Thursday, November 20, 2008

//Spread Love and Give Thanks..

//Thank you thank you thank you to all the incredible individuals who have selflessly given of their talent, time and energy to present this benefit event to help Zita & I raise funds to help replace all the stuff that got burglarized from our home last month. Like Biggie said, Spread Love, so I'ma take this space to publicly thank and tell you about some of these folks:

Mwapagha Mkonu is my bredren til the ending. We have djed together since 1999 since before we even had a crew called Knowmadic DJs. When I called him about the burglary, his first response was "We're doing a fundraiser." That's what family is for...and DJ Mpenzi ("my love" in Swahili) is an awesome dad, a brother who loves the people, youth and the community...and is one of the hardest-working, cleanest djs in the Bay. All of us who know him have seen and felt his integrity and selflessness. Don't trip when we let the dollar circulate and throw a benefit raising funds so he can take a trip back to his native Kenya and visit his family! His most recent project is his mix UNWIND Vol.1: The AfroSoul Journey, an fresh exploration of the sounds of the African diaspora and its impact on house, soul, and latin rhythms.

Mr. Miguel Escobedo championed true school hip hop, funk and soul as a promoter in the City when that jiggy stuff was takin over... and he won! I remember seeing J.Rocc for the first time at his party, Da Joint, back around '03 and it was off the wall, all these people dancing and singing along and going buckwild..and not a single song by 50 Cent or Will Smith! Mr.E is one of the sickest party-rockers in the Bay who can swing reggae dubplates, hip hop classics, 80s, and salsa & merengue effortlessly. And it don't end there, he is also propretier of
Papalote Mexican Grill with its legendary roasted salsa and marinated tofu & soyrizo in addition to your standard taqueria fare. A Bay original, a SFC representative, and a rare man with a huge heart and without ego. At the 3-year anniversary of the Knowmadic DJ party SHELTER (Oct'04), Mr.E slayed the Oasis patio with this classic reggae selection:

Back in the Telegraph Era (circa '93-'97) I knew tall-ass Luke as the DJ for the Richmond/Albany underground hip hop crew Kaotic Order (I think I got a tape here somewhere). Later Platurn established the DJ crew
Oakland Faders and is now an internationally recognized selector and turntablist. On the all-around tip he's wicked on the cut, the blend, and the mix, and to say his musical knowledge is vast is an understatement. He's created some of the illest mixtapes ever (So This is De La Heaven, Best of A Tribe Called Quest) and is featured in a documentary about his journey as a dj to his native Iceland called From Oakland to Iceland: A Hip Hop Homecoming.

A true hip hop hero,
VinRoc is one of the founding members of NY/NJ crew 5th Platoon (Neil Armstrong, Kuttin Kandi), won back-to-back International Turntablist Federation (ITF) belts in '97 and '98, migrated to the Bay and established the elite crew Triple Threat DJs with #1 stunnas Apollo and ShortKut. He also has some of the smoovest mixtapes ever done (the classic Recon_Struction, and his So Much Soul series with ShortKut is now up to 5 volumes!). As his crew name alludes, he combines the best in turntablism, party-rocking and producing music.

Coming up as a DJ in the Bay's crowded scene, especially as a woman, is a serious hustle
as Zita can testify. Filipina sista Shred One has been hustling and then some since she transplanted from 2 years ago from LA after doing time in NYC, holding down various gigs virtually every night of the week in every corner of Frisco and the East Bay. She currently throws down Thursdays at Le Cirque, Brooklyn Circus' weekly at the Fillimore Yoshi's. Catch her uptempo blend of hip hop, electro, soul and house vibes..and don't be surprised when you bump into a homie on the street buzzing her name, like I did twice in the past month!

This guy was one of my hip hop mentors, he definitely has been a Yoda to many. I actually got my dj moniker from him one late night at KALX 90.7 radio statio when O-Dub used to have his show. Back when I was an intern for Solesides Records (DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Latyrx) cold-calling record stores and stuffing envelopes with promo tapes at the office(aka his apartment) he talked about how he was gonna write a book about Ice Cube's Death Certificate. Guess what, that book turned into Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation...a book that has garnered more accolades and awards (including beef with KRS-ONE!) than I can remember. He also edited the anthology Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop...all of which have led to his recent naming as a 2008 USA Ford Fellow in Literature. And go back and check the VIBE cover story interview he did with Barack Obama back in May 07 (part 1) and (part 2). Yuh dun know he is also known as crispy clean DJ Zen and will drop decades of knowledge about reggae dancehall any day. Big up to master and thanks for donating an autographed book!

The name comes from a term that SF creator/designer/DJ
Justin Marine would use to describe two records that mixed well together. "Positive Apparel" is the tagline, which says a lot in a crowded streetwear game where companies will silkscreen everything from porn stars to handless child diamond miners to sell shirts. Leave it to Mixerfriendly to flip the AK-47 in Malcolm's hand as he peers out the blinds into a trumpet; the iconic lettering of De La Soul's 4th album into "Gas is High"...and that's only the t-shirts! He is also the designer of dope flyers and DJ Zita's logo...and be on the lookout for exclusive collabos with dope musicians like Mark Farina and J-Boogie. True to his generous nature (thanks again for giving my lil cousin a shirt!) Justin has donated 3 canvasses with original designs for the silent auction, which was also his idea. Big up!

