Posts

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-4-44-35-pm

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.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-4-59-25-pm

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.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-4-40-58-pm

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

SHARON JONES

JAZZ CHARTS NOVEMBER

Hello all you jazzy listeners and KZSC supporters!

Here are the Jazz Charts for this week! Make sure you check out or jazz programming including shows like Clam Chops on Tuesdays at 12pm and Jazz Kitty on Saturdays at 12pm.

Peace and Jazz y’all.

Album Artist Year Label
True North Leslie Pintchik

2016

Pintch Hard Records
Otis Was a Polar Bear Allison Miller

2016

The Royal Potato Family
Astral Progressions Josef Leimberg

2016

World Galaxy / Alpha Pup Records
Day Breaks Norah Jones

2016

Blue Note Records
You & I (Deluxe Edition) Ala.ni

2016

No Format!
Shelter from the storm Barb Jungr

2016

linn rocords
Carolina Carol Saboya

2016

AAM Music
Harlem On My Mind Catherine Russell

2016

Jazz Village
Language of the Heart D’erania

2016

Everlove Music
Soul Eyes Kandace Springs

2016

Capitol Records, LLC

Listen to Morganic’s EVERY SHADE OF BLUE, MONDAYS 8:30 pm – 10 pm!

Rest in Power to Mose Allison & Sharon Jones.

DSC_0006

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

Programmer of the Month: Art O’Sullivan

The Golden Road’s Art O’Sullivan moved to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC as an alternative academic experience, but the ocean, redwoods and counterculture kept him here. Upon first listening to KZSC, Art was drawn to the alternative music, talk and special format programming.

He started programming The Golden Road on June 18, 1997 as a 30th anniversary celebration of the Monterey International Pop Festival–the same festival that made stars of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ravi Shankar and Otis Redding. Art’s musical taste ranges from A to Z (The Association to Frank Zappa); he loves The Grateful Dead, classic rock (Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Dire Straits), blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, early Fleetwood Mac), hard rock (Midnight Oil, The Who), and punk rock (The Clash, forever). He likes to feature upbeat and melodic songs, live performances, and long jams on The Golden Road, every Wednesday from 3 to 6 pm this summer. He also appreciates jazz, folk, Celtic, African, Brazilian and Caribbean styles.

As a writer, an editor, and an animal rights advocate, Art has written PSAs for KZSC about animal welfare, and other issues close to his heart. Art has also contributed to the Metro alternative newspaper, covering topics such as The Grateful Dead archives, the 10th anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing, animal welfare, cats, and the invasion of Iraq. Art was on the air, programming a show called Earwax during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Art’s columns, criticism and commentary in Metro Santa Cruz won an award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and he was voted the third Best Writer in Santa Cruz by Metro readers in 2005. He’s traveled extensively, making friends on four continents–Art is pretty sure the world is round, and “Love that’s real will not fade away.”

– Abraham

Photo: Hypnotica Studios Infinite

IMG_20160802_130441

Truly “old skool” college radio.

On September 8th, Harvard University turns 380! So it is rather fitting that such a venerable institution would also have 8 decades of broadcasting under its belt. In 1940, the Harvard Crimson Network, WHCN, was one of America’s first college radio stations. In 1943 there was a change of call letters to, WHRV (Harvard Radio Voice). Then, on February 1st of 1951, WHRB was born. But it was not until 1957 that the Harvard Radio Broadcasting Company Incorporated acquired a commercial FM license at 107.1 (which was moved over to 95.3 a few years later).

With such a long history, it is no surprise that WHRB has some historic programs. Hillbilly at Harvard is a country music show that started all the way back in 1948!

IMG_20160802_130335

Then there is, Sunday Night at the Opera, which has been on the airwaves for over 50 years now. And it sure shows when you see the size of the station’s classical music collection; truly extensive and probably one of the largest of its kind among college radio stations.

