Watch: A-1, Sayknowledge, and Richie Cunning Freestyle in a Lyft Car

Categories: Yay Area

A-1 raps in the Lyft.
In 100 years, people will look back at this video and say,

"That was San Francisco in 2014. Three local musicians all sat in a Lyft -- a car working for one of many informal rideshare companies that competed against the once-powerful taxi industry -- and free-rhymed verses to a "dope beat" while being driven around the city. The rappers in this "cypher," as such freestyle encounters were then known, expressed apprehension over economic uncertainty, the pace of social change in San Francisco, and the possibility that they may one day have children to take out for ice cream. The clip includes verses from then-burgeoning A-1, Sayknowledge, and Richie Cunning, who were known for their incisive anecdotes about city life. That the video seems to have been sponsored in part by Lyft, the rideshare company, is only emblematic of a time in which independent musicians often relied on corporate largesse and opportunities in "native advertising" in order to make ends meet...

More »

Iamsu! Partners With Pink Dolphin For Clothing Line, Mixtape Release This Saturday

The HBK Gang with Iamsu! at center, praying to the dolphin gods.
Because all rappers need their streetwear affiliations, Heart Break Gang leader and East Bay rap maven-in-the-making Iamsu! has a budding partnership with Pink Dolphin, the outrageously popular apparel house that recently opened a shop in the Upper Haight. In addition to its seapunky design aesthetic, Pink Dolphin is notable for a philosophy of making only a very limited number of each item in its line -- so you know that if you bought that $34 puffer fish T-shirt, you aren't too likely to find someone else wearing it.

Anyway, Su's been seen haunting the Pink Dolphin 'hood before, but this Saturday, he'll be back there in person to launch a new mini-line he developed with the label's designers, as well as a new mixtape. Catch is, you gotta be there in the flesh, 'cause this mixtape is only going out on CD -- and word is that 'Su will be announcing a special event for Saturday as well.

More »

Dancing on BART Trains Is Kind of a Big Deal Now

Categories: Yay Area

A BART dancer shows off his moves
Have we been missing something here, or has dancing on BART trains become a big Bay Area phenomenon in the last few months? There are many videos on YouTube -- most of them relatively new -- showing crews of young'uns sliding, gliding, contorting themselves, and doing other turf-dancing moves on moving BART trains, to the joy and irritation of other riders. One SF Weekly colleague and seven-year daily BART rider confirms that this thing has blown up in the last six months or so: not just random drunk people doing the twist, but groups of people boarding on trains with speakers pumping soundtracks (usually Michael Jackson, for obvious reasons), then holding dance-offs where they show all kinds of crazy moves. Check out some videos:

More »

Watch: Roach Gigz Begrudgingly Rejoins the Rap Game in "Too Easy"

Categories: Rap, Video, Yay Area

It's been a while since we heard from ol' Roachy Balboa. But S.F. rapper Roach Gigz is coming back on March 7 with a new EP, The Gig Effect, and let off its new single today. "Too Easy" is a helluva re-entrance, with spooky nighttime visuals of The City and Mr. Gigz spouting off about how he's tired of the game and bored of rapping but can sill spit circles around you -- and everyone else. Because, hey, maybe it is too easy. But It helps that he has a pretty sick beat for this one. Check it out:

More »

Watch: Iamsu! and the HBK Gang Light Money on Fire in "Never Goin' Broke"

Categories: Rap, Yay Area

Feel-good hit of the winter
Say what you will about the HBK Gang -- they make rap music that puts a smile on your face. Iamsu! and his increasingly world-famous crew of East Bay rappers specialize in buoyant, bouncy party anthems that make you want to grin hugely while doing all kinds of bad (or at least indulgent) things. "Never Goin' Broke" is the latest video missive from the HBKers, a goofy posse cut with a dizzying fisheye video in which Iamsu!, P-Lo, Kool John, Jay Ant, and Skipper each take their verse in front of the camera at a big hilltop house. They even burn some cold hard cash. Take us at our word when we warn you: There is some serious fun being had in this video...

