SOB X RBE Concert Review + Xslapz Interview by riz aka djrsd & Tika

On Thursday, April 6, 2017, DJ Elbo, Tika and riz aka djrsd attended the sold out SOB X RBE show live at The Atrium, at The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz. Riz aka djrsd was the first person ever to interview SOB X RBE back on February 4th, when they opened up for award winning and Platinum recording artist and producer, Sage the Gemini. After the show, riz aka djrsd interviewed Xslapz, the DJ for SOB X RBE, who is also an upcoming producer which can be found below. Don’t forget to check out the concert review on the kzsc blog written by Tika and riz aka djrsd!

SOB X RBE Concert Review

Xslapz (DJ)

With the rain coming down hard in downtown Santa Cruz, the crowd — which sold out in less than 48 hours — could not wait to get inside the The Atrium in The Catalyst. To get the night started off, my childhood friend Xslapz educated the crowd with his taste of his favorite bay area slappers (bayslaps). He played brand new music from various new hot artists like Mike Sherm, Tee Grizzley, and Mozzy. He was playing all our favorite songs from high school and everyone was giggin’ just like they do back at home. It was refreshing to see the culture we grew up loving being spread outside of the Bay. After nearly 20 minutes of solid mixing, Xslapz introduced the Bubble Boyz.

Bubble Boyz

The main rapper for Bubble Boyz was a big dude with a sick beard and a smooth flow. He had a relaxed demeanor while he brought up his crew, and he interacted with the crowd a lot which made everyone hyped during his set. Bubble Boyz was also featured at SOB X RBE’s All Stars show that happened in December 2016 in Vallejo.

Lil Sheik & Big Money

Next up, Lil Sheik representing Big Money. We got hella excited when we saw Lil Sheik and the crew hop on stage. Not only were they showing off their full gold grills, they also had sick matching blue varsity jackets to add to their sick style. Their set was was probably the most well put together of the three openers and we were surprised to hear that a few are under the age of 18. Check out Lil Sheik’s Mixtape “Stuck In These Streets” which is also a banger.

Remedy415

Before SOB X RBE, the only “Wheel One,” Remedy, came through to perform. Obviously Tika was going dumb to this dude’s set because he’s repping his area code of 415 (San Francisco)! Big homie didn’t let his wheelchair or personal problems stop him from killing his set and spitting some red hot fire that has been featured non stop on Thizzler On the Roof. Definitely give this guy a listen if you’re interested in San Francisco rap or just love seeing him produce tons of songs.

SOB X RBE

RBE X SOB THAT’S THE GANG *****! If you aren’t familiar with the group, they are four young rappers from North Vallejo (The Crest), CA that have been increasingly gaining attention in the Rap community. Our favorite part about the group is the way they combine classic Bay Area hip-hop roots with more modern rap flows. With Tika being a SF native, he was excited to see Bay Area artists growing and thriving, so Tika had to show some love at their show in Santa Cruz. As soon as we walked into the Atrium, we were immediately hit with the comforting nostalgia of the hyphy atmosphere that is quintessential of Bay culture and music. There were a lot of opening acts before the SOB X RBE came out, so when they finally came on the whole crowd went mainey. The gang performed hit singles like Calvin Cambridge, On My Momma, Anti, Shots Yo Way, Lane Changin’ and some songs from the self-titled album. Afterwards Tika and his friends were posted behind the the venue when we ran into SOB X RBE. Tika hit them up and they were hella down to earth and humble despite being, in our opinion, the forefront of modern Bay Area music. Tika talked to DaBoii for a while about the show and thanked them for representing the bay as it should be represented; hella hyphy. For Tika, the concert made him feel like he was at home, and he was glad to see people who weren’t from the Bay sharing and enjoying a culture that he holds so dear. We encourage everyone to hit up the next SOB X RBE show in your city because the tickets for the SF show sold out in less than THREE minutes. Bring your friends, bring your mama, bring citas, bring your pets, bring everyone from different parts of the world and enjoy music from SOB X RBE, a group of very talented Bay Area homies that will add some spice to your lifestyle, just ask Yhung T.O! 

