I caught Vallejo rapper, Nef The Pharoah last week during his Changuary Tour stop at the Catalyst. We talked about his extensive amount of vlogging done in high school, Nardwaur, and alcohols endorsed by other rap artists. Enjoy that and peep concert review below written by staff member, Riz Aliga.
Riz gettin’ hyphy
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By the age of four, Tonee Hayes aka Nef the Pharaoh began developing his own rap style in his hometown Vallejo – the famous hotbed of hip-hop for the Bay Area producing stars such as Mac Dre and E-40. His rapping career dates back to his entry of a talent contest, which he won and led to his feature on the cover of the Vallejo Times-Herald. He was given the nickname Nef (short for nephew) from his uncle, which he incorporated into part of his stage name. After the passing of his grandmother in 2009, he stepped away from music. However, he soon began using music as a form of therapy. He then moved to the Sacramento, CA and attended Inderkum High School in Natomas, CA.
In January 2015, he released his hit song “Big Tymin,’” which put him on the Bay Area radar. The song was then remixed later that year by the LA rappers, YG, and Ty Dolla Sign. After receiving recognition by Bay Area’s site Thizzler On The Roof and recognition by Drake and Kendrick Lamar (noisey), while working with artists such as: The HBK Gang, Willie Joe, Mozzy, Eric Bellinger, D.R.A.M., Snoop Dogg, and E-40, he signed with Vallejo’s own, E-40’s Sick Wid It Records and many of his songs were on the radio waves after that. After going on tour around the world with G-Eazy and around California with The HBK Gang, Nef’s group #KILFMB (Keep it Lit For My Brothers) decided that Nef needed his own headlining tour. The tour was introduced as “Fresh Out of Space” in late 2016. Nef opened a lot of Baydrestians’ eyes because of who he worked with and because his music is just down right too damn hyphy.
During his stop in Santa Cruz for the Changuary Tour, he had VernDuzit, Kay Bellz, and DAGHE open up. With my hyphyness, knowing and screaming all the Bay Area songs being played, I was fortunate to personally get pulled on stage to hype up the crowd to HBK Gang’s Kool John and P-Lo’s “B*tch I Look Good” played by DAGHE. Nef then opened up to “Dumb Life” off of “Fresh Out of Space 3.” He was able to keep the energy of the crowd throughout the show by performing songs such as: “Mobbin,” “707,” “Say Daat” “Lauryn Hill,” and my favorites “Old School Hyphy” and “Everything Big.” During his performance someone offered him to smoke a swisher, but if you really listen to Mac Dre and Nef, everyone knows “if it ain’t a backwood, it ain’t all that good.” He closed out the show performing “Big Tymin” and I joined Nef going dumb on stage when the DJ played Vallejo’s own Mac Dre’s classic song “Get Stupid.” Nef is only going up, making connections, as he has inspired artists all over the Bay Area to hop on his style of music, such as an upcoming group from Vallejo SOBxRBE (Strictly Only Brothers, Real Boi Entertainment) who has been putting up big numbers on the internet. They will be touring with HBK Gang representative and platinum selling artist Sage The Gemini for the “West For Winter” Tour and will finish in Santa Cruz (I strongly recommend that if you are in the area, you should attend this concert. I know of SlimmyB of SOBxRBE and they are LIT live).
Zeds Dead is a Canadian electronic music duo from Toronto, Canada. Dylan Mamid, also known as DC, and Zachary Rapp-Rovan, also known as Hooks. These two artists rose to prominence releasing original music and remixes from 2009–10 before becoming a staple on the international touring circuit thereafter. Today, they are known for their exploration of a diverse variety of genres that combine aspects of UK garage, house, electro house, hip-hop, glitch, drum and bass, and more.
Ricardo Munoz, a fourth year student at UCSC from the Fall Quarter 2017 Intro to Radio Class, had the opportunity of interviewing Dylan (DC) on Halloween night prior to Zeds Dead’s performance at the Santa Cruz Catalyst. Listen to the interview here.
Wassup radio family,
Last week I caught up with Berkeley rapper, Caleborate for a hefty interview before his headlining show in the Atrium. Rizal Aliga aka Mr. Hella Hyphy himself was also in attendance and wrote a solid concert review which is also below. Peep it!
