Hip-hop

Mozart meets Method Man

Ensemble Mik Nawooj marries classical music with classic hip-hop — and enjoys the ruffled feathers

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By Micah Dubreuil

arts@sfbg.comRead more »

Freedom of Choice

With a musical love letter to his rapidly changing hometown, Oakland's favorite sideman takes center stage

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It's 2:30 on a Thursday afternoon in East Oakland, and on stage in the amphitheater at Castlemont High School, Kev Choice is trying to keep a straight face. Read more »

Q up

Era-defining local legend DJ Qbert scratches out his first album in 16 years, Extraterrestria

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MUSIC "I always wanted to know how music sounded in outer space. And with certain types of crystals you can supposedly tune into different frequencies, receive other transmissions. Often I meditate with crystals, go to sleep, and dream about music from outer space. Then I wake up, make stuff like that on the turntables, and take it from there."Read more »

Candy crush

THE YEAR IN NIGHTLIFE: Queer hip-hop, porn music, spruced-up venues, virtual techno, classical near-riots, and the '90s big-room revival ruled 2013

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marke@sfbg.com

YEAR IN NIGHTLIFE The drink of the year was the Chinese Mai Tai at Lipo Lounge. It's $9, but it's huge and you only need one. Or maybe a half, if you want to remember your pants. Oh, just drink the whole thing.Read more »

For whom the bell rocked: Too much turned up

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Three to five years ago, the most popular phrase at Rock the Bells was “Rest in peace J Dilla.” This year, it was “Let’s get turned up!” The difference between the two shout-outs exhibits the festival’s progression from underground/old-school hip-hop gathering to a way more genre-expansive festival.

This year included stalwart acts that you would have seen at Rock the Bells 2004, 2005, and 2007 such as the Wu Tang Clan, TechNine, and Deltron 3030. But rappers like Juicy J, Riff Raff, and Trinidad James would have been ridiculed for not being “real hip-hop” enough in past years. This year’s eclectic and diverse cast was a reassuring reminder that hip-hop is not dead and that the music coming out in 2013 is just as worthy as that of any other era. Read more »

HOT PINK LIST 2013: HIP-HOP NATION

Our annual salute to the queers who grabbed our attention and held it

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If anything will tip the scale when it comes to mainstream hip-hop's acceptance of pansexual twerking in its midst (hi, Frank Ocean and Mykki Blanco), it will be the simple fact that this new class of queers just bnrings the game better: pops ass more profoundly, wears the shit out of some Hood By Air, and can channel Aaliyah, Slick Rick, and Le1f on the same track. Read more »

Return of the mac$

Filthy-fun rap supergroup Kalri$$ian is back -- with Star Magic, black-jawed cobras, Colt 45s, and acres of nose candy

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Reality rap: Q&A with Saafir, the Saucee Nomad

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Ed. note – this week's music feature is all about emcee-producer Saafir, the Saucee Nomad. The wheelchair-bound associate of Hobo Junction and Digital Underground (and actor in 'Menace II Society') opened up to Guardian music writer Garrett Caples about his recent health struggles, making music, and what's keeping him in check. Here's the extended interview we couldn't fit in the print edition:

San Francisco Bay Guardian Did you have any idea [Digital Underground leader] Shock-G was going to post about you on Davey-D’s blog?

Saafir Actually I had no idea that he was going to put that out. Shock had came and saw me one time and I didn’t really tell nobody that I was in a wheelchair as far as the DU crew. I wasn’t really in contact with anybody. Nobody really stayed in contact with me. If you ain’t really hollerin’ at me, I’m not just gonna call you and be like, “Hey bruh, what’s up? I’m in a wheelchair.” Read more »

Antwon goes puppet in his new video

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See video

Antwon, one of our favorite local rappers, goes all Muppets take the club in this video for "3rd World Grrl," off new mixtape In Dark Denim. Read more »

Beyond Frank Ocean: La Peña takes a deeper look at hip-hop inclusivity

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If I hear another journalist ask anyone involved in hip-hop incredulously, reverently, portentously about Frank Ocean and that Tumblr post someone may lose their digital recorder. Frank I love you, I love your ambiguous Internet warblings, your endearingly awful Grammy performances -- and kudos on Willy Carter, damn -- but obvs you're not the first queer person to be involved with your musical genre.

The Bay Area knows this -- in 2007 the PeaceOUT World Homo Hop Festival, already six years old at that point, took over deFremery Park with Oakland's Deep Dickollective and co. And like, Cazwell? Hey.

This list goes on -- but this post is more about future, specifically the Hip-Hop: Beyond Gender event series that kicks off at La Peña Cultural Center on Fri/15 with "Here Me Roar", a lineup of queer and feminist spoken word MCs set to wrecking speed. Read more »