Since February 4, 2017, SOB X RBE have been featured by Complex, theFader, and HYPEBEAST.com and all have been referenced back to riz aka djrsd’s first interview and blog post on them! They have sold out tons of shows and recently came back from SXSW 2017. Yhung T.O., DaBoii, SlimmyB and the whole gang have been on everyone’s radar about releasing their own albums. Check them out on theFader’s most recent post about them. On top of that, KIINGR0D made his debut with his song “Knockdown.”

Additionally, check out coverage of the Santa Cruz show 4.6.17, filmed by riz aka djrsd!

 

In Praise of Errors: A Case for Radio

Post by DJ MoKat. Image by Tom Palumbo.

Everyone is so scared to make them. Mistakes, I mean. As students in class, we never raise our hands unless we are sure we have the right answer; even then, upon answering we search the faces of our teachers, our classmates for affirmation that we are correct when we speak. The common consensus stands that errors are bad, and so we refrain from making them.

Our pursuit of perfection is a lie that we know well. We have all heard that we are “only human,” and should therefore not expect perfect precision in our endeavors. The very phraseology of this expression attests to the observed inevitability of mistakes.  As it applies to others, and when it is posed as a solely theoretical concept, this idiom is easily accepted and generally upheld. But as it applies to ourselves, we cannot accept that to be human is to be imperfect. We curse ourselves under our breath, flush red with embarrassment when we blunder, rush to immediately correct the wrong that we have committed the moment we discover it. It is another one of those very human paradoxes to know that mistakes are inevitable and yet to seek to eradicate them.

As new deejays, we have a definite fear of mistakes (we can each attest to the onset of heart-palpitations at the mere mention of our first air-check). But there is a case to be made for the benefits of errors. Because of their ubiquity, we find nothing more comforting than the presence of mistakes; they remind us that we are all human, validating our hopes of societal acceptance. Each mistake is a genuine moment of happenstance. In seizing these moments, we make art, enrich our lives, and we evolve. In no other medium is the positive power of the mistake more prevalent than that of the live performance – in our case – live radio.

Miles Davis put it best: “when you hit a wrong note, it’s the next things that make it good or bad.” This statement is remarkable for two reasons. One: a jazz god is admitting that he has experience with mistakes. Two: he does not denounce said mistakes. When listeners conjure up the image of a jazz musician, they see him from atop a pedestal. The term “virtuoso” has fallaciously become associated with flawlessness, much to the detriment of musicians and listeners alike. Although practicing with the intention of achieving perfection is key to virtuosity, true virtuosos come to a point where they realize that mistakes cannot be avoided, and thus must be willingly incorporated into their art. Doing so creates a strength of character and confidence as a musician, and adds a fresh dimension of vivacity to an artist’s music, as unforeseen musical possibilities present themselves. In being able to adapt to a mistake, one conquers the negative connotation associated with error and can then be more free to focus on expression, thereby allowed to make a truer piece of art. If “the emotional reaction is all that matters” as John Coltrane contends, is not an artist then making his work more meaningful by freeing up his attention to focus on the emotional content of his work, as opposed to the aesthetic appeal that many would associate with “perfect” music? Mistakes take on a new meaning when they are seen as an opportunity to create. An incomplete song can finish itself in unpredictable ways, a live performance can take listeners and performers alike down an unexpected path and lead all those present to a wonderful and unanticipated end.