Since 1994 WHRB has been in the basement of Pennypacker Hall, just a minute walk from the heart of Harvard Square. The hall was built in 1927 and Harvard acquired it in 1958. My guess is that the station has one of the most unusual lay outs in all of college radio. There is a small maze of corners to turn and short hallways to walk down, leading to unlabeled doorways. Behind most of these doors are rooms containing the separate parts of WHRB’s music library.

IMG_20160802_131551

WHRB publishes its schedule three times a year, and it has to be the most densely packed and well detailed program guide of any college radio station in the nation. We are talking the really fine print. Plus, each Winter and Spring feature “orgies” in which concentrated blocks of air time are devoted to a whole host of composers, artists, genres, subjects, concepts etc. It’s a tradition that is the stuff of legend. Back in 1943, as the story goes, an undergrad was so happy to have passed some rather difficult exams, he went ahead and played all 9 of Beethoven’s symphonies in a row. So, as a nod to this legend, the “orgy periods” are timed to coincide with major exams because the station actually gets short staffed with all the students out taking tests. Because, I have to guess, that graduating from Harvard is even harder than getting into Harvard.

Many thanks to Robby Erikson for showing me around the station.

IMG_20160802_131754

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.08.47 AM

2016.6: Mid-year Favorites From KZSC to You!

When you think of the year 2016, do you think you’ll remember what you were listening to constantly on the way to work, on the way to class, or even on your way home? Yes? No? It’s okay to not know the answer to that, because you’ll most likely remember when you revisit some of the music that has been released last 8 months.

In 2016, we’ve slowly seen the album release date disappear, instead being replaced with the feeling of being left out on something really special due to you not paying enough attention to your never-ending timelines. It’s alright, what really matters anyway is that feeling you get when you experience something you love for the first time. Nonetheless, we’ve seen grand releases by artists ranging from Kanye West to Blood Orange, Kendrick Lamar to G.L.O.S.S., Beyoncé to The Julie Ruin, and plenty more that would be impossible to mention in a singular blog post. There’ll always be something to praise, so here are some of KZSC’s very own disc jockeys letting you know what you might’ve missed in 2016!

Gabriel Lopez (A/K/A null), Production Director

Psychic Mirrors, Nature of Evil (2016, Cosmic Chronic/PPU Records)

Fronted by Cuban-American funkster Mickey de Grand IV, Psychic Mirrors bring the boogie funk sounds of 80’s Miami into the modern moment with their first full length “Nature of Evil”. The album is even accompanied by a VHS-filmed “Miami Vice”-esque noir movie of the same name that the band created while writing the album. At times this album makes you wanna roller skate down the boardwalk on a half-tab of acid and in others soundtrack a long night of club hopping and groovin’. The band dubbed their sound “omnisexual funk” and that alone is all the reason you need to buy a copy from Cosmic Chronic records. 

Nature_of_Evil_3000x3000_Digital

You can check out Psychic Mirrors on Facebook and cop their album Nature of Evil via Cosmic Chronic!

Black Marble, “Iron Lung,” from It’s Immaterial! (2016, Ghostly International)

Black Marble’s first song in four years since has them going back to the drum-machine and reverb soaked bass lines of their first critically-acclaimed EP “Up Against The Door”. Sinister grooves and drowned vocals make this song the perfect soundtrack to my walk home every night. Please listen to this song at full volume while swaying, eyes-closed, under a disco ball.

Check out Iron Lung below, and pre-order their 2012 follow-up, It’s Immaterial! out on September 30th via Ghostly!

Austin Brown (A/K/A/ ddlinkz), Station Librarian

James Blake – The Colour In Anything (2016, Polydor Records)

This album is such a journey from start to finish. Straight up, James Blake is the most deadly producer/singer/song-writer combo in the biz and each track has a part that shines so bright that I can’t bare to look away. Constantly in my rotation and I don’t expect it leaving anytime soon.

R-8483401-1462495654-2485.jpeg

You can follow James Blake on Twitter and either stream or purchase The Colour in Anything via his website!

