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Caleborate Interview & Concert Review

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!

-Elbo

SHOW REVIEW

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

ur boi n caleboratecaleborate touching our hearts

 

photos by Asid Theekri

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Why We Should Be Listening to the Female Voices of Hip Hop

Hip hop is uniquely powerful because it sits comfortably at the borderline between poetry and song. It bridges the gap between the two, and in turn contains the qualities of both song and spoken word.  Unlike poems (or any other word based message), music has the upper hand of getting caught in your head for long periods of time. This is a vital tool for those trying to spread a political message–– having the power to keep words in someone’s head is just about the best way to spread a political agenda. Just think, what if on the same day, at the same time, the whole world (including all the world leaders), had the chorus to Queen Latifah’s Black on Black Love repeating in their head? What about Salt n Peppa’s feminist anthem None of Your Business? Would political decision making be affected? Similar to poetry however, rap is much more lyric based than any other musical genre. Because of it’s fast paced nature, rap is able to squeeze an immense amount of lyrical content into a short two minute song. It is not tied to traditional song structures in the same way as other music often is, and in turn, rap can really pack a punch.

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With so much political power, hip hop is the perfect art form to be leading many of today’s revolutionary movements. It reclaims oppressive spaces through its loud, commanding, and aggressive nature, creating a genre of wildly popular music. Unfortunately, most artists in modern mainstream hip hop have very little interest in women’s issues. First and foremost rap addresses racism–– a critical issue for men and women both nationally and globally. Too often however, these political anthems are not intersectional. I’m sure most of us know the feeling of thinking we’ve found a great new rap song until about thirty seconds in when the artist starts describing how he’s going to force women to have sex with him. Suddenly your foot stops tapping and you’re not feeling as empowered as you were a second ago. Of course there are countless male rappers out there who don’t do this, but I think we can agree this is an all too familiar feeling for those of us who seek out rap in our day to day lives. Which is why, now more than ever, it is time for female hip hop artists to finally have their time in the limelight.

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It’s interesting to note that, generally speaking, female rappers are much more likely to include political lyrics in their songs than male rappers. There are many possible reasons for this, but one of them is simply that women have to work much harder than their male peers to get the mic in the first place, so are probably more inclined to say something that really needs to be heard. Unlike what was mentioned earlier, female rappers are consistently intersectional and most songs will engage with both gender and race, rarely choosing one. One of the most common threads in hip hop by women is the idea of ownership over their own body and sexuality, two things which are often portrayed as under male control in mainstream media. There is little more refreshing to me as a woman in the United States than seeing another woman stand up, take control, get angry, and rile up a crowd all while being sexy as hell.

With all of this said, now more than ever it is time for us, as hip hop consumers, to support and nurture female rappers. They stand strong in solidarity against sexist and racist rhetoric that is too often a structure for our society. Female rappers are a triple threat: they are women, they are usually people of color, and they refuse to be silenced. They are prepared and capable to be our generation’s revolutionary leaders––if only we would open our ears and listen to what they have to say! The hip hop industry has been paving the way to produce political leaders for years, it’s now time to give these women the platform for their own voices and a fan base to support them.

So where do we begin?

For starters, tune in to Queen Beats every Tuesday night from 12-2am on KZSC, Santa Cruz. (88.1FM or kzsc.org) Next, like Queen Beats on Facebook and stay updated with what women are up to in the hip hop industry: https://www.facebook.com/QueenBeatsKZSC/

Call in! Make requests! Enjoy! We are the generation that is going to give these women their space, so let’s start now!

*artists shown in included images– top: Alphamama, bottom: Akua Naru, featured image: Soom T

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Day N Night Hip-Hop Festival (Recap + Video)

Here’s the recap video for the first annual Day N Night Festival in Orange County. This was actually the first music festival I’d ever been to, and while I’d love to comment on all the things I felt went wrong or hit my Kanye rant about the state of today’s hip-hop, I think I’ll just focus on the positive and let you watch the video for yourselves.