On the surface, many would assume that the appeal of virtuosic genres such as jazz –  or any art-form requiring honed technical skills – would lie said art-form’s faultlessness. Upon closer analysis, quite the opposite is true: we appreciate immensely technical works of art due to the expenditure of energy it takes to make them so near-flawless. Think: would the symmetrical tessellations of the Blue Mosque be so awe-inspiring if not for the knowledge of all the effort the stone mason must have put into his work? When we gaze at the designs, we don’t just see a beautiful motif; we see years of perspiration, careful attention to detail – all that which went into developing expertise. It seems it is only within the context of our errors that we measure our successes. We find work to be exemplary based off the degree to which a work’s creation is steeped in mistakes. Perseverance is beautiful, not perfection.  

That being said, we learn best from mistakes. However, in school, we are rarely ever afforded the time to make mistakes. We realize their happening to our dismay, and then must learn new material. Our brain “alerts us in less than a second of an impending mistake so we don’t make it again.” We police ourselves with much greater efficacy than any instructor ever could, but we need time, repetition, and feedback from our instructors so as to take advantage of our brain’s self-correction system. To be better learners, we must first acknowledge that learning requires error. Furthermore, we must undo the emotional scarring associated with mistakes, so as to allow for better correction of them. When a student “feels stupid” after making a mistake, she generally tries to hide it, to deny its existence; a shortcoming that is enforced from above by the teacher, who does not wish to dwell on mistakes (as their student’s errors might reflect their own inadequacies). Despite the discovery of their students mistakes, teachers immediately move onward with course material,  generally with an ambivalence toward poor scores. To the unconcerned teacher, mistakes represent laziness or lack of intelligence on behalf of the student; a sentiment which is inevitably absorbed into the psyche of students, leading to a negative feedback loop regarding mistakes and lack of improvement.

Although most students and teachers intuit the logic behind the necessity of mistakes (let us recall the ubiquitous use of “we are only human”) and science corroborates this understanding, the sentiment we carry regarding mistakes is just that: sentiment. We feel shame, we don’t think it. Being corrected for our mistakes feels like a personal attack, as though our intelligence is being insulted. However, regardless of how painful it may be at first, we must swallow our pride in order to  learn. Not only do we have to be aware of our mistakes, but we have to be specific about them. “Knowing that answer #3 is wrong doesn’t mean much. Knowing that they didn’t understand mitosis gives them a mandate for getting better.” Knowing that you got something wrong is just the first step; learning how to fix your specific mistakes must follow their identification in order to improve. In letting students know that mistakes are fixable, that learning is a process, one makes success more feasible. We all stand a little straighter knowing that we are capable of success in the face of our inevitable blunders.

As deejays in training, it is important for us to take these last few paragraphs into account. Dead air, flubbing on a PSA or underwriting, clipping, playing the wrong track/entering the wrong track into Spinitron; a whole host of mistakes await us, or have already been committed. And in the live setting that we are throwing ourselves into, it is important that we understand both the inevitability and the power of our mistakes. There is a certain invincibility we have gained in the past few weeks on our mentors’ shows. There was only so much preparation we were allowed. Truthfully, nothing could prepare us in full for our first time on air. However, despite our sweaty palms and racing hearts, we got through our mistakes. Our mentors corrected us when we misstepped, and our breathing eventually slowed as we learned to embrace our mistakes so as to proceed on to becoming better deejays.

Here’s a secret: people listen to us because we mess up. If our listeners wanted perfection and predictability they would listen to Spotify or Pandora. Sixty-three percent of drivers still use traditional AM/FM stations as their main audio source. Why? In a sense, because we are all lonely. Humans crave other humans. It’s why we go to the mall even while we have Amazon at our fingertips. It’s why we go to parties. And it’s why we listen to radio. When a listener hears a deejay on air, they don’t hear a voice, they hear a person. Listeners are not drawn in by perfect enunciation and flawless segues. They are drawn in by a deejay’s humanity. And what is the cornerstone of our humanity? What makes us “only human”? You betcha. Mistakes. And if not overtly mistakes, the possibility of them proves to be enticing enough to both the deejays and the listeners.

