Our headliner for Hip Hop for Justice was very gracious to make the time and put on a set for the crowd that was muy fresco. It was also a homecoming for the progressive Latin hip-hop group, as three of its four members are UC Berkeley Alumni. In other words, this is one of THE hip-hop acts to know if you are reppin’ UC Berkeley Students 4 Hip Hop.
BRWN BFLO, which was formed in 2004 and resides in Oakland, consists of MCs Big Dan, Giant and Somos One and producer Jacinto. Like Mandeep Sethi, they spend time entertaining as well as educating, supporting the local community and spreading messages of violence prevention, cultural pride and La Raza resistance. They have a huge following in the East Bay, having performed at packed local events and in the KALX Berkeley radio station, but are also working hard to get heard across California and beyond, touring with such acts as Michael Franti, singer/songwriter Goapele, Blue Scholars and Zion I on “The Beat Goes On Tour” and “The Taco Truck Tour” (great name). On Cinco de Mayo 2009, they released their self-titled debut with a bonus DVD on their own label to sparkling reviews. That followed with a mixtape called Batos, Baqueros & Busboys. This year, each of the MCs has released a solo mixtape (Giant’s Giant vs. Doom, Big Dan’s Bang for Change, and Somos One’s The Double EP) and continues to perform and record more material to everyone’s delight.
Catch the mixtapes here:
Giant – Giant vs. Doom (link currently unavailable)
Check out a couple vids as well:
the new single from Big Dan and Chingo Bling “Lentes”
their epic music video for “The Reappearance”
My bad for not posting these last shout-outs from the Hip Hop for Justice event earlier, but had to do a lot of research to get ’em right.
Gotta hand it to Mandeep Sethi, the 21-year old rapper representing SFSU. In the past few years, he’s gone on tour along the West Coast, Spain, the U.K. and India among other locations. He represents the SF chapter of Universal Zulu Nation and has performed alongside acts such as Ziggy Marley, Camp Lo, Michael Franti & Spearhead, RZA, and even the great Afrika Bambaataa. He had an especially busy 2009 (releasing the Deacon LF-produced album PALEOFUTURE and an Egyptian-inspired project with MC Sakhu and Povan Beats entitled SET & RA), and he has shown no signs of slowing down in 2010, releasing The World’s Gone Mad EP and more online tracks under the name X33.
I have to say how much I admire his use of internet and social networking sites to share his music. In addition to facebook and twitter, he connects through soundcloud, myspace and bandcamp, plus has a LinkedIn profile, the backing of the label Organik Rebirth website, and countless other spottings on the web. Now that’s hustle!
But there’s much more to him than just the music. Sethi has also worked as a youth organizer and poet mentor at Definitive Education where he uses hip hop as a medium to teach elementary, middle and high school students “to empower themselves through words and music.” [From East-West magazine interview, Oct 26 2009] Staying true to that mission, he always injects fresh and powerful messages into his songs. Sethi says, “I rap about issues that are occurring around the world like genocide, famine, the negative aspects of capitalism as well as things affecting my local community.”
His continuing efforts making him definitely a person and artist to watch, someone that hip hop culture needs these days. Wish him best of luck on his tour with Humble Poet in Canada this month!
On Bandcamp, you can download PALEOFUTURE and SET & RA for free and pay-your-price for The World’s Gone Mad EP. What are you waiting for?? Here are some helpful links:
Another act that was awesome enough to perform at “Hip Hop for Justice” last Tuesday was Power Struggle, made up of emcee Nomi and producers Mister REY and Fatgums. Power Struggle started in 2005 with Nomi and DJ Deetalx, who were both members of the former Minnesota rap crew Oddjobs. Since releasing “Arson at the Petting Factory” in 2006 and “Hearts and Minds” in 2008, Power Struggle has moved on without Deetalx but continues to have a voice in Bay Area hip hop. Nomi’s lyrics are conscious, aimed toward fighting injustices, and often channel his unique journey through Minneapolis, New York, the Phillipines and San Francisco. As a group, Power Struggle “intends to represent the people who live under the fingernails of society, yet celebrate life with every breath.” They are signed to Long Beach label Beatrock Music and have just released a new album, “Remittances”, this past summer. Check out their music and look out for future performances!
Here’s a review of their latest album + clips
Oakland rapper and musician Do D.A.T. was the MC for last Tuesday’s event “Hip Hop for Justice” where he did a fantastic job keepin’ the crowd into it, but it is clear that he is also a man of many talents you should become more familiar with.
From his website:
“One interaction with Do D.A.T and you’ll quickly figure out that he’s not the average artist coming out of the Bay Area’s music scene. Listening to a few songs will leave you with the understanding that this is an artist with a passion for making quality music. Do D.A.T. is all smiles. If you were one the bay area’s most promising young personalities, you’d be smiling too.
Many people believe that hip hop is dead. Do D.A.T. is evidence that hip hop is not extinct, but that Hip hop has evolved.
Listen to his music and decide for yourself.”
This past May, he released his second album, the Duke Ellington-inspired “Oakland in Blue”, which is now available on iTunes and CDBaby. One listen and you’ll hear how he stands out from other local rappers and is raising the bar for a new-era of jazz-rap artists. Check these links out and look for him performing in the Bay Area and beyond in the near future!
Check out this May article in East Bay Express: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/cool-like-do-dat/Content?oid=1753295
Purchase at CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dodat11
Like on facebook: http://www.facebook/dodatmusic
Follow on twitter: @dodatamen
What up y’all! On behalf of the Students 4 Hip Hop club, I wanna thank everyone for coming out to the Hip Hop for Justice event last night! It really surpassed our expectations and your enthusiasm played a major part in that! We have a lot of people to thank, but I’d like to kick off the thanks by showing all the artists that came out some love.
When it comes to showing love, Canary Sing definitely had plenty rocking the crowd last night. Formed in 2006, the duo of Madeleine Clifford (MADLINES de lioness) and Hollis Wongwear (ISPIRE) rep the Pacific Northwest + the Bay and have performed across the country including at the Bumbershoot Festival, Under the Volcano Music Festival, and the San Francisco Mission Arts Project. They have performed alongside artists like saul williams, binary star, talib kweli, dead prez, medusa, gabriel teodros, mystic, sabreena da witch & mohammed from P.R. as featured in the incredible documentary slingshot hip hop, piece, cristina orbe, and more of their favorite musicians and poets. (Read more:http://www.myspace.com/canarysing#ixzz11bC5PjTo) They have a mixtape out on iTunes called “Boss Ladies: A Mixtape” and have an EP out you can stream and download over the internet called “The Beautiful Baby EP”, which by listening to it will definitely make you want more Canary Sing. Let’s hope they come back to perform real soon!
Facebook Group: [http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152203423881&ref=ts]