Hieroglyphics' Casual Admits That He's Been "Santa Claus" This Whole Time

Categories: Hip-Hop, Holidays

Did you know the Oakland rapper Casual is actually Santa Claus? Yes, he is. The Fat Man in the White Suit is real, living on the warm side of the Bay, and has been hanging out with the Hieroglyphics crew. Proof has arrived today, in the new form of a song in which the rapper Casual admits that he is the real Mr. Claus. Its title: "Santa Claus." Its placement: First on a new four-song EP. The opening track is more than a little goofy, though it's also filled with good rapping and a lovely jazz guitar sample.

But that is all to be expected. Though he's very busy delivering presents around this time of year, Casual is also a #RapGod, remember:

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Twerkers Take a Hike: Yiking is the New Dance in Town

Grandma yiking.
Just when you think you've had one milkshake too many and couldn't possibly dip it any lower, along comes a new dance craze taking America by storm, courtesy of the Bay Area.

Yiking at its most basic is extreme twerking. It entered the public consciousness earlier this year, when Fairfield rapper Sage the Gemini released the anthem "Red Nose." The dance's main command is indeed to shake it like a Red Nose pit bull, and just sway from side to side. But be warned that one must always be in complete control of the glutes when yiking. If you can't handle that, just stick to twerking.

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Justin Loans' How To Fake It in America: RnB Millionaires Rapper Drops Strong Solo EP

Meet Justin Loans -- known to his mother as Justin Flores, and to the Internet as one-half of smooth-rapping Oakland goofballs RnB Millionaires. The Millionaires churned out a handful of tracks from their West Oakland lab in recent years, but nothing with any serious shelf life. They've been working hard, though; Justin Loans' first solo effort, the How To Fake It In America EP, is out today.

This marks the first official release from the flock of professional roving partiers known as Trill Team 6 -- if you've "expressed yourself" in the warehouses of West Oakland or haunted some of SOMA's underground rap clubs, you might have heard of 'em. The loosely associated group of DJs and their cohorts (which includes Oakland hip-hop mainstay Willie Maze) has contentedly spent the last few years throwing parties like Sick Sad World and rallying friends and family to get fucked up together. Flores' work takes this ethos and runs in a whole new direction.

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Rap Roundup: New Songs and Videos by Droop-E, Iamsu and More

Categories: Hip-Hop, Yay Area

Sick Wid It
Droop-E channels the 1930s with "'N The Traffic."
As these new releases might suggest, Bay Area rap continues to evolve and become harder to pigeonhole. This is especially true when it comes to matching songs up with a visual; the same old bitches-in-the-club videos that we see all over the country don't really fly here unless they're super-duper fly -- and set, like, 80 years ago.

See Also:
* IamSu! on KILT, Getting an Invite From E-40, and Why He Wants Lil B to Do an "Up" Remix

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The 10 Best Bay Area Hip-Hop Records of 2012

It's been another big year in Bay Area hip-hop, with one huge collaboration album from two local greats and lots of strong releases from young local upstarts. So before the world ends, let's round up the 10 best Bay Area hip-hop/rap records (including albums, mixtapes, etc.) of 2012.

Main Attrakionz
Bossalinis & Fooliyones
[Young One]

Cloud-rap chit-chat aside, with their full-length studio debut Mondre M.A.N. and Squadda B simply conjured up a breezy and funky set of rap songs. With beats handled by a whopping array of producers (including Zaytoven and Harry Fraud), the duo's slurry, freestyled flows seep into the tracks and gel just beautifully. And with "Do It For The Bay," featuring Fillmore's finest DaVinci, Main Attrakionz can claim a modern hometown anthem. -- Phillip Mlynar

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Amazing Video: A-1 Raps in S.F. Streets Amid Post-World Series Chaos