As listeners, we love to feel included, as though the deejay is speaking right to us. Although faceless and known only by a pseudonym, radio deejays hold our attention by talking to us conversationally. Errors are abound: twisted tongues, flubbed lines, bad jokes, lost references, nervous laughs, careless sighs. These are inglorious signs of our humanity. This vulnerability is what draws listeners in and keeps them there. From a blunder comes the knowledge that the person on the other side of the transmitter is actually a person. You might be tempted to laugh out loud at their mistakes, and as you do so, you might find it easier to laugh at yourself. To accept their flaws, to see that their mistakes do not bring about the end of the world, – and by extension that yours will not do the same – is a blessing that no algorithm could ever bestow.

Computers make no mistakes. Computer scientists contend that “if you get a wrong answer, it is because you fed in wrong data or set up wrong parameters or calculations.” While this infallibility is comforting, it is not engaging. Computers make no mistakes, but as a result are confined by a strict set of limitations. Because of mankind’s ability to err, we can learn, expand our abilities; mix it up, so to speak. Although an algorithm can predict musical trends with great accuracy, it cannot guess what will make listeners happy. There is no code that provides that level of context; the parameters are not wide enough to accommodate something as abstract as happiness. But deejays can intuit the impact of their actions, and therefore successfully communicate with an audience, giving them the connection they actually desire. Listeners are not tuning in so as to experience an appropriate or logically sequenced playlist. They are listening for songs that make them feel connected, excited.

In order to draw an audience, a deejay must first be enthusiastic about their work. Despite our ardor, if the proper provisions are not taken deejaying can become monotonous and lead to boredom, which compromises the broadcast as a whole. Maintaining energy is key to maintaining an audience. Hence another silver-lining of mistakes: they keep us interesting. A study conducted by students at Emory supports the hypothesis that “‘the brain finds unexpected pleasures more rewarding than expected ones.’” To see a football player fumble with the ball only to make a spectacular recovery is certainly more entertaining than to see him complete the expected outcome (i.e. to catch the ball). The same applies to radio artists. Both listeners and the deejays themselves find the broadcast enriched by the presence of mistakes. When things go wrong, it is a test of a deejay’s adaptability and prowess to correct their untimely error in a timely manner. The first spike of the adrenaline rush initiated by fear of failure soon fades to the warm glow of self congratulation and perseverance. At no other point will a deejay feel more accomplished than when she has just avoided crisis.

The triumph associated with this moment is dynamic. In the event of dead air, audience members lean in, groping through the static for the voice of the deejay on the other side, anxiously awaiting the reformation of the connection they fear to be lost. But after a brief pause, a bit of “dead air” they are exultant, or in the least relieved at the recommencement of the program. At no other point will they appreciate the voice of the deejay or the power of the songs they play than after a moment of fearing they won’t get to hear them.

Although the FCC does not tolerate the occurrence of mistakes, it makes provisions for them in the event that they occur (disclaimers read after accidental use of profanity, etc). The existence of said provisions attests to the FCC’s uneasy acceptance of the fact that radio deejays are human. The irony that a large bureaucratic organization so removed from the actual production of radio art (being consumed with its regulation) so readily accepts one of the most intimate truths of human production while the individuals that produce the art remain adverse to it is bewildering. It seems in all contexts except those that apply to our own actions, we can forgive mistakes, even celebrate them. As our current adversity to mistakes still stands, we make our jobs more difficult for ourselves by fearing the inevitable, and at times may handicap ourselves from fear of failure. But this failure is temporary. Mistakes do not define our work, but rather force it and us to grow.

