The She’s Record Release

By: Joshua Zupan

San Francisco based quartet, The She’s prepare for the release of their second LP entitled “all female rock and roll quartet.” The She’s ultra melodic rock-pop hybrid sound has taken California’s greater bay area by storm for the last few years as their music progresses and evolves. Since junior high, four best friends: Sami, Hannah, Eva, and Sinclair have been writing and playing their own music, taking inspiration from the experience of adolescence and all the ups and down of being a young adult. Lyrically, they create an exquisite balance between themes of love and heartbreak, recognition, frustration, aspiration, and disappointment. <br>
Upcoming album, “all female rock and roll quartet” differs from past melodies, including more experimental and eccentric sounds that depict just how far the group has come since the beginning of their music career. This mature and honest movement of The She’s music sets an incredibly hopeful tone for dedicated fans and new listeners alike. The She’s will be performing at The Chapel in San Francisco, CA, on Tue, November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm (doors at 7:00 pm), releasing their highly anticipated album alongside openers Plush and Pardoner.

2017 Rolling Loud Bay Area Review

If you follow any hip hop news outlets, it’s been pretty hard to avoid Rolling Loud coverage. The festival has been getting quite a bit of attention, mostly focused around Lil B getting jumped backstage, and XXXtentacion attacking a fan during his set. KZSC hip hop DJs Jinx, Elbo and RIZ aka RSD were on site for both these events, but we also saw some incredible performances that should be getting just as much attention. We’ve heard about the scandal, let’s hear about the music!

While Rolling Loud has been around for 2 years now, this October was the very first time it took place in the Bay Area– and from the looks of it, we have no doubts it will be back. As usual, the Bay did not disappoint and both the artists and crowd were hyped. We rolled up from Santa Cruz around 3:45 on Saturday, just in time to catch the last of Nef the Pharaohs set, specifically jamming from the security line to his hit song, and a personal favorite of ours, “Bling Blaow.” With our press wristbands on and ready to dance, we headed into the festival.

SOB X RBE

The next set we were especially excited about was Vallejo’s finest, SOB x RBE. Arguably, the best and youngest rap group in the whole country right now. SOB X RBE has improved performing live, as they have started to engage with the crowd more and actually perform. Their official DJ Xslapz educated those in attendance and played his fire set of Bay Area music. It was no doubt that a majority of the Bay Area fans came for SOB X RBE, who was one of less than 10 Bay Area artists on Rolling Loud Bay Area’s lineup. SOB X RBE showed up and showed out.

XXXtentacion

At 7:30, XXXtentacion came onstage, and with nothing else to see at the time, we decided to hop over and see what he was all about. Before we get into a review of his performance, I think we should recognize the fact that he was even performing at Rolling Loud to begin with. Convicted or not, X has been accused of a horrific and disturbing sexual assault, and it’s alarming that Rolling Loud would choose to ignore these accusations and have him on their bill anyways. It’s an extremely prevalent and recurring event on so many different platforms (music, film, politics, etc.) that society chooses to value whatever the perpetrator is putting into the world over the disgusting crime that almost all of us can agree was wrong. Despite the entire audience being aware of what X had done, everyone was there, unphased, ready and excited for his set. It’s situations just like this that we must ask ourselves, how much can we justify separating a person from their art? To what extent can we condemn a person’s actions while continuing to consume what they’ve created, and in turn contributing to their success? Something unique to XXXtentacion as a figure is that his violent and aggressive nature is part of what makes him appealing. He doesn’t try and hide it, in fact he’s proud and unapologetic about his behaviour. At his Rolling Loud performance, he played no more than one song before stopping to say something along the lines of, “I know I have a lot of haters out there. I respect that. If you have a problem with me all I have to say to you is come at me” He then proceeded to step off the stage on another man’s shoulders and enter into the crowd, encouraging anyone to hit him, essentially trying really really hard to start a brawl. When a few people took him up on the offer, he hit them back without hesitation. At this point it was pretty clear to us and everyone watching X wasn’t there to perform anything, he just wanted to make a scene and hold up his violent reputation. Almost everyone in the audience was disappointed– many were booing, and while it was frustrating to see such a stupid performance, it was also satisfying to see someone I have such a distaste for give a universally horrible show. Keep it up, X!

21 Savage

In the car driving home, we discussed who we were impressed by, who we wished had given a better performance, who we under/over estimated, and who we would see again. Without any argument, we all agreed 21 Savage was 100x more impressive than we expected. Judging from the media, 21 Savage is associated with the “trashy” “mumble rap” we so often hear as an insult, but after seeing him live we all agree: whether his style is your taste or not, the dude’s got talent. Unlike some of the other performances, 21 didn’t waste any time rambling about nonsense or yelling at the crowd to make a moshpit. He came onstage prepared and energized, hitting his set off with his most recent hit off his new album Issa, “Bank Account,” on top of legit performing most of his songs acapella with the beat dropping at the right time.

