Hip-hop

Murk T.W.D.Y. slang? You mightcould with this video

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One hundred words they've taken from us. Do you know which ones they are? Sure, it's a few years old, but Rafael Casal breaks down the Bay Area's propensity to coin viral slang (without getting its props from appropriators!) in this track, off 2009's The Monster LP. The video's got easy-to-learn text graphics so that even if you don't know the lingo that reigned three years ago in the Bay, you can cop it real quick. Wait a second... Read more »

Nite Trax: Red Bull Music Academy schools the Bay

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We're not usually ones for product placement, but Red Bull has been making some serious roads into quality nightlife. Tonight (Thu/1) the always impressive annual Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition comes to Ruby Skye, pitting several local DJs -- and two from farther up the Coast -- of various styles against each other for regional championships that could lead them to glory in Vegas later this year. (The "thre3style" refers to the requirement that DJs mix at least three different genres of music into their 15 minute sets.) 

Red Bull Music Academy Radio is a go-to for dance music lovers who want to get clued in to what some of the best techno, house, hip-hop, and global bass DJs and producers are doing. And last month, the Red Bull Music Academy itself came to San Francisco to kick off the open-to-all Academy application period, participating in an excellent series of talks and performances by some music greats. What is the Red Bull Music Academy, you ask? (Don't worry, there's no quidditch involved.) You can actually be a part of it!

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Antwon's new video for 'Helicopter' is rooted in Bay Area connections

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San Jose rapper Antwon's new video for "Helicopter" (directed by Brandon Tauszik) splits time between the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt (1968), filmed on the mean streets of San Francisco, and present-day Oakland; the modern shots are of Antwon and friends including Squadda B and Mondre MAN of Oakland's Main Attrakionz hanging out around the city, along with some gratuitous Sriracha pouring.

The story of hip-hop

At Sundance, Ice-T discusses his new documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

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By Courtney Garcia

MUSIC From the start, Ice-T was a versatile chameleon, the product of an integrated culture, and a student of the marginalized.

Born in New Jersey, raised in the Crenshaw District of LA, he joined the Crips then pursued the army to pay his bills. His career was blazed in rap, though he once flipped the game to heavy metal. Multifaceted talent that he is, Ice would later grow even more famous on television.Read more »

Main Attrakionz

On the Rise: East Bay rappers blow puffs of cloud-rap

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Why is Oakland's Main Attrakionz (www.mainattrakionz.com) on the rise? It's because everybody's talking about it, and with good reason. Last year's massive 808s & Dark Grapes II mixtape wowed the underground hip-hop world, and with every passing month the act — rapper-producer Squadda B and rapper Mondre M.A.N. — catches the attention of yet another publication, and yet another rising producer — there have been collaborations with A$AP Rocky, Clams Casino, Kool A.D. of Das Racist and Danny Brown, among others.Read more »

Bangarang: DIY hip-hop collective Doomtree is back

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There's something undeniably envy-inducing about a music collective. Everyone lives their separate lives yet they have continuing influence on one another; they hover nearby for comfort and camaraderie, maintain a steadfast family, and encourage a breeding ground for creatives. The emcees, DJs, lyricists, and producers in the Twin Cities-based DIY hip-hop collective/label Doomtree seem to have that system down pat. Under their own monikers, they create praise-worthy individual records. Together, the group carves out quality time and records masterpieces. Read more »

Shabazz Palaces get Amharic

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Languorous bike-riding, age-old mother-daughter conflicts, technicolor flower-bursts, and a surprising glimpse into the Ethiopian community of (we suppose) Seattle, the hometown of cosmic hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces make the video for their new single, "Are You ... Can You ... Were You? (Felt)" off last year's awesome Black Up album a nice Monday start. They'll be performing this Thu/2 at Yoshi's SF. (10:30 p.m., $18-$22. 1330 Fillmore, SF. www.yoshis.com)   Read more »

Techno is expensive

Are clubs moving out of reach? Plus: Masters at Work, Gary Bartz, Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito, SuperDre, Rocket, and C.L.A.W.S. in a church

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO Let's be honest. Let's start the new year out a month late with honesty. (Gung Hay Fat Choy, btw). Going out these days can really cost you someone, and that someone is named Pretty Penny, if not Armina Leg.Read more »

Live Shots: Main Attrakionz and G-Side at Independent

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Despite all the local and national attention Oakland's “Best Duo Ever” Main Attrakionz has been receiving lately, the Independent was less populated than I expected last Tuesday night. It was an appreciative bunch, however, with a handful of bloggers and collaborators joining fans to show the act love. Read more »

"The history of America is always up for grabs": Hip-hop intellectual Nelson George reads in SF this week

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"A lot of people are unaware that there are huge sections of Twitter that are all about Def Jam being the root of all evil." Last month, I got to Skype with Nelson George about his new book The Plot Against Hip-Hop (Akashic Books, 176pp, $15.95), a noir mystery that explores the commercialization of the music through the fictional death of a renowned hip-hop historian named Dwanye Robinson. You can catch George at City Lights Bookstore (Thu/1) and Marcus Books' Oakland location (Fri/2) this week.

Robinson bears more than a passing resemblance to George, who has written decades worth of academic looks at hip-hop and R&B. So naturally, our conversation turned to to the more sinister workings of the world (to be clear, he's not committed to the Russel Simmons-as-devil version of things). Turns out George is more than a little frustrated with the state of the music today -- and he thinks the Occupy movement might be the answer to hip-hop's woes. Read more »