The Bay Area’s hip-hop scene has seen a spike in national attention lately due to the upcoming of artists like Kehlani, Noodles, The HBK Gang, Kamaiyah, and now twenty-three year old Berkeley rapper, Caleborate. His first headlining tour, The 1993 Tour, covers a majority of the west coast, displaying his growth as a performer. Prior to their stop at the Social Hall in San Francisco, the TBKTR squad made a quick pit stop at The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz, where I caught them. Last time Caleborate was at The Catalyst was earlier this summer when he opened up for P-Lo’s Before Anything Tour. Prior to attending this show, I anticipated a virtualized environment with high energy and enthusiasm. Jordan Garrett, Nick James, Beejus, and Caleborate’s brother, Cash Campain — who happens to be an R&B singer. Each opened up the night with smooth performances. When Caleborate finally made his way to the stage; he did not disappoint. DJ OG Kel, DJ Adrian Per and guitarist J Hawk were on stage with him. He began his set with “Mind Piece,” then showcased his dance moves during “El Bandito,” (my favorite song from his Hella Good album) and heart felt song “Good Great” (another personal favorite). Caleborate’s energy was in the air, especially as he interacted with his audience, talking to everyone between songs and feeling out our energy himelf. He ended the night by jumping into the crowd while performing “$aggin’ Par.” It’s no question that TBKTR & Caleborate are here to spread positive vibes, inspire others, and most importantly, just to have a great time. The addition of guitarist Jay Hawk and his skillful solos or a mannequin challenge filmed by house DJ Adrian Per, Caleborate, wants you to enjoy yourself and listen to his project that he spent so much time on. The 1993 tour spread love and positive vibes and his performance was a night of excellence. Keep your eyes and ears open for young and talented Bay Area artist Caleborate because he could be headlining or performing in bigger venues the next time you see him. – Rizal Aliga
photos by Asid Theekri
DJ Sweet Tea (Tim Beckman) catches up with Sean Tillman about Har Mar Superstar’s recent touring with local dates in SF at the Chapel on Monday Nov 7th and in Felton at Don Quixote’s on Election Night (Tuesday November 8th).
KZSC interviewed Sean Tillman, frontman of Har Mar Superstar, discussing songs from recent albums on Cult Records, Bye Bye 17 (2013) and Best Summer Ever (2016), in addition to celebrating the holiday Har Mar Superstar day (9/20).
This recording will be aired on KZSC is also available on our Soundcloud
This Memorial Day weekend marked Lightning in a Bottle’s third year at the San Antonio Recreation Area. Closing off LIB’s Thunder Stage Saturday night were locally based producers Minnesota and G Jones. We got a chance to catch the Santa Cruz brewed producer Christian Bauhofer, who is Minnesota, earlier that day before his set Saturday night.
Is this your first appearance at Lightning in a Bottle?
M: I actually played Lightning in a Bottle four or five years ago when it was at a different location. First time headlining at the new location!
There is a huge Santa Cruz following. Everyone that I have talked to is really excited to see your and G Jones’ set, specifically, saying it will be their highlight of the weekend. What is the support like coming from Santa Cruz?
M: It’s been good I mean I lived in Santa Cruz for four years. G Jones still lives there and it’s really fun. I played The Catalyst a couple months ago and just had all the homies come out and it’s cool to see that support from people who were there when I first started playing. And Santa Cruz definitely shaped and changed my music, I kind of started listening to underground stuff. Renegades and underground parties and set me in the direction of my music.
Minnesota (left) and G Jones (right) closing off Thunder Stage Saturday night
I know you were part of starting Wobbleland in Santa Cruz.
M: I and my manager Santiago, basically, I was trying to play shows and I couldn’t get booked so we started throwing shows and we had lots of people show up and that changed things for us. And then we started Wobbleland at the Catalyst, but now I don’t do any of that stuff anymore, I just produce.
What is your process of starting a new track?
M: It changes a lot pretty much. Whatever is in my head, I just think until something comes. I wouldn’t say it is a set process. Just go with it see what happens and I play around with my synths a lot.
You have been performing with G Jones for a couple years, what is it like?
M: It’s been good, we have been friends for a while and we get to play really good festivals together. It’s cool playing with my homies. And it’s just fun to get to go up and play your favorite tracks in front of a bunch of people and drink booze. It’s the best job ever.
What do you do when you are not producing?
M: I rock climbing, I go bouldering. It’s good to stay somewhat physically fit. Other than that just hang out with my friends and my girlfriend, but for the most part just produce music.
What should we be looking forward to in your set today?
M: So when I do my own solo set, I figure out what I am going to play before hand. But with sets with Greg, we plan out the intro but after that we kind of don’t have a plan and that’s what makes it fun. So, it’s hard to say because I’m not exactly sure what I am going to play tonight!
Also, what advice can you give to students interested in electronic music?
M: I just went to my brother’s old high school and talked to the kids in the electronic music program. The main thing I told them was for me to actually start to get to do this for a living, I had to get involved in the community and the scene. I think that is important for anyone to start getting into electronic music and to be a good producer you have to kind of work yourself up.
Look out for his new EP coming out this Fall! Also, catch Minnesota at Enchanted Forest Music Festival this July and keep an eye out for the next time he performs around NorCal!
- KZSC’s 50th Anniversary T-Shirt Design Contest!September 16, 2017 - 3:30 pm
- KZSC Presents: Snowball ii at The Crepe Place- Thursday, September 14thSeptember 13, 2017 - 6:06 pm
- Interview with Martin BarreSeptember 9, 2017 - 4:52 pm
- OMB Peezy interview w/ riz aka rsd 7.30.17September 8, 2017 - 3:32 pm
- A Farewell Interview with a Few Departing ProgrammersSeptember 7, 2017 - 6:17 pm