Billy Jam

Mothership connections

THE DRUG ISSUE: George Clinton has used, not abused, drugs
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

DRUGS If, while flipping through TV channels, you happened upon the episode of VH1's Celebrity Rehab in which George Clinton appears, you might be forgiven for assuming that the Godfather of Funk, whose drug use reputation precedes him, was under Dr. Drew's rehab care. In actuality, Clinton was not seeking any guidance from the good TV doctor. Read more »

Big Rich

"The only San Francisco rapper that still has a residence in the neighborhood where they grew up"
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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. Read more »

Victory lap

You can call it a comeback — Oakland female duo Conscious Daughters ride again
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

When Special One of the Conscious Daughters raps, "And I know all my folks been patient for this shit" on the Oakland female duo's new track "A Moment In Rhyme," she ain't kidding. It's been 13 long years since she and partner-in-rhyme CMG released their last album, 1996's Gamers (Priority). Read more »

Barf manifesto

The Year in Music 2008: Pop ate and re-ate itself, then regressed and regurgitated
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The more we move forward chronologically, the more we regress musically. Popular music in 2008 proved this point loud and clear. So much for the hope of diversity and new thought promised by the Internet/information age. Read more »

Hustle in hard times

Pinging the Bay Area rap business, version .08
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U Don't Hustle U Don't Eat, the appropriate title of the March 2009 album by up-and-coming Menlo Park-East Palo Alto rapper A.G. Cubano, pretty much sums up the state of the once vibrantly lucrative local rap music economy. Read more »

Noise Pop: Running with Wale

Rightly dubbed "the ambassador of rap for the capital"
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Back in 2006, when Washington DC music veteran Ronald "Dig Dug" Dixon, of legendary go-go band the Northeast Groovers (NEG), first got wind that some rap upstart named Wale (pronounced Wah-lay) had not only sampled NEG's music without permission but also jacked Dixon's stage name for his single's title and refrain, he was not happy. Read more »

The return of the return of the DJ

Ex-X-ecutioners form Ill Insanity and begin their crusade for the next DJ renaissance
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Born from the ashes of New York hip-hop DJ supergroup the X-ecutioners and from a frustration with the current state of turntablism, Ill Insanity are on a mission to return the art of the DJ to its former glory.

Composed of ex-X-ecutioners Rob Swift and Total Eclipse along with younger inductee DJ Precision, the turntable trio have just released their progressive scratch music debut, Ground Xero, on Fat Beats, which includes among its turntable guests fellow former X man Roc Raida, plus Excess and DJ Q-Bert.

Ill Insanity's ongoing national tour, which stops in San Francisco on Read more »

Where is home?

Danny Hoch brings his new Brooklyn tale to the Bay
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

"I've never been inside here before. I don't like to come in here, because I feel alienated in my own neighborhood by this place, and that is kind of what this play is about," Danny Hoch said recently. His new solo stage production, Taking Over, opens Jan. 16 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Read more »

Year in Music: iFunk?

Obsessions aren't always bad
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This year we were consumed by our obsession with the latest piece of technology and the immediate gratification that comes with it. My personal part in this collective cultural obsession hit me one day as I sat on the bus, my multitasking mind elsewhere, my phone in one hand receiving text messages, my MP3 player in the other on random shuffle, playing a song by Project Pat boasting about having "the number one ringtone." And on my lap sat not a laptop, but a relic from another time: a book, an ordinary page-bound, nonfiction book. Read more »

Graf legend

SPIE remembers DREAM and the golden age of SF street art
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On Aug. 15, on what would have been the late Mike "DREAM" Francisco's 38th birthday, his old-school graffiti pal SPIE ONE honored his slain partner in the best way he knew how: by creating new street art, on 24th Street between Capp and Lilac in the Mission.

But it's not just on anniversaries when SPIE thinks about DREAM, the widely respected Bay Area graffiti artist who was gunned down in the East Bay in 2000. "I think about DREAM every day. A lot of us do. It keeps me going sometimes. He was a positive spirit," SPIE said in mid-November. Read more »