As settings for music videos go, this is one of the more interesting ideas we've seen: S.F. MC A-1 (aka Adam Traore) filmed this video for "Double Dose" in the streets of San Francisco right after the Giants won the World Series. Amid the toilet-paper-throwing and sign-waving and Henny-passing, there are fires, vandalized buses, and some seriously grouchy members of the San Francisco Police Department. Things get dicey a few times, especially toward the end, but A-1 keeps his cool, rhyming pretty much on-lyric throughout the whole thing despite many, many distractions. It makes for a good rap video, but "Double Dose" is almost more interesting as a street-level document of what really happened the night in 2012 that the Giants won it all:

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12 Years of Jazz Mafia: Adam Theis on the Group's Rise and Anniversary Concert

Categories: Hip-Hop, Jazz, Q&A

Jazz Mafia
They wrote the world's first hip-hop symphony (Brass, Bows, and Beats) and performed it at the Monterey Jazz Festival. They held a regular Tuesday night gig at an S.F. club for a decade. They formed a live hip-hop group (Shotgun Wedding Quintet) that rhymed about Bay Area history. They've performed alongside artists like Beck, Carlos Santana, Digital Underground, and Lyrics Born. And this Saturday, Nov. 17, founder Adam Theis and the collective of San Francisco musicians known as the Jazz Mafia will celebrate their 12 years of existence with a blowout at the Fillmore featuring all of the group's spinoffs and artists, and with a special contribution from noted local DJ Qbert. Ahead of the show, we spoke with Theis about the origins of Jazz Mafia, how things have changed in 12 years, and what to expect at Saturday's show.

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Watch: Richie Cunning's "City Boy" Makes Chop-Suey Out of "Don't Stop Believing"

"I've done shows so packed, I crowd-surfed to the bar/ I've done shows so wack, I left the merch in the car."

So here's Richie Cunning, hard-grindin' S.F. rapper extraordinaire, back with "City Boy," a new Giants-saluting/struggle-encapsulating video. The clip finds Cunning circling around AT&T Park in the post-dawn glow, finding a not-too-subtle link between the battle of that team of weirdos and his own quest to rise in the rap game. Like most of his songs, it's filled with hard-nock tales and juicy anecdotes like the one above. Oh, and did we mention that the beat for "City Boy" is built out of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing?" It's about as fitting as tribute as this S.F. native could find -- and a great farewell song to a baseball season that ended only yesterday.

See also:
* Richie Cunning on San Francisco, Stevie Wonder, and the Wonders of Google Image Search
* The Zen Buddha of the N-Judah: Rapper Richie Cunning

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Top Five Tracks From the New Darkest Before Dawn Bay Area Rap Compilation

Yesterday, Atlanta-based production unit SMKA released Darkest Before Dawn, a 10-track album compilation that showcases the best of the Bay's MCs spitting over their beats. Featuring a roll call of rappers that includes Shady Blaze, The Jacka, Mistah FAB, Richie Cunning, and MC Zumbi, here's our primer to the five freshest collaborations on the project. You can download the whole thing for free, or stream it on Soundcloud.

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Roach Gigz's Five Essential San Francisco Spots: Music, Crab, and Baseball

Roach Gigz releases his debut album today.
Roach Gigz releases his debut studio album today. Titled Bugged Out, the rapper is banking on the project to build on the buzz his mixtapes have cultivated and jolt his career up another notch. So with Gigz being at the forefront of San Francisco's fresh new generation of rap talent, we got him to run through his five essential hometown spots. He obliged -- and came through with a selection heavy on food and music. Gigz performs with Main Attrakionz, A-1, and Baby E this Friday, Sept. 7, at Slims.

Amoeba Music
Man, I was addicted to music. I used to be in Amoeba for hours. All the way in the back, when the hip-hop section used to be in the right corner, you could catch me going through every single clearance CD they had. I used to come up on all the good shit. I have this one memory from back in the day when Eminem first came out with the Slim Shady LP. My mom dropped me off in front to go run in and buy the CD, but the teller who was helping me, she was like some older woman [who] played me out crucially: She walked me outside to the car and convinced my mom not to let me buy it because it was too explicit and that bullshit. Every time I'm on Haight street I always stop by Amoeba.

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