Festival highlights include:

  • Being actually impressed with Lil Yachty & his braid-driven stage presence
  • YG tearing the stage down before ASAP Rocky came on and moaned about acid
  • Lil Uzi Vert hopping that trashcan
  • Interviewing Allan Kingdom
  • Sitting in the parking lot for 5 hrs. Saturday due to terrible traffic organization (shouts out TAPS)
  • Seeing the live performance of Fettiwith Playboi Carti, Maxo Kream, & Dash
  • Being offered Xanax 4 seperate times
  • YG performing songs from 2010 and his mostly hometown fans knowing every single word
  • Accidentally buying beer for a 16 y/o and watching him run from security
  • YG perform FDT
  • YG proving why he’s #2 west coast rapper behind Earl Sweatshirt
  • YG

VIDEO

 

Loukas

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Anderson .Paak – YES LORD

Anderson .Paak is one of the up and coming artists of the past few years. His work ethic is reflected in the projects he puts out as well as those who notice him. Releasing two albums, Venice and Malibu, as well as being extensively featured on the Dr. Dre project Compton speak to this ethic. There is also the group NxWorries which features .Paak in vocals and Stones Throw Knxwledge as producer. To top it off he has just recently been signed to Aftermath Entertainment. Anderson .Paak is defiantly embracing the opportunities around to him.

Like many, to get to this point in life was no easy feat. In listening to his songs on Malibu it becomes obvious where this work ethic comes from. In songs like “The Season/Carry Me” and “The Water” we learn how nothing was ever handed to this man. His status now is a result of the dedication he has to his art and his confidence in his creativity. Again all this is back up through his music.

One of the first projects released by the young musician was Cover Art. He decided to flip a handful of rock and blues song by injecting a nice dose of funk. According to an article in LA Weekly .Paak decided to flip soulful songs done by white artists that, “mean[t] a lot to,” to him (http://www.laweekly.com/music/randb-singer-anderson-paak-has-a-curious-new-project-4169754). Some of the songs covered are “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes as well as “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service. By flipping them through a different musical perspective he succeeds in demonstrating his creativity. In my opinion it would have been difficult to listen to this in 2013 and not think this guy was going to be a star.

But the best thing about this man is his range. While he obviously can reinvent songs and display his struggle through rhyme he can also write very meaningful songs. But he does not just talk about universal attitudes concerning love or greed or whatever but rather draws from personal experience (where else would someone come up with stuff like this) to better address these attitudes. In a song like “Drugs,” off the album Venice, we learn of the issue of allowing drugs, or any material thing really, to play a central role in your love life. Like, really, how many people are singing about this type of stuff right now? Or you have songs like “I Miss that Whip” off the same album. A new take on break up songs where rather than ruminating on a break up or the person he reminisces on what he actually missed about his Ex. It really begs the question of why people make relationships in the first place.   Then you have songs were he performs assault on your ear. “Come Down” off of Malibu is the best example.

If that wasn’t enough there is the Stones Throw project with Knxwledge called NxWorries. The EP was released only a week or so ago. His attitude shines on the EP in a different way from his other work. Like on the track “Suede”.Paak exudes confidence on a level reminiscent of 90s Hip Hop yet with a freshness that makes you appreciate the present (Thank you both for that one). Of course the lyrics are only half of the duo. Knxwledge’s production on the EP makes it clear why he holds the reputation he does among producers.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, Anderson .Paak is the man. The only way to classify his music is good. Go out and listen.

 

Anderson .Paak:

http://www.andersonpaak.com

https://soundcloud.com/andersonpaak

https://twitter.com/AndersonPaak

http://www.fatbeats.com/pages/search-results?q=anderson%20.paak&p=1

 

Knxwledge

https://knxwledge.bandcamp.com

https://www.stonesthrow.com/knx

https://soundcloud.com/knxwledge

 

NxWorries

https://www.stonesthrow.com/store/album/nxworries/link-up-suede

Suede: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGIWLiO5058

Link Up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu08TQWuups

 

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Quasimoto (Ka•wah•zee•moh•toe)

written by David Reid

Quasimoto, simply put, is one of the baddest MCs out there. Paying no attention to time Lord Quas has been around for years and years but only recently made his appearance in hip hop within the last 16 due to help from the prolific, loop digging producer Madlib the Bad Kid. As a stellar producer/ MC duo Quasimoto was able to put his stamp on hip hop with three albums released under Stones Throw Records : The Unseen (2000), The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (2005), and his most recent Yessir…Whatever (2014).