Gabriella Davi-Khorasanee is the founder and designer of Mama, an SF-based, internationally recognized line for and by the ladies. Zita likes it cause it's "sexy and feminine but not girly", you know for the ladies with streets smarts and class like them badass around the way girls LL was talkin bout. Z should know since Mama has sponsored her from the jump and done a series of mixes together. Gabriella has taken her line around the world and is taking her Winter 08 joints straight to East LA with chola-inspired designs. Check out M.I.S.S. Crew, her collab with stylist Liz Baca, and for the fellas peep her husband/co-owner's design and photography work here at One Hit Wonder SF. And of course, can't forget Mama's velvet and lace-wrapped New Eras and exclusive Adidas (she laced us with a pair so you can get laced at the silent auction) she makes some bomb-ass mac 'n cheese!

An East Bay native and renaissance woman cut from the same cloth as Mao and Angela Davis, Jidan has held it down in the East Bay as a community organizer for the past 15-some years. Like our President-Elect, she knows the ins and outs of public schools and street corner politics, did church-based organizing in Baltimore, and has formal training in public policy from the Ivy League. Back when we went to Cal, I watched her inspire and politicize generations of up-and-coming youth and young college students (including me) in rallies, community actions and high school events. Based in Oakland, Jidan paints, writes and works as an associate with the
Movement Strategy Center continuing her passion for racial justice and the upliftment of communities of color. Much love to Jidan for donating a canvas for the silent auction.

When I first met eco-chef extraordinaire Bryant through Jidan (they are now engaged) I could feel that he was a genuine, warm he was serving up this off-the-hook grilled peaches w/creme fraice dessert! He and I share the same passions of the people, youth, music and food. For him this manifested in creating a nonprofit in NYC called "b-healthy" based on the principles of the Black Panther Party's breakfast programs, for educating youth in sustainable agriculture, food justice, nutrition and preparing healthy delicious food. He went on to author a book about all of these issues called GRUB, the only book I know with recipes that come with playlists (shrimp & veggie kabobs with Mutabaruka, black & blueberry crisp with D'Angelo!). His forthcoming book is called
Vegan Soul Kitchen and is the first recipe book I ever saw with cover art referencing Blue Note Records! He is a Kellog Foundation Food and Society Fellow and you can catch him here on NPR, here in 7X7SF Magazine where he is featured as a "Hot 20 under 40," and coming soon in a feature on the Food Network! And if that ain't enough, for those of you getting your menu together, he's got eco-soul Thanksgiving recipes for you right hurr. Thank you sir, for donating an autographed copy of GRUB.

//And of course much love always to our families, neighbors, and friends who were right there for us when it went down, and to all our dj fam who lent/gave us equipment to use. Happy Holidays and see yall Friday for a gathering that's about celebrating community! 1neLuv.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

//SlimKidTre, FatLip & Shing02

//Pharcyde lovers, here is an excellent interview the homie Shing02 did this summer in Japan with Tre and Lip. In it, they discuss how the producer of Dazz Band was an instrumental mentor, their musical foundations in the church(!) & grandparents' house parties...and the finiteness of seedless fruit. Great stuff.

And for the heck of it, here's one of my favorite Pharcyde joints - originally off a compilation called State of Emergency it was later redone on the Labcabincalifornia album as "Devil Music"...but like many things in life, the original is better!
The Pharcyde - "My Soul" (Mad Sounds, 1994)

and also the equally dope:
Shing02 - "Love You Like Water" (unreleased, 2007)
...along with the sweet animated video. 1neLuv.

Monday, November 10, 2008

//Freestylin' on Yall...

Beyond The Limit DJ'ing at St Rose High School. Circa '87

//It is not widely known that the roots of Filipino American Bay Area DJ scene goes as far back as 1978 with the formation of the mobile crew Sound Explosion at Balboa H.S. in the Excelsior/Outer Mission ...and is a lineage that gave birth to our great Pinoy turntablists Q-Bert, Apollo, Mixmaster Mike, We really gotta ask the homie Oliver Wang/DJ O-Dub about all this cause he wrote his doctoral dissertation on "A History of the Filipino American mobile DJ scene in the Bay Area, 1978-1995."
There was actually an exhibit a few years back called "Tales of the Turntable: Filipino American DJs of the Bay Area" at San Mateo County History Museum. In addition, here is a photo gallery of old school flyers, business cards, and photos (including the above images) compiled by DJ Slammin Sam and posted by Patrick De La Cruz. The heyday of the mobile scene in the 80s with more than 100 active crews in existence...and guess what, most of the records in the crates were not hip hop, but freestyle!! I mean it was the 80s, and they were all about rockin the house...and it was hella Filipinos at the parties that were all about blowin up the dancefloor like it should be!
According to Wikipedia, "In Miami, the freestyle name evolved after confusion between Tony Butler's track "Freestyle Express" by Freestyle and Debbie Deb's "When I Hear Music", a slightly older but more popular track that was produced by Butler. The sound became synonymous with Butler's production, and the name of the group he was in, Freestyle, became the genre's name." Here is a longer essay about the history of freestyle music if you feel like reading it (it was interesting to me), it gives a lot of credit to some guy Lil Louie Vega. Whatever the case may be, Freestyle is the missing link between Afrika Bambaataa and the Triple Threat DJs, the connection between Filipinos and the two turntables.
So it is with profound gratitude and great humility that Zita and I dedicate a special GOLDEN Midnight Mix to the sounds of '80s Freestyle. Much respect always to the pioneers. 1neLuv.
Here's a couple freestyle flavors:

Friday, November 7, 2008

//Black Man at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave...

Hahaha yeah! I knew Sizzla Kalonji would come with it!

Sizzla - "Black Man in the White House"

These reggae guys too...

Pressure - "Black Man Rise"

Cocoa Tea - "Yes We Can"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

//Hope Is That Thing...

Another Obama post, why not? Especially when the final version of this track off The Abstract's new LP does not have the sample of the 44th prez speaking on hope:

Q-Tip - "Shaka f/Barack Obama" (Universal/Motown, 2008)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

//You Cannot Deny..

The People's Choice. It's been 24 hours and I still can't believe it. But what does it really mean? We have these days to reflect and four years to find out. 1neLuv.

Ray Darwin - "People's Choice" (Tad's, 2007)

Monday, November 3, 2008

//Obama for Best DJ Tribute Mixes

I'ma keep it simple on this one: I've attempted to do a Round-Up of the DJ mixes that are out there. If anyone has more, hit me up with the link or leave it in the comments. Not many words to say about tomorrow, just keeping my fingers crossed. 1neLuv..

First off though, my man Pete, another teacher-by-day, ____-by-night fam laid this song and video down way before Obama even won the Dem primary:

Damn Pete - "Vote Obama"

DJ Premier - Time 4 Change Mixtape

DJ Green Lantern+Russell Simmons - Barack Obama:Yes We Can Mixtape

DJ Z-Trip - Party for Change Mix (Live at Manifest Hope Gallery, Denver during the DNC)

DJ King Most - The Obamix

DJ Basta - Vote For Hope Mix

DJ Ant-1 - Obama Election Day Mix / Krazy Kids Radio

DJ Noodles - Barack Obama PSA (The Closing Argument) Mixtape

//All Power To The People..

This year Halloween fell on a weekend. But we were not trick-or-treatin with the Geto Boys, we were paying tribute to them Oakland boys and women who are some of my heroes. Because it was the We Love The Town party, I believed it was a must to represent Oakland. And who more timely and relevant (and "scary" hahaha) than our Oakland originals, the
Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, founded in October 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale (above). Peep game on this just-released documetary on the Panthers' roots at Merritt College (when it was located in West Oakland):

With the help of
Uncle Lester (2nd from left) it all fell into place. Uncle Lester is a longtime community activist, AC transit driver, middle school campus supervisor, and founder of the Cougar Cadet Corps. He was also a Panther from SF State back in the day, and at one point Angela Davis' bodyguard. Uncle Lester loaned us the berets and schooled us on the fashion: Oakland Panthers were well dressed, with black leather jackets, dress pants and nice shoes, and the shirt underneath was distinctly baby blue. East Coast Panthers were the first to adopt the more paramilitary style, with black army fatigues, for ruggedness and affordability (leather ain't cheap!). Uncle Lester also came through the party and celebrated his 60th earth day with us!

Regardless of fashion, what was most influential to me was the Panthers' revolutionary agenda which called for pride, power, solidarity among people of color and oppressed people, knowing your rights, an international anti-war stance, community-based programs like their Free Breakfast for School Children, and basically putting the ideology of Malcolm X into action. No wonder the Panthers were targeted by J Edgar Hoover's COINTELPRO, infiltrated, leaders murdered, and shut down from within. Their legacy, however, remains. It was an honor to rep the Black Panther Party.

...And no less revolutionary was West Oakland's finest and the costume winner
DJ Aebl Dee as The Black Hockey Player!

Plus big shout for the illest concept ever, the fam Arnizzle & Janizzle as BA-ROCKERS!!

Last but never least, a musical shot: one my fave late nineties 12" singles was Buckshot's (of Black Moon) take on Rakim's classic record "I Ain't No Joke." Pay attention to the first couple bars of the 2nd verse where Buckshot takes The R's lines
I got a question
As serious as cancer
Who can keep the average dancer
Hyper as a heart attack, nobody's smilin'

and flips it into:
I got a question
Who remember The Panthers?
Who can get the average man to
Think with a military mind prepare get ready..

Funkmaster Flex f/Buckshot - "No Joke" (Loud, 1997)

That's what's up. Many more photos from We Love The Town Halloween
right here. All Power To The People and 1neLuv..