The very nature of radio is imperfect. The range of our transmitter fluctuates. The vinyl and CD’s we play music from are prone to scratching and skipping. Equipment must be calibrated, re-calibrated, and tested to ensure that it works. We stutter. Our hands slip. We misspeak. If art is an accurate reflection of our humanity, than our mistakes are but a genuine facet of our  capabilities. We have been taught by prior experience (in school and other social settings) that mistakes are the bane of our existence. But what if they are the crux? Although we have the illusion of control over the airwaves given to us by the impressive presence of the soundboard, there are still variables beyond our control within our medium. And I would argue that those are some of the most exciting elements of radio. To harness the power of the unexpected, and thereby pass it on to others through our artform, we deejays come as close to invincible as any humans can be – but we are forever far from flawless.

 

Sammy J, Jordan T, Analea Concert Review + Jordan T x Analea Interview by riz aka djrsd & DJ Mu

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, DJ Mu and I attended Sammy J’s Spring Tour ‘17 at The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz, which featured special guests Jordan T and Analea. DJ Mu and I were able to get two out of three interviews, one with rising star Jordan T and the up and coming Analea. Peep the video interview that I — riz aka djrsd — put together for Jordan T and DJ Mu’s audio interview of Analea! We’d also like to thank Sammy J’s, Jordan T’s, and Analea’s camps for this opportunity! Don’t forget to check out the concert review written below by Rizal Aliga (riz aka djrsd) and Rebecca Mu (DJ Mu)!

Okay, maybe I lied, this has to be one of the greatest live reggae performances I have ever seen from each respective camp at The Catalyst. DJ Mu and I were able to squeeze a quick 30 minute interview with Jordan T before the doors opened up for Analea and her camp who had an awesome performance. The group featured sweet and soothing harmonies, while setting the audience up for good vibes that were brought throughout the night. After a 20 to 30 minute performance, the crowd was ready to experience the island reggae sounds of Jordan T.

Jordan T, what can I say? such a character. My brother’s band, the Mango Kingz, the former backup band, had previously toured with Jordan T but was unable to tour with Jordan T this time around. Personally, I benefitted from my brother’s connections to Jordan T since I literally knew the whole set and because the Mango Kingz always practiced with Jordan T. However, this was my first time meeting and seeing Jordan T live because a majority of his shows are 21+ (of course lol). Word on the street is that Jordan T gives 110% every performance and yes, this is true, as his stellar performance was unforgettable. Jordan T came out to “Vibe With Me” and as the night went on, he performed new songs off his newest album “Bridges” which is set to release this year (and needs to be on your radar)! He mashed up tons of songs like Fiji’s “Naughty Girl,” Three Plus’ “Honey Baby,” One Drop’s “Little Black Dress,” and Beres Hammond’s “They Gonna Talk.” Jordan T’s energy and enthusiasm took the audience’s expectations to another level, reaching different keys, harmonies, and watching him experimenting his voice in “Closer To You” opened my eyes and left me in awe. Jordan T’s energy was contagious, as he closed out his night with his #1 hit single from 2013, “Sunset Tonight,” as he had approximately a one hour set, which was nearly longer than Sammy J’s performance.

As I anticipated, Sammy J’s night was excellent also, as the crowd couldn’t wait for him to come out! Sammy J came out to “Give Me All” and moved on performing hit songs such as “I’m the One,” “Wishing,” and my favorite “Fall In Love.” He showed the audience his recent single “I Wanna Be” and closed the night by bringing out Analea to perform their cover of “Turn Your Lights Down Low” and “Hey.” DJ Mu and I were able to catch up with Sammy J and camp afterwards and quickly talk about how much we loved his music and his performance. Sammy J was so kind towards us and as a result we felt comfortable enough to ask him to do ad-libs/IPs for KZSC and he was honored to!