More »

Composer JooWan Kim Explains Ensemble Mik Nawooj, Oakland's Hip-Hop Orchestra

Photo: Pat Mazzera Design: Raoul Ollman
JooWan Kim waits for his interview in the coffee shop, sipping tea from his own mug, with his legs neatly folded in the chair. His glasses and long black hair give him the look of a quiet intellectual, or a busy college student. Nothing in his appearance suggests that Kim is behind one of the Bay Area's most innovative hip-hop acts, Ensemble Mik Nawooj. The ensemble's shows combine a well-written classical score with legitimate hip-hop emcees.

It started by accident. In 2005, Kim was a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and wanted to do something different for one of his shows. His drummer at the time introduced him to MC Kirby Dominant, and the pair collaborated on a song. After the show, Dominant suggested they should make an album together. "It eventually transformed my whole perspective on music," Kim says.

Five years later, after a few twists and turns in the music industry and a lot of soul searching, he was composing full-time for Ensemble Mik Nawooj, and running the label he co-founded, Golden Fetus Records. Kim recently spoke with SF Weekly about his musical projects and Ensemble Mik Nawooj's show this Saturday, Sept. 7, at Milk Bar.

More »

DJ Chuy Gomez Says He Was Fired Because KMEL Is "Going in a Different Direction"

Categories: Radio, WTF, Yay Area

NBC Bay Area
Veteran KMEL DJ Jesus "Chuy" Gomez was let go by surprise last Thursday because, according to Gomez, the station's general manager decided KMEL no longer needed him. "'You're a great guy, we respect you, we love you, but we're going in a different direction,'" Gomez says he was told by the manager, in an interview with NBC Bay Area on Friday.

Gomez was a more than 20-year veteran of the local hip-hop station, and arguably its best-known personality. News of the firing sparked outrage in the Bay Area's hip-hop community, with rappers like E-40 protesting the move on Twitter and many fans saying Gomez was the only reason they listened to KMEL.

More »

Thizzler Announces Freshmen 10 Class of Rising Local Rappers

Categories: Yay Area

Every year, the local hip-hop website and promotion outfit convenes a panel of local industry experts, DJs, established artists, and others to sort through the tall stacks of young rap hopefuls and find the 10 most promising. Since beginning the Freshmen 10 list in 2010, the project has snuffed out talents like IamSu!, DaVinci, Roach Gigz, Shady Blaze, A-1, and even, yes, Kreayshawn. Yesterday, the site unveiled its Freshmen 10 roster for this year, featuring rappers from all over the Bay Area. So while you may or may not have heard of these artists yet, you likely will soon, if past years are any indication. Here are the Thizzler picks for this year's most promising young rappers, chosen with the help of locals like KMEL's DJ Amen, S.F. rapper San Quinn, and members of the Hieroglyphics crew.

More »

BART Service To Return; Celebrate By Riding BART to Burger Boogaloo This Weekend

S.F. Examiner photo
And just like that, the mass transit storm has dissipated (for now, anyway). BART will resume service at 3 p.m. Friday, which means cross-bay commutes will be normal again on Monday. But it means something even better: You can take rapid transit to Burger Boogaloo, Burger Records' two-day extravaganza of gritty rock and pop music at Mosswood Park in Oakland. No driving or staying in the East Bay is necessary! Just follow these simple directions:

More »

Rolling Stone Names Two Local Venues Among the Best Amphitheaters in the Country

Christopher Victorio
Green Day at the Greek Theatre.
So Rolling Stone is on this clickbaiting kick of naming the best venues in the country, and so far its lists have been pretty kind to the Bay Area: The rock mag for your dad named the Fillmore the No. 2 "big room" in America (which, duh), and Great American Music Hall the sixth best club in the U.S. of A.

Now it's on to another list -- the best amphitheaters in the country. And while the Bay Area didn't make a top 3 or top 5 appearance, it did get two in the 10 best nationwide.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault



©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.