Tags People’s Minister of Information JR
Tag: People’s Minister of Information JR
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.
Jocko is the name of the boy who froze to death holding horses in place for the slave-holding president George Washington. Years later when having statues of Jocko on the lawn became trendy, abolitionists working with the Underground Railroad used to covertly decorate these statues with different color cloth to signal to runaways where the safe houses were.
This art exhibition will feature some of the hottest artists in the Bay Area, including Emory Douglas, Sage Stargate, Duane Deterville, Karen and Malik Seneferu and others. The night will pay tribute to the Bay Area’s rebel rousers, independents and outliers. I chopped it up with the curator and organizer Melorra Green about this Saturday’s event and also about the power and function of art in our society.
“What Happened, Miss Simone?” is a beautiful and tragic look at the life of one of the women who made us proud to be Black. She helped us to transform our minds from the psychology of scared Colored Negroes into being proud Black Africans in America. The film documents some of her thoughts and includes a lot of archival interview footage and footage of her performing.
Vaytus, owned by Aniefre Essien and Brandon Sledge-Mellon, is a Black-owned music streaming provider. “Vaytus is a word that we made up from the words ‘elevate us.’ Music is powerful, and we believe good music elevates people,” says Aniefre about the unusual name. These brothas have a mission that is bigger than just filling their pockets. Their business pays artists fair rates for their music.
After the gentrified death of Oakland’s beloved poetry house, the Air Lounge, a few months ago, the Golden Stair has swiftly moved in to remedy the void. It’s hosted by Siraj Fowler and his wife, Daaimah Waqia, and it happens every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in North Oakland at 608 55th St.
Leroy Stanfield is a Bay Area comedian on the rise, who some may know from his company, GoBaby Productions, and others may know him from his crew, The Bay Boys of Comedy. He is not just a comedian but a community man, who is doing what he thinks will help to quell all of the street violence in Oakland. At the end of July, he is organizing Oakland’s First Annual Comedy Superfest Weekend.
Kev seemed almost immortal to me. Two weeks before he passed, I went to hang out with him at his house. I could see the sickness visibly eating at him, but when he opened the door, his eyes lit up, and he smiled like in the old days. I believe wholeheartedly that Lateefah’s love kept his immune system intact as long as it was. I had to write this so his family could know the giant that Kevin Weston was to me. Salute to one of the greatest editors that I know. Salute also to Lateefah for giving Kev a love he’d never seen before and for showing that there is still such a thing as Black love.
Oakland based artist Eesuu has been one of my favorite local visual artists for the last decade. I love his choice of colors and the ways in which he blends them, as well as I like the themes behind his work. He is exhibiting a new body of work during the month of April in downtown Oakland at SoleSpace, 1714 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Called “Sugar 2.0,” it looks at the history of this substance that has been used as a tool to enslave people, colonize land and build empires.
Mahasen is one of my favorite artists in the Bay bar none. She is gearing up to release her new album “Go Getter” in September, so I just wanted the SF Bay View readers to be among the first to know it’s coming. For those who have never heard of her, this underground queen has been recording for close to 20 years with reputable rappers, DJs and singers in the Bay.
The Bay is known as a place where people seem to be more politically and socially aware. Souley Vegan owner Tamearra Dyson is only adding to this legacy with her groundbreaking restaurant. Her spot is one of my favorite restaurants in Oakland and the Bay Area. Meet Tamearra “cook like yo’ grandma” Dyson, as she talks about Souley Vegan, veganism and her life’s journey.
The revolutionary Hugo Chavez was a political giant in the Western Hemisphere until his untimely death from cancer. We must continue to learn from the people of Venezuela about the revolutionary process that they have enacted. Check out Drexel University professor and author George Ciccariello-Maher as he discusses Venezuela, the late great Hugo Chavez and his new book, “We Created Chavez.”
Chela aka Holly Saucy recently released her new album, “Death of a Mermaid,” which definitely has a different sound from her usual 16 bars of rhymes and a sing song hook. It has a ‘80s pop/’90s alternative sound that whets the palette of a real music connoisseur and has you examining the beats as well as words that are coming out of your speakers.
The 15th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival was a huge success with hundreds in attendance. Some of the headlining films included documentaries on Iceberg Slim and Sly from the Family Stone. Tupac Shakur’s 42nd birthday was celebrated in style with a number of revolutionary and reality rap legends in the Fillmore celebrating him 17 years after his assassination in Las Vegas in ‘96.
Jasiri X is a political MC from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who has been making his music known all over the country independently for some time now. This former minister in the Nation of Islam has traded mics on songs or on panels wit’ Hip-Hop giants like M1 of dead prez, Wize Intelligent, The Grand Verbalizer, Brotha J and more.
Sam Pollard is one of the unsung heroes of Black films in Amerikkka. He has been in the cinema industry for over 40 years and is one of the editors of some of Spike Lee’s greatest work, including “Malcolm X,” “Bamboozled,” “4 Little Girls” and “When the Levees Broke.” He will be coming to the Bay Area to do a series of talks on his work at the Pacific Film Archives in Berkeley on June 27 and 29.
June 29 is one of the most exciting days for Black bookworms across the state of California. That is the date for the Leimert Park Book Fair, the only annual Black book fair in Cali. I attended this beautiful event two years ago and met boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, who was promoting his book at an event at Eso Won Black bookstore, one of the founding sponsors of the Leimert Park Book Fair.
Sly and the Family Stone are some of the architects of Bay Area-based funk music and, for that matter, Bay Area hip hop, which has borrowed more than just a little bit from the funk. “Coming Back for More” is an excellent documentary that looks at the life and musical rise of the legendary Sly, who started his musical career as a radio personality on the KSOL.
One of our best known Black broadcasters in the Bay Area is also one of the most well known Black thespians from these parts. After decades of honing his acting skills, Donald Lacy is starring in the new play “The River,” which will run April 10 through May 4, 8 p.m., at the ACT Costume Shop, located at 1117 Market St. at Seventh in San Francisco. Check out thespian Donald Lacy in his own words ...
Dr. Aseem Sappal is the director of operations at Oaksterdam University, the Oakland university that teaches you all you need to know about the medicinal and outlawed plant cannabis, aka marijuana. In over a third of the states, cannabis ingestion has been legalized. What is the activism all about, and what lies in the near future for people who see this plant as medicine? We talk to Dr. Assem Sappal to find out ...