June 29, 2011
A number of trees have fallen in the forest this past month and we want to acknowledge the huge spaces their absence brings: Geronimo ji jaga Pratt, Black Panther, decorated veteran of multiple wars …
June 16, 2011
I have been rocking wit’ Ms. Be and her Gemstone camp for a couple of years, and I always told them, Ms. Balance from the group Nutritious needs to put out a solo album. She could rap, she’s pretty and she has an elegant, undoubtedly East Oakland swag about herself.
June 13, 2011
The Poor Righteous Teachers appealed to young people trying to find themselves and their Blackness, like me. It was an honor for me to interview Wise Intelligent because of how much I gained from his conscious lyrics.
May 18, 2011
Jasiri X is one of the most famous up and coming conscious artists in the nation who has been making positive noise with his music. Straight out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jasiri X has been working with Paradise of the legendary rap group XClan in a community coalition called One Hood.
May 12, 2011
“It benefits the system to have a sick, weak and high mass population of apathy to govern over” says Stic.man, of the revolutionary rap group dead prez, speaking about his latest solo album, “The Workout,” and how health and fitness is related to the political world we live in.
March 29, 2011
I have known the talented emcee Hasan Salaam for about half a decade, and I have always admired his style on the mic, his insightful lyrics and his deep recognizable vocal tone. He is one of the more humble rappers on the East Coast scene as well as one of the dopest.
March 26, 2011
The Welfare Poets have shared a stage with Dead Prez, Immortal Technique and the revolutionary Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Minister of Information JR Valrey speaks with founding member Rayzer about what has kept them going strong for 20 years.
March 13, 2011
Bay Area journalist JR Valrey, the voice behind Block Report Radio on KPFA and associate editor of SF Bay View, known as the Minister of Information, reports vital news about the struggle against oppression. In the 31 interviews in his new book, “Block Reportin’,” he shows what he calls the “big gap between what is going on in the world and what is being reported. I want to inspire people to become their own media and to truly speak on behalf of the people.” Meet JR at his first book signing Saturday, March 19, 6:30 p.m., at Marcus Books, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland.
February 19, 2011
Revolutionary gangsta rap artist Aisha Sekhmet is bold, passionate and intelligent. Check out this fiery much needed newcomer to the rap world in her own words.
December 14, 2010
Accused of copyright violations, the popular Hip Hop websites RapGodfathers.com, dajaz1.com and Onsmash.com have been seized by the government. This wasn’t a shutdown of a website. It was the shutdown of a community. And no matter how one feels about copyright law and how vigorously it should be enforced, shutdowns without due process should be disturbing to every last one of us.
November 26, 2010
Ted Pontiflet is an Oakland icon. He is East Coast swing meets West Coast bop. Classy. The man is too smooth to be close to 80. Ted is around until Dec. 1 and then away he goes.
November 13, 2010
The Frisco native and conscious rapper Sellassie has to be one of the hardest working men in independent Bay Area rap music. He has been a big promoter of unifying the Bay Area’s rappers and he has started a campaign against “house nigga” rap. He also hosts a regional up and coming artists’ showcase called “We All We Got.”
August 10, 2010
Two things we know for sure: Hollywood and hip hop get media attention. And for Haiti, that translates into big media hype for actor Sean Penn and rapper-turned-presidential candidate, Wyclef Jean. How may we use this media glare to help the 2 million Haitians made homeless by the earthquake?
January 31, 2010
Souls of Mischief has been one of the major architects of the Bay Area sound in rap music since the early ‘90s. “93 til Infinity” off of their debut album shot the group to meteoric success on the national radio charts and got them booked all over the world for concerts. Let’s hear what Tajai has to say about their newest release, “Montezuma’s Revenge,” and Hiero business in general.
December 30, 2009
I have been a fan of my homeboy Deuce Eclipse’s music for years. Now Deuce is involved with a new hip hop rock group called Bang Data. Here’s the newest info on them and their new record. “The name Bang Data means to bang out information. Music is information and we want to put it out,” says Deuce Eclipse.
December 30, 2009
I learned about the Los Angeles based singer Dasha Chadwick from Facebook. The first time I heard her music was a few months ago, after I looked her singing up on YouTube. Before she was Dasha, the woman, I knew her when she was in the first grade when I used to walk her to school.
October 13, 2009
I had to publish more of this interview with the legendary Gil Scott Heron because a whole lot of readers personally got at me and told me that it was too short. They told me that they wanted to hear more of what he had to say. If y’all want to read interview installments 3 and 4, y’all are goin’ to have to vote and put your bid in, because I literally had to transcribe this interview that was done for radio by hand. Otherwise you can wait until the Oct. 19, when it will premiere on Greg Bridges’ show, Transitions on Traditions, which airs on 94.1FM in Northern Cali (kpfa.org) at 9 p.m. Enough on that.
July 19, 2009
By far one of the most revolutionary cultural groups to put words to music in the United States is the Last Poets. Many, including myself, trace the roots of rap music to the spoken word, lyrics and speeches of the Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron and the current political prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin, otherwise known as H. Rap Brown.
June 16, 2009
The Maqusi Towers in Gaza City look a bit like U.S. housing projects. The neighborhood consists of several tall apartment buildings grouped together in the northern part of town. It is also ground zero for Gaza’s growing hip-hop community. On a recent evening in one small but well-decorated apartment, a dozen rappers and their friends and families relaxed, danced, smoked flavored tobacco and rapped the lyrics to some of their songs.
June 8, 2009
Damon Jamal is a pioneering force in the Bay Area’s media and hip hop markets that has been producing projects that 15 years ago would have only been conceivable with a budget from MTV or VH1. Now he is a very sought after videographer and filmmaker who makes the magic happen on an independent level right from his Mac laptop’s Final Cut program, which is sitting on his desk in his downtown Oakland office which he shares with Kaz Kyzah’s Mogul Media.