truth, the initiated, those beings open to a creation story they participate in. Life is a collection of unedited stories; the end of a chapter does not mean the end of the book. With that said, the MAAFA Commemoration is upon us once again, celebrating its 23rd anniversary.
Possibly the only thing that could be worse for Oakland than a loss of a third of its Black population in less than 30 years is that so many of its stars develop their chops, their talents and skills in Oakland and then leave and don’t come back or give back! Our community treasure chest would be much richer if our Oakland All Stars came back home! Most of the great talent that Oakland develops leaves to enrich the coffers and treasure chests of other cities and countries.
On the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, Wednesday, April 4, we need to stop and reflect on the many landmark movements which began 50 years ago … like hip-hop. For the Oakland Museum of California to showcase this culture in an exhibit entitled “RESPECT: Hip Hop Style and Wisdom” now through August 2018 is to elevate this conversation and its creators to a level unprecedented.
Slavery ended in the U.S. after the 13th Amendment was ratified on Dec. 6, 1865. However, disabled slaves were kept on plantations because slavery was connected to the ability to work. Jim Downs, among other scholars, wrote an essay entitled, “The Continuation of Slavery: The Experience of Disabled Slaves during Emancipation,” which explains that disabled slaves were seen as non-workers. Because they could not work, they were kept on plantations to be “taking care of.” But in reality, they continued to work for their “masters.”
Underground rappers don’t get recognized like those who are singing hip hop music today. The underground music is usually done by independent artists who may have a separate label and are known mostly in their communities but also tour worldwide to get their name known. This description suits a particular artist who came from Fresno, California. His name was Asiatic, but he changed it to Planet Asia.
Oakland’s own Stanley Petey Cox – aka Mistah FAB (as well as Fabby Davis Jr.) – launched the world premiere of his autobiographical movie in August. Titled “My Ten Thousand Hours,” it is an inspirational and must-see rap-umentary for true fans of hip-hop and the rich O-Town scene. The film covers some of the highs of the rap industry, but it also, and most critically, deals honestly with the low periods and major lessons of his life. Thus far.
“Kicks,” the first feature for East Bay native Justin Tipping, is a throwback to the harsh brutal ‘80s-’90s, when hip hop was painting landscapes along urban highways. It’s post-everything … urban removal complete – crack, pistols and cars about all that’s left for those who remain. Life is moving fast, so fast boys need their kicks to keep up. The story centers on Brandon, a petite youth who wants to buy a pair of Classic Jordans – Esu-Legba colors.
BlockReportRadio.com interviews Oakland's lyrical kingpin Beeda Weeda right after BET picked up his song "Revolution", that is currently the West Coast anthem against police terrorism. We also discuss Beeda's relationship with Too Short and his camp Pushing the Beat, and his upcoming "Revolution" remix that will feature the frontline revolutionary rapper M1, T.D.E.'s Jay Rock, and one of the biggest political voices in rap music today, Killa Mike. Tune in for more at BlockReportRadio.com.
Coco Peila is one of Hip Hop musicians in the new class that is creating the new Bay Area sound. After being affiliated with Sandman of the Oakland-based Attik crew back in the day, Coco Peila is standing on her own two feet and spreading her wings. Her summer and fall is filled with an album, a mixtape, a video and multiple collaborations. Check her out in this exclusive interview.
BlockReportRadio.com interviews Oakland rap king J Stalin about his coming up in Bay Area Hip Hop. We talk about his relationships with people like Shady Nate, pioneers Dj Daryl and Richie Rich, the Mechanix, the Demolition Men, the Delinquents, PTB, Beeda Weeda, and the Jacka. He also talks about what was going on in his life in between his many albums. Check out BlockReportRadio.com for more.
BlockReportRadio interviews the architect, businessman, and legendary MC from Souls of Mischief, Tajai Massey about Hiero Day '16, which will be held on Labor Day in Oakland. He releases the names of the performers for this year. We talk about the passing of Phife Dawg and Prince, his life as an architect, as well as raising a daughter who is an MC headlining at Hiero Day, the Hiero Golden Era shoes and the idea behind it, and much more. Tune into BlockReportRadio.com for more.
On FLEA Days, Tupac Shakur, Baltimore, Kwanzaa, women-comrades and the revolutionary experience of Black August ... Kasim O. Gero is currently housed as an inmate at the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Maryland. The unedited answers to these questions are his added consent to this interview and dissemination of information in alignment with the mission of George Jackson University.
When you talk about grinding and hustling for your dream, Oakland’s DLabrie has rocked mics from New York to Seoul and collaborated with some of the most intellectual rappers of our generation. A few months ago he premiered the “Stay Black and Die” video, which included appearances by rappers M1, Shamako, Mac Mall and Ray Luv, at the Oakland International Film Festival. He is definitely someone who has a lot to say. Check out DLabrie in his own words.
M1 of the revolutionary hip hop empire Dead Prez has done it again with some conscious and political lyrics to feed the soul of the people. “Between Me and the World” is produced by none other than the talented Italian producer Bonnot and is filled with an array of political soul food, which will keep you full from start to finish. M1 begins the album with a fire song titled, “Number One with a Bullet,” featuring Prodigy.
Sia Love’s debut hip hop album, “For the Record,” was released last month. The production on the album goes from ‘80s pop to the ‘90s sound of Hip Hop to the traditional stringed instruments and drums of Africans from Latin America. Her vocals are rhythmic, strong, soothing, confident and filled with wisdom. Check out this flame on the rise in her own words.
Right out of the musical lineage of Parliament Funkadellic, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Dudley Perkins and the Dungeon Family steps Bay Area bred producer Oji and his crew, the Ascension Team. Oji’s music is on some futuristic other level type of space vibe. He is like an Andre 3000, on a production level conjuring sound chemistries not ever heard before in widely known rap music. Check out Oji as he talks about his craft.
Congratulations to Mary and Willie Ratcliff and Muhammad al-Kareem for the People’s Liberation Movement as manifested for 40 years in the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Congratulations to the collective voices which have graced its pages over this history, especially ancestors such as Kevin Weston, and, to JR Valrey, much respect for envisioning such a wonderful tribute program on Feb. 21.
Miguel Gonalez is a Colombian man who teaches youth how to play the traditional African-Indiginous rhythms of our ancestors from all over Africa and the Americas, opening the door for children intellectually trapped in the system’s schools to develop a knowledge of self, with the first steps being through playing the heartbeat, the drums. His organization, New Urban Drum Culture, is unique in its approach in helping to build self-esteem in at-risk inner-city youth.