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Our support of X-Raided shows support for the power of redemption in validating his decision to convey a meaningful message over those catchy repetitive rhymes that promote death and idiotic behavior. Today many artists aren’t communicating ideas purposefully. The ideas that they’re spreading, some not even written by themselves, aren’t intentional and have no goal beyond the beats and rhymes. X-Raided’s first concert, The Execution of X-Raided, will be Jan. 18, 2019, at the Fillmore Heritage Center.
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.
With the passing of the irreplaceable guitar gripping musician, singer and songwriter Prince, it is like a giant redwood tree falling in the forest. The vacuum that it creates makes people a little more thirsty for the next generation of artists making timeless music. Martin Luther McCoy, the San Francisco native, is definitely in the running. Catch him performing in Oakland on Thursday, June 9, 8 p.m., at the New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave.
Twenty-one years after Ben Caldwell opened the doors of the Kaos Network for the community Hip Hop workshop, Project Blowed, we are celebrating the birth of one of L.A.’s biggest Hip Hop institutions. The 21st anniversary will be celebrated Sunday, Dec. 27, outside in Leimert Park, in the “La.” Check out Dara Caldwell, the daughter of Ben Caldwell, as she tells us about a golden era in Southern Cali Hip Hop.
In November of 2004, Oakland-born and Vallejo-raised Hip Hop legend, Mac Dre, was shot and killed in the streets of Kansas City. “Legend of the Bay” is a must see documentary on the life of Mac Dre and the local independent rap industry that he helped to create. “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay” will be screened for free to close out the San Francisco Black Film Festival: Sunday, June 14, 6 p.m., at the Boom Boom Room, 1601 Fillmore St., San Francisco.
T-Rydah, one third of the Black Panther Fugitives rap group, is gearing up to release a solo album, produced solely by Jamil, another member of the group, this spring called “Hard Times/Good Times.” Today you can find T-Rydah, Jamil and their Red Camera shooting videos, recording vocals or listening to some of Jamil’s beats. Check out T-Rydah speaking for himself.
It has been a few months since my release from 20 years of solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison (SHU) to Step 5 of the Step Down Program (SDP). I thought I should pen this communique with an update on my travels from one place to another – the new location, experience, encounters and situations – as everything has unfolded.
Phesto Dee, a quarter of the membership of Souls of Mischief, is arguably the most vicious and complex lyricist in the whole Hiero camp. Phesto’s respect in the game has recently been documented and highlighted on the new documentary, “’Til Infinity,” which is set to premiere on April 6 at 9 p.m. at the Black Repertory Theatre, as a part of the Oakland International Film Fest.
The story of Souls of Mischief and their crew Hieroglyphics is the story of how Oakland became respected for its lyricism in a genre that was dominated by East Coast wordsmiths. It is a story told by Shomari Smith in his new documentary, “’Til Infinity,” which is about the 20th anniversary of the Souls of Mischief classic album. “’Til Infinity” will be premiering at the Oakland International Film Fest on April 6 at 9 p.m. at the Black Rep Theatre.
The founder of Jawaiian Reggae and Urban Reggae, Rankin Scroo, is one of the elders of the Bay’s current Reggae scene. He has been around for decades and worked with artists as diverse as Black Uhuru and Keak Da Sneak. He has a new album that has been driving people at KPFA radio station crazy called “Love Zone” where he continues to feature a lot of musical talent besides his own.
Since we last caught up with Kev Choice, he has been in the lab creating the soundscape for the new Jennifer Johns’ “Chronicles of the Aquarian Mind” album, which will see the light of day in mid-October. This is a very unique match of Oakland talent, be it that she is a strong vocalist and at times rapper and Kev is definitely production savvy. Check out Kev Choice in his own words ...
When you talk about Oakland’s homegrown musical talent, you have to talk about people like the Tonies, Ledisi, Sheila E, the Escovedos, Silk E, the Coup and many more. Kev Choice is a chip off of that old block. He is a multi-instrumentalist as well as an MC. Kev Choice will be performing at Oakland Yoshi’s on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. Check out Kev Choice in his own words.
Anita Woodley is one of the hidden treasures of Oakland’s drama community. Though she no longer lives in Oakland, Oakland very much lives in her. She has recently jumped onto the international scene with her two popular one woman plays, “Mama Juggs” and “The Men in Me.”
Karryl Smith (Special One) and Carla Green (CMG), better known as The Conscious Daughters (TCD), exploded nationally on the hip-hop scene when their first single, “Funky Expedition,” from the debut album “Ear to the Street” dominated video stations like MTV, BET and The Box in the early 1990s.
I came into contact with Madam T’s music first through Facebook, although we both live in Oakland. I was impressed with her business sense off of the mic: sound, production, lyricism, marketing and her street hardened demeanor in her music. I brought her on the Block Report Music Show – every Friday midnight-2 a.m. on KPFA 94.1FM in Northern Cali – and the callers loved her.
Oakland has been always full of talent. If you didn’t know, it was the home of the Black Panther Party, Andre Ward, Too Short, Bill Russell, Huey P. Newton, Toni Tony Tone, 2Pac, Ricky Henderson, Bruce Lee, Leonard Peltier and more. Now a new, up and coming duo known as the Newlyweds, are ready to show the world what they have to offer.
Lil’ D aka Darryl Reed is one of the biggest hustlers ever born on the streets of Oakland. In Oakland, his name is right up there with other local legends like Ricky Henderson, Huey P. Newton, Felix Mitchell, Micky Moe, Mark Curry, Gary Payton, Hook Mitchell, Reggie Jackson, Tony Toni Tone, Too Short, Askari X and the likes.
Scorpio Blues will be performing at Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West in Oakland, on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The woman who goes by the name of Scorpio Blues and I have known each other for over half our lives, and throughout that time, she has always been very intelligent, driven and never one to hold her tongue. Her artistry is definitely an extension of her persona.