21 Savage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travis Scott

“Protect Lil B at all f*cking costs, mothaf*cka (gunshot noise)” was Travis Scott’s message between each song during his whole performance, on top his performance generally being lit af. Travis Scott had the whole crowd alive as he was jumping around on his giant mechanical flying bird. The crowd was loud in response as Travis Scott gave a mind blowing and unforgettable performance. It was certainly a great way to end the night.

 

Day 2, Sunday 10/22:

We got to the festival grounds a little later on Sunday, arriving around 6:15, and already the second day had a different feel to it. To start off, it felt like there were at least 25% more people in attendance, and despite (or maybe because of?) the events that took place the day before, the crowd felt wilder. Generally, it seemed like people were more excited about the Sunday lineup than they were the Saturday one. We met up with UCSC photographer and film student Keanu Ramos, who gave us some cameras so we could get access to the photo pit during the performances, which made our Sunday experience unique to our Saturday one.We got exclusive media photo pit access for Young Thug, Isaiah Rashad and Lil Wayne.

Lil Yachty

The first performance we saw on Sunday was Lil Yachty, which we caught up to about 10 minutes into his set. While most of Lil Yachty’s songs are bangers (I have no shame in admitting this & if you do you’re lying to yourself) the first thing you think when you hear his music is probably not “this would be really good live.” Which is why we were pleasantly surprised when we showed up and found that he sounds just as good on stage as he does recorded. Of course, it was his classic Yachty energy that really took the show to the next level. Something I love and have always admired about Lil Yachty is his ability to radiate pure joy in everything he does, and Rolling Loud was no exception. With a big smile on his face, Yachty jumped around the stage with Lil Pump, braids going everywhere, splashing water bottle after water bottle on the excited crowd. He killed all his hits, including Peek-a-Boo, One Night, and On Me.

 

Young Thug. Photo by Keanu Ramos

 

Young Thug

One place where Rolling Loud went wrong was scheduling Young Thug at the same time as Lil Wayne. Many people found it hard to choose between watching Young Thug and Lil Wayne, including ourselves so we just chose to jump back and forth throughout both sets (a pro to having the two stages ridiculously close to each other). Young Thug energized the crowd and it was surprising to us that he actually sang his entire set with no autotune and was hitting every key on point. Young Thug brought it back a couple times and played some of his songs from when he was first coming out such as: “Stoner,” “Hookah.” and “Lifestyle.” Overall, Young Thug gave an incredible performance and we really have no complaints.

 

 

 

Lil Wayne. Photo by Keanu Ramos

 

 

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne was the last show we saw at Rolling Loud, and it was quite the finale. As the oldest and most experienced artist on the bill by a long shot, he felt like the godfather of the festival. He entered the stage with grace and ease, and you could tell the second he took the mic he knew exactly how to work a crowd. After performing his first song, he paused for a moment to look earnestly at the audience and remind us with his hand over his heart, “I need you to remember two things: y’all ain’t shit without the man above, and I ain’t shit without all of you.” After all these years, he seemed genuinely grateful and content to be exactly where he was in that moment. The audience could feel it.

 

Overall, Rolling Loud Bay Area was a great experience. We saw a number of incredible shows we would have never seen any other way, and we were very pleased with the whole festival. If you ever get the chance to hit this fest, do it!

 

— written by RIZ aka RSD & Neroli Devaney

 

DJ Shellheart interview w/ RIZ aka RSD @ 6th Annual Hiero Day 2017 (9.4.17)

Photo by Sanny Bisquerra—

I caught up with DJ Shellheart during Hiero Day 2017! Via no-platform.com: Riz interviews DJ Shellheart at American Steel Studios backstage at Hiero Day 2017. They talk about the origin of her name, meeting RBC Bugzy Rexx Life Raj,being an LGBT African-American Female DJ, how she started DJing & more in this interview.

Additionally, learn about DJ Shellheart here!

& her most recent mix here!

BigMoney Lil Sheik interview w/ RIZ aka RSD 7.30.17

I caught up with Lil Sheik of South Richmond, CA, during his YWN tour stop in Santa Cruz, CA with SOB X RBE. Via no-platform.com: Riz interviews Lil Sheik at So Fresh Clothing in Santa Cruz, CA. Watch as they discuss what it’s like being on the Yhung Wild Nation Tour, influences, Lil Tutu, working with Yhung T.O. and more in this interview.

Peep it here!

Additionally, make sure to listen to Lil Sheik’s new album “Still Remember” released 10/1/17!

KZSC covers Psycho Las Vegas 2017!

Hello folks! DJ Catfish and Firey Nairi have followed the smoke to the riff filled mystical land of Las Vegas to bask in the metal madness glory of Psycho Las Vegas. Headliners include The Brain Jonestown Massacre, King Diamond, Magma, Sleep and Mastadon, along with Pentagram gracing the pre-pool party happening Thursday evening.  Stay tuned to the KZSC website blog for updates.

Interview with KOOL A.D and Amaze 88 (BGLEAFY)

Interview by BGLEAFY (Updated 7/25/17)

 

From a conversation with KOOL A.D. and Amaze 88 at Guerilla Cafe in Berkeley, where both Kool A.D. and Cult Days were showcasing work.

 

BGLEAFY: What was your early musical background like?

