Amanda Maria Morrison

Scraper success

The Trunk Boiz are ridin' for Oakland
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"This is what happens when Bay Area gas goes to 4 bucks!! We cant even afford to rap about cars..lol [sic]."

So reads one YouTube viewer comment for "Scraper Bike," a music video by local rap group the Trunk Boiz. Rather uncharacteristically for hip-hop, the clip includes a crew of hoodie-wearing, dreadlock-shaking young guys pedaling through the Oakland streets on their tricked-out bicycles. Read more »

Up against the wall

Amid controversy, HOMEY brings together a Mission neighborhood with its latest mural
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There's a new mural at 24th and Capp streets that does a stellar job of capturing the urban, cultural vibe of the Mission's residents. No, not the skinny jeans–wearing, Burning Man bohemians who've colonized the area in recent years. I'm talking the baggy jeans–wearing Latino youths who are the inheritors of a proud local tradition of Chicano mural art. Read more »

Hispanics go hyphy

Mission entrepreneur reps Latin rap on Thizz Entertainment offshoot
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Latinos rarely receive credit for all they've brought to the rap game. After all, it was primarily Puerto Ricans who authored those boogaloo break-dance moves in the Bronx. And what would Cali hip-hop be without the laid-back style of Chicano cholos and their "low lows"?

Currently, a contingent of local Latino rap artists is pushing hard for recognition. Its members are on the Thizz Latin label, an imprint of Mac Dre's Thizz Entertainment group. Read more »

Word on la calle

Is mainstream radio's "Hurban" format shafting Mexican-American listeners?
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Times are tough in the music biz. Not only are CD sales slumping, but radio stations are losing ad revenue to online ventures. One of the only genres or formats holding it down commercially is Latin music — a fact that falls well below the radar of your average gringo.

This shouldn't be so surprising, considering that Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and represent the fastest-growing segment of the population. Read more »

Class of 2007: Jimmy Roses

"It ain't the '70s no more."
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CLUBS Hip-Hop Appreciation Society, MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán), Black 'n' Brown Alliance

QUOTE "We're in a position to start reaching out to our peers and our gente and be like, 'Hey, man, we're here. Let's get it crackin'. It ain't the '70s no more.' "

Representing the Hispanic wing of the hyphy movement, Jimmy Roses won Latin Rap Artist of the Year at the 2006 Bay Area Rap Scene Awards, but he's not resting on his laurels. Nor is he satisfied to dwell in a niche. Read more »

Keeping up with Melina Jones

The SF MC finds her balance at GirlFest
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MC Melina Jones represents everything that's right with hip-hop. She's female, she's socially conscious, her lyrics are tight, and she's fully clothed onstage. You won't see the MC from "Sucka Free" (i.e., San Francisco) in any metal bustiers or stripper attire, à la raunch rappers Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, who, along with their thug-rap male counterparts, helped hypersexualize hip-hop to the point where it's become nearly inhospitable for self-respecting females.

She is a perfect fit for Girl Fest Bay Area, now in its second year. Read more »