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Mac Mall’s 2015 musical contribution “Legal Business,” playing off of the name of his 1993 debut record “Illegal Business,” was one of the best sounding and most under-appreciated works of the year. It definitely was my favorite album. The Bay had its own lyrical chef in the kitchen, and what Mac Mall cooked up was legendary. Mac Mall is, undoubtedly, one of the architects of Vallejo Hip Hop, right alongside Mac Dre, E40, Khayree, for those that didn’t know.
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.
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.
Damon Jamal is one of the household names in the Bay when it comes to creating music videos. Recently he has been stepping his game up by moving his base of operations to Los Angeles and trying his hand at full length feature filmmaking. His new film, “Rolling,” will premiere at the Oakland International Film Festival on Saturday, April 6, 9 p.m., at the San Leandro Performing Arts Center.
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.