(DJ Mu chiming in real quick!) We also got the amazing opportunity to meet up and chat with Analea for a hot second after the show. Analea, a Salt Lake City native, wowed the crowd and mesmerized us with her smooth and enchanting voice. As we were wrapping up Jordan T’s interview, we heard her voice from the H room in the Catalyst and I automatically was on “LET’S GO LISTEN mode”. Her voice melted me like butter and everyone was swaying their hips to her voice. After the concert, people went up to thank her and every single person (I kid you not) she hugged and had the utmost gratitude for their kind words. If there is such a person who is sunshine personified, it’s her. Analea is not only a musician and an extraordinary woman, but she is also a mother! We talked women in the Reggae music scene and she had the most amazing and positive words to encourage an upcoming of female artists. Being a mother herself, she wants nothing but to set a role model for her daughter, and other girls alike, and wants to encourage girls of all ages to pursue any profession. Whether it’d be a scientist or a musician, she wants every woman to know that we can do it! You can listen to the interview with Analea here.

Island Reggae music specifically has been experiencing a resurgence in the music world today as I still believe that it is not very represented on the radio. However, there are three reggae shows here at KZSC Santa Cruz, each are run by community members. Daddy Spleece with “All Fruits Ripe” Tuesday’s 9AM-12PM, DJ Tiffany with “Joy in the Morning” Thursday’s 9AM-12PM and Abraham / DJ YB with “Strictly Rockers” Saturday’s 6:30PM-8:30PM, yet I feel as though there should be one student-run (island) reggae show. I am currently working on proposing an island reggae show here at KZSC Santa Cruz and using this radio platform to hopefully give our listeners more exposure of island reggae music here in the Monterey Bay! You’ll hear the Jordan T’s contribution to DJ Mu’s Surf Reports which air on Fridays 5:30-6PM during Just In From Outdoors. Additionally, if I do get my show, you will definitely hear the new sounds of Sammy J, Jordan T, and Analea here on community supported radio station, the great 88!

P.S. Refer to Spleece’s Santa Cruz reggae website http://santacruzreggae.com/ 

Additionally, here is some coverage of the show! 

 

Concert Review: Noname at the Chapel on 02/18/2017

In the never ending, open seas of modern rap, Fatimah Warner, known better by her stage name, “Noname” is like a glimpse of land or a taste of fresh produce. She is so many things that I, as a hip hop consumer, crave in modern rap: she is lighthearted and fun while taking on important topics, her songs are complex and beautiful, and more importantly she is having the time of her life doing it.

Noname grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, and her roots are very evident in her music. She takes pride in her hometown, and consistently credits the city for her musical inspiration and success. She began as a slam poet, which led her to many open mics around the city, even bringing her to land 3rd place in Chicago’s “Louder than a Bomb” competition. Before long, she began rapping, and in 2013 she was featured on Chance the Rappers “Acid Rap,” with a verse in his song “Lost.” After this, she became visible to the industry’s eye, and over the next few years she was featured on a number of other artists albums such as  Mick Jenkins’ mixtape The Water[s],  Ramaj Eroc’s track “I Love You More“and multiple tracks on Kirk Knight’s album Late Knight Special. She also released a full unofficial mixtape called What the F*ck is a Noname Gypsy on youtube in 2014.  In 2013, with a name change from Noname Gypsy to just Noname, Fatima Warner announced that she was recording her own mixtape, and three years later, in July 2016, her first full mixtape and biggest hit yet, Telefone, was released.  

Her decision to remove “gypsy” from her stage name in 2016 reflects on Noname’s ability to learn and understand her mistakes. For those who may not know, the term “gypsy” is a derogatory term to refer to the Roma people whom have faced an extreme amount of discrimination; being pushed from nation to nation and often denied legal status. The word has been appropriated in the US to mean “carefree” or “traveler,” however to many people across the globe it is still extremely offensive and hurtful. So if you have an instagram bio or forever 21 t-shirt that reads “gypsy soul” or “free spirited gypsy,” it’s time to toss it. Noname was open, understanding and apologetic about her name change, as you can see from this tweet in March:

In November 2016, Noname announced a US tour and by March 2017 half the shows had already sold out. Queen Beats DJ Jinx, along with KZSC staff member and mentee Kaviar were lucky enough to attend her show in San Francisco on February 18th, and have a quick chat with Noname and her incredible opener, Ravyn Lenae, after the show.

