PREVIEW Arriving outside Amoeba Music on Haight Street, Fillmore Rich also known as the MTV2 rap star Big Rich is stopped by a total stranger. "Yo! Big Rich. Man, I love "SF Anthem," and "That's The Business," and all your music," the fan/rapper enthuses, quickly turning the chance sidewalk meeting into an impromptu audition. As the aspiring rapper who shouldn't be making any immediate plans to quit his day job rattles into his second verse, large-framed Rich listens intently. Afterward he offers words of encouragement, and even his phone number, to the upstart.
Big Rich's Heart of the City (3 Story Muzik) is one of Ameoba's top-selling hip-hop albums. "I feel like it's a part of my responsibility to give back to my community," Rich says. "That's why I call myself Fillmore Rich. It's not to glamorize anything. It's just that's how I feel. All the people I grew up with, they ain't here no more. I feel like it's my responsibility to stay here and represent and help where I can. I am the only San Francisco rapper that still has a residence in the neighborhood where they grew up."
This Saturday, Rich will be there when the SF youth AIDS education organization Get Live Stay Live puts on an event at the Bayview Opera House. "There's [been] a lot of friction going on with my area and Hunters Point," he says. "I'm going to show there ain't no friction." Rich has two other events booked the same day: he'll be speaking on a panel at the Bay Area Producers Conference and performing at the car-themed Hot Import Nights mega-event at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds. Catch him if you can.
BAY AREA PRODUCERS CONFERENCE Sat/25, 8.a.m11 p.m. (Big Rich is part of the "Beats and Rhymes" panel at 5 p.m.), $45. Cathedral Hill Hotel. 1101 Van Ness, SF.