 

Quasimoto has held a complicated place history. Being around for as long as someone like Lord Quas you will undoubtedly make enemies.   Royal governments, national assemblies, landlords… the list can go on. Keeping his mind zoned and cosmic none of these issues ever fazed the MC. With his bad character, adherence to supernatural practices, along with something rolled from DOOM he was able to stay free from stress. Reports of littered roaches at some of the most defining events in history give evidence to his presence. Who do you think threw a brick through the Bastille during the French Revolution? Orchestrated the dumping of massive amounts of tea into the Boston Harbor? These are just the minor examples of his role in history. His influence could fill volumes yet was and continues to be unnoticed.

 

Regardless of the general public’s inability to appreciate the particular attitude of this MC we can no doubt notice his presence throughout history. This lack of appreciation would lead Lord Quas to change his attitude toward the world. Always looking towards tomorrow and yesterday Lord Quas redirected his multiple abilities towards bullyshit and some rather perverted activities. In fact, it was Quasimoto who had the idea to make man fall in the garden. Most of which are much to explicit to be put into words. For the curious, his discography provides the tamest of the MCs exploits (so go cop it!).

 

Eventually moving to Anytime, LA Quas found his ability to express his experiences in a creative fashion with the help Madlib. Madlib was the only producer able to compliment the inflated voice of the MC yet their relationship could be rocky at points. It is reported from the Bad Kid himself that altercations occurred but the reasons for it are classified. Despite Lord Quas’s size Madlib was able to cause a nose injury but did not escape unscathed. Quasimoto never plays fair. A roach burn and several brick shaped bruises were reported to have covered Madlib after the fight. As a result we have not heard much from Quasimoto lately.

 

We can only make assumptions.

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House Shoes: One of Hip Hops Top Authorities

written by David Reid

Michael ‘House Shoes’ Buchanan has been apart of the hip hop community since the mid-90s. He transitioned from hip hop head, to resident DJ at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, to owner of his own record label Street Corner Music. House Shoes, whether noticed or not, has acted as a strong backbone for the hip hop community by upholding integrity and workmanship as important values. He is infamous for his ability to recognize talent and is presently able to showcase such talent through Street Corner Music.

 

House Shoes is credited with introducing the art of James Yancey to the world by using his residency at St. Andrew’s hall to play, for unsuspecting ears, the sweet sampling technique of one of hip hops greatest. But he did not stop there. Over the years House Shoes used his position at St. Anderw’s Hall as a platform to reinforce a spiritual element to the music. His focus was not to play music to drunk people, well at least not all the time. Rather it was a more serious. For the participants, going to St. Andrew’s Hall on a Friday night was a beloved ritual. This type of attitude towards music oriented the choices of what would be played. Conscious lyrical content and killer production were the primary qualities needed if the music were to be deemed appropriate. House Shoes remained in this position for a few years building reputation along the way. Many events took place but to make a long story very short he eventually relocated to Los Angeles were he is currently living.

 

Never losing his spirit for introducing unsuspecting ears to great music House Shoes began his own record label called Street Corner Music. It began in tandem with a project called “The Gift”. After living in Los Angeles for a few year Shoes decided to begin releasing beat tapes from various, not universally known producers onto soundcloud. But he saw another opportunity. Shoes was hoping to reintroduce the value of owning a piece of music not only through the records but the linear notes and clever covers which imitate those previously released on Blue Note Records. Shoes would call producers he felt worthy of a record and work with their material to help shape the album. The Gift was a ten volume series, which have, for the most part, sold out. You can still cop the last in the series on fatbeats.com or check your local record store. They are worth the purchase.

 

But don’t worry! Being the man he is Shoes did not stop there. He released, and still is releasing, music off of his label. The two stand outs are Doc ILLingsworth and Swarvy. Two insanely talented musicians, the former from Detroit and the latter Los Angeles, who Shoes helped by providing them a platform to release their work. ILLingsworth released a music video for his song “Everhard” at the beginning of the month. Swarvy was placed on the top ten Artists to watch by an article in LA Weekly.  You can listen to both on Shoes’s soundcloud linked above. And when your done listening you can go cop the records on fatbeats.com!

 

Sources

  1. http://www.factmag.com/2015/11/29/houseshoes-interview/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFAtJxj__AY
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN67V0jd4Ek