Mssingno – “Fones,” from Fones EP (2016, XL Recordings)

R&B and grime meshed together in probably the most unique EP I’ve heard all year with Fones being the most addicting jam on it. You need to hear this joint before his unique sound blows up.

Listen to Fones below, and check out Mssingno’s SoundCloud for some more heat!

Chris Jong (A/K/A/ Chris), Folk Music Director

Kaia Kater – Nine Pin (2016, Kingswood Records)

This is the 2nd release from this Canadian singer-songwriter-banjo player of Afro-Caribbean descent. She just graduated from Davis & Elkins College in West Virgina last month. [congratulations Kaia!].  has many attention-getting personal narratives delivered with a powerful voice and sparse instrumentation.

kkh_nine-pin_final-layout_canada2

You can follow Kaia Kater on Twitter and purchase Nine Pin via her website!

Kaia Kater – “Rising Down” from Nine Pin (2016, Kingswood Records)

This is a song that catches your ear to slow things down and listen; inspiration from Black Lives Matter movement.

Listen to “Rising Down” taken from her LP down below!

Shay Stoklos (A/K/A/ Lux), Station Manager

Wye Oak, Tween (2016, Merge Records)

This album includes 8 tracks lost in the making of Wye Oak’s Civilian (2011) and Shriek (2014). I love Jenn Wasner’s voice, and the airiness of this record. I think it’s important that the music has been recycled, repurposed from previous records — more artists need to find beauty in the scraps leftover from their other pieces of art. 

wye-oak-tween-640x640

You can find out more about Wye Oak by visiting their website, or cop their album via Merge Records if you’re down for it.

Angel Olsen, “Shut Up Kiss Me” from the upcoming album, My Woman (2016, Jagjaguwar)

I’m simultaneously ecstatic, because it’s SO angsty and cathartic, and also worried that it’ll be the best song on My Woman. The bridge of this song is like a rebirth. Don’t laugh, just go f***ing listen to it.

Watch/listen to Angel Olsen’s self-directed video for her single down below! My Woman drops September 2nd via Jagjaguwar.

S. Dinay (A/K/A/ Crux), RPM Director

Lemaitre – 1749 (2016, Astralwerks)

The combination of real instruments, especially the sax, and the addition of the featured artists on 1749 is what I really like about the tracks. All the songs are very groovy and all show case different styles but somehow still work together for this fun EP.

Lemaitre-1749-EP

You can check out Lemaitre on SoundCloud and purchase 1749 on iTunes!

TOKiMONSTA, Heart On The Ground (feat. Kiya Lacey), from FOVERE (2016, Young Art Records)

I became really interested in TOKiMONSTA when I found out I would be seeing her at a music festival. Then we received her newest album and I could not play this track enough. The vocals are smooth and catchy thanks to the talented Kiya Lacey!

Check out “Heart on the Ground” down below, and go cop Tokimonsta’s FOVERE on iTunes!

J. Ramirez (A/K/A/ crudo), New Media Director

Abra – Princess EP (2016, Awful Records)

This is one of my favorite releases of 2016 so far because Abra’s sound makes me nostalgic about memories I forgot I had. Doused with 80s vibes, PRINCESS is visceral & assured: moody music to put on while you burn some sage before placing a hex on your ex. 

TRUE-123_Abra_Princess

PRINCESS is out now via True Panther. You can also follow the Darkwave Duchess on Twitter.

BADBADNOTGOOD, Time Moves Slow (feat. Sam Herring), from IV (2016, Innovative Leisure Records)

  • This is one of my personal highlights this year because the collaboration is flawless; big s/o to Sam Herring for making me bawl my eyes out.

Listen to the collaboration made in heaven down below, and cop BBNG’s IV LP via Bandcamp.

 

Be sure to check out our Summer 2016 Program Schedule and catch some airwaves with some of the DJs on this list! We’re live and we’re alive.