While standing in line outside the venue, and waiting in front of the stage for Ravyn Lenae to come out, the excitement and respect was palpable. It felt like every person present was there to witness Noname and her art, not just for a good time. The venue was packed and people were up to typical concert shenanigans, but there was no shoving or hostility; it smelt like soap and flowers. When the DJ backing Ravyn Lenae came out to hype the crowd (with tasteful yet banging throwback jams) people were getting down and dancing together. Not in a “imma do my thing over here as I try to ignore Steven over there groping Sally-May” kind of way, but just sincerely having a good time together. All of this goes to show that Noname has mastered her art and is speaking truths in a way that is immediately recognizable and impossible to disregard. She talks about tragedy and resistance, but is also honest about her experience and insecurities in a way that makes it easy to recognize her humanity.

You don’t have to see Noname in person to know she’s going to give a good live performance. Her vocal style and lyrical personality set her up to be an incredible performer, and as expected, she didn’t disappoint on Saturday evening at the Chapel. Both her and Ravyn Lenae held a kind of on stage presence that is unforgettable; they interacted with the audience in a genuine, sincere way, and it was easy to tell that in that moment, the Chapel stage was exactly where they wanted to be.


Ravyn Lenae made it a point to talk about each of the songs she sang. She emphasized that her intent was communication and gave her words weight. During her set she projected stars and a moon on the ceiling of the Chapel and it fit seamlessly with her bubble-bath low-fi production. She carried herself with an ease that was admirable and soothing. Similarly, Noname had this endearing way of prancing around the stage while the instrumentation was taking over, her big smile and wide eyes not once slipping from her face. She was so clearly living by her own rules and needs, it’s refreshing to see an artist so unconcerned with fitting into the industries expectations and regulations. Her music speaks to her own experiences and feelings, and that’s what makes it so unique.

Once the show finished and the audience was filing out, we decided to hang around for a bit to see if Noname was planning on making an appearance at any point. We introduced ourselves to the security, and they told us they would send the message along that we would love to chat, despite being previously told Noname was not doing any press that night. While we waited in the main bar, we were lucky enough to catch Ravyn Lenae and ask her about her own work and her experience working with Noname, along with the many other artists featured on Telefone.

Lenae, who just like Noname comes from Southside Chicago, was noticeably nonchalant and humble about her impressive success at the young age of 17. When we asked her about working on Telefone, and touring with Noname she explained that it was “all very organic,” going on to note that her and Fatima had been good friends for a while, and working on music together was really just hanging out with a close friend. She said that her part on “Forever” wasn’t even pre written, she just came to the studio and they perfected it together day of recording.

After about ten minutes, Noname came out into the bar and introduced herself to a few fans. We talked to her about KZSC and Queen Beats and what an inspiration she is for the show. She was flattered and happy we were doing our radio show and even though she was clearly exhausted from two back to back concerts, she was more than willing to engage with us (and even take a picture!)

Walking out of The Chapel and  making our way to the Bart that night, it was hard not to feel like we had been imparted with a small piece of Chicago magic. Noname’s Telefone tour swooped through town propelled by respect for craft, words, hip-hop, people, and Chicago. MC Lyte’s utopian view in “If women ran hip-hop” was a reality at Noname’s show, and it was not because she is a female MC, it’s because for that night, she really ran hip hop.

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Queen Beats DJs Jinx and Caviar with Noname

— written by Jinx and Kaviar, for more fun articles about the women of hip hop like us on facebook and tune in every Friday night from 12-2!