KOOL AD: My pop’s side of things was like Cuban Salsa and Jazz, then he moved to the South Side of Chicago and was introduced to Electric Blues stuff like that. Later on he got into Jimi Hendrix and Rolling Stones and stuff. My mom was into The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Cream, Pink Floyd, but also reggae like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, all that.

AMAZE 88: Basically my dad was a big record collector, He had maybe 1500 LP’s, 700 45’s, and he introduced me to music. We grew up in Section 8 housing at a time where everyone listened to hip-hop. Too $hort was huge, and right across the water, so everyone vibed to his tapes cause they were passed around all the time. My older brother was a DJ which got to me dig deeper when I was in high school, and eventually I got more into jazz and never looked back. Started making beats, and got my own mpc when my brother wouldn’t let me use his. Some of those beats are on 51.

BGLEAFY: Yea that’s how I was introduced to your music.

KOOL AD: Yea me and [Amaze 88] met via skateboard fools, watching lil skate videos and Kool Keith listening sessions, just various shit. What’s good bruh bruh!

(Kid Trails approaches)

AMAZE 88: This is Kid Trails.

Kid Trails: Beautiful art show tonight. My name’s Kid Trails. We’re putting out a tape, it’s called Kid Trails Sick.

KOOL AD: Definitely play that on the radio that shit go super maney.

Kool A.D Paintings

(Kid Trails walks inside)

BGLEAFY: Did you ever feel a moment in which you could distinguish your work as separate from the sum of its influences?

KOOL A.D: Really nothing is divorced from its influences. Really all you’re doing is, you hear music, however it comes to your ears, you recognize whatever collection of patterns that you grow familiar with, and emulate.

BGLEAFY: Ya I suppose it’s unintentionally loaded question. Not to prioritize uniqueness, but more like, when did you feel confident with what you brought to the table?

AMAZE 88: I’ve got a wide range of influences but no matter how hard I would try to mimic them it would never come out the same. Even when you follow a formula you’re gonna end up putting your own spice on it. I felt confident to put things together after two years of working on the MPC, when I put out a CD called Flowers that showcased what I was doing.

BGLEAFY: Feel. Have you ever had a favorite article of clothing?

AMAZE 88: I’ve always wanted an athletic A’s jacket that was satin, and puffy, but it was black, not green. I’ve never seen a picture of it, but I know it exists cause I was in Foot Locker in 2002 and they had it.

KOOL A.D: With the White A’s logo?

AMAZE 88: Na green A’s logo. Starter, Satin, Black. The Holy Grail.

KOOL A.D: I have a varied and conflicted relationship with the yay area municipal sports teams being that I came up in San Francisco and later the East bay, but as a kid I had the silk SF jacket and the silk Niners jacket. Then once I moved I got the silk Raiders jacket but not the A’s one, which I should’ve got since that’s who I ended up seeing most, just cause the tickets were hella cheap and you could just go to every game like fuck it. But to pick a favorite article of clothing I mean…

BGLEAFY: It’s a tough thing to pick.

KOOL AD: At two points in my life I found boots that fit me perfectly. I had walked outside this house where I had just crashed on the couch and found these Doc Marten boots, held em up like “Ay these are my size!” and rocked those for like 3 years. Literally happened again too with the brown joints.

Amaze 88: The brown joints!

Kool AD: Those were clean. Some steel toed ones, I still rock those now and then. Also happened with a pair of vans I found in front of the horse racing spot, just on the beach. I always fuck with those kinds of finds, the literal finds.

Cult Days Print

BGLEAFY: Is there anything that helps to keep the craft gratifying for you, such that it eases the stresses of touring/producing so much music so quickly/whatever other pressures that emerge?

AMAZE 88: I love making music, it comes naturally to me. It’s never felt overbearing or tedious, and I think that because there’s no deadlines, it allows us to put out more. It should never feel contrived.

KOOL AD: I agree, I’d be doing it regardless. Seeing as I am doing it, therefore, such and such.

BGLEAFY: Feel it. Last one, if you could soundtrack any movie, what kind of movie and how would you go about it?

AMAZE 88: A movie that already exists?

BGLEAFY: You could describe it too.

AMAZE 88: I’m a big fan of Italian and Japanese cop movies and horror movies. Probably that or like a 80’s horror movie with heavy synths, that would be super tight.

KOOL AD: I would wanna do a grand piano score to Alejandro Jodorowsky movie. They all beast mane. I feel like he’d allow for some Avant Garde styles, I could probably handle that.

BGLEAFY: No doubt. Appreciate you taking the time to sit and talk with me.

 

Kool A.D. is currently writing/releasing one chapter of the book Aztec Yoga on Medium, which is accompanied by one song a day as part of a 100-song mixtape. Amaze 88 dropped the song “Bigot” as the first single from his new group Feels Duo with Charlie Moses. Cult Days continues to put out new music, clothing and artwork on her website included below.

 

(recent drops):

 

LINKS:

https://koolad.bandcamp.com/album/dope

http://koolad.asia

http://www.amaze88.com/

https://feelsduo.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.cultdays.com/

https://cultdays.bandcamp.com/album/neon-rose-2