J Boog Concert Review by riz aka djrsd of KZSC Santa Cruz

On Thursday, February 24, 2017, I attended the Grammy Award Nominee and Island Reggae artist J Boog’s concert for his “Washhouse Ting” Tour here at The Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz. I was unable to get an interview with J Boog due to his manager and peers saying that he was not feeling well but he did not show any sickness nor illness during his outstanding performance. Attached is coverage of the Wash House Ting Tour: J Boog, Jo Mersa Marley, Jemere Morgan LIVE at The Catalyst Club, Santa Cruz, 2.24.17 – Enjoy the concert review below written by Rizal Aliga (riz aka djrsd)! 

       DJ Westafa got the crowd bumpin’ and feelin’ the island/Jamaican and dub reggae vibe when the doors opened at 8PM and was the DJ throughout the show as he had a stellar night. At approximately 9PM, Jemere Morgan and band members came on stage and there has been no better opening act than Jemere Morgan that I have seen at The Catalyst. Jemere also stated during the show that he was not feeling well either but came out to perform just for the reggae fans in attendance. Jemere Morgan got the crowd involved early during his outstanding set.

         Up next featured the Jo Mersa Marley, and yes he is related to Bob Marley, and happens to be Stephen Marley’s son. Jo Mersa Marley came out to Three Little Birds and obviously paid tribute to his grandfather, singing his world renowned songs. Jo Mersa also performed his own hit songs which the crowd really enjoyed. Before J Boog came on, Cisco of Big Body Radio collaborated with DJ Westafa and played music from the Bay Area to pump up the crowd to another level. Sounds included Tupac, E-40, Mac Dre and Too $hort. Cisco then introduced J Boog’s band which then introduced J Boog.

        J Boog’s band had a sweet introduction as J Boog came out to Nuh Wan Dat which got the crowd groovin’. J Boog had an excellent performance, playing songs like Lifetime Lover and Love Season from Hear Me Roar (2007), and my favorite Coldest Zone. He continued with Sunshine Girl from Backyard Boogie (2011), Rose Petals (2016) and his most recent work Wash House Ting (2016). (I actually tried to take the crumpled paper outline of which songs they performed but they took it lol). He ended the show with his most known song Let’s Do It Again off of his self-titled EP he released in 2011. He engaged with the crowd frequently and the crowd rousingly responded with much love to J Boog throughout his show.

        With this show being the first ever reggae show I’ve been to, it was an unforgettable night for sure. All the artists made the crowd feel the good vibes and there were no instances of violence or negative interactions in the crowd. Huge shout out to Chelsea, KZSC’s Promotion Director, J, KZSC’s New Media Director, and Earl Salindo, The Catalyst Club’s Manager & The Catalyst Club for this opportunity.

       P.S. this show inspired me even more to become a reggae DJ. Be on the lookout next quarter, I could have my first show and who knows in what genre!

Thanks to all and One love. – Riz aka djrsd 

(references: http://www.laweekly.com/music/reggae-got-samoan-singer-j-boog-out-of-compton-and-into-the-spotlight-7616049

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-puet/j-boog-island-reggae-boom_b_5980716.html)

Santa Cruz Music Festival at Downtown

Santa Cruz Music Festival
February 18th and 19th in Downtown, Santa Cruz

One of the most exciting events to hit Santa Cruz is the one and only Santa Cruz Music Festival hosted downtown this February 18th and 19th. The event is a multi venue two day festival with over 250 artists most of which are local artists! The venues include The Catalyst, Motiv, Blue Lagoon, San Lorenzo Park, Safe Mare, and more all along and around Pacific Avenue. The concerts begin at 12pm on Saturday and Sunday and continue past midnight. Stay connected to find out when and where your favorites are playing with the SCMF Facebook page.

This year KZSC will be at the event interviewing artists, photographing and broadcasting the event for those who want to listen and cannot make it out to the event. We are very excited to be teaming up with the SCMF which represents so much of the music we support at our radio station. Follow KZSC and the SCMF to stay updated during the event.

Get your tickets and all the information at santacruzmusicfestival.com.

Santa Cruz Music Festival
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