Thursday, September 29, 2016

Five Shows Not to Miss at Oakland Music Festival

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 11:07 AM

Singer Jesse Boykins III at Oakland Music Festival in 2014. - AMIR AZIZ
  • Amir Aziz
  • Singer Jesse Boykins III at Oakland Music Festival in 2014.
This year, Oakland Music Festival is doing something different: Rather than cramming dozens of performers into a day-long extravaganza, the event organizers have taken an approach more similar to ones we've seen at Noise Pop and South By Southwest, with different shows under the OMF umbrella happening all over town from September 30 to October 9. The event features legends and local up-and-comers alike. This year's OMF skews towards the DJ scene, but there are plenty of live bands and rappers to look forward to as well. To help you navigate the fest, here are five shows you shouldn't miss. 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Show Banga and Lil Yee Premiere "Bonafide Hustla" Music Video

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Lil Yee (L) and Show Banga.
  • Lil Yee (L) and Show Banga.
San Francisco rappers Show Banga and Lil Yee — who both rep the Fillmore district — team up for a clean, crisp video for "Bonafide Hustla," a pared-down, molasses-paced meditation on the endless quest for prosperity. The track pairs Show Banga's raspy, unbridled flow with Lil Yee's autotuned rap-singing, with dark strings adding a downcast mood to the bass-heavy slap. 

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Treasure Island Music Fest Announces New Location, Killer Views of Oakland, East Bay Cityscape

by Nick Miller
Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 3:23 PM

A multibillion-dollar development project on Treasure Island has its annual music festival on the move — to the east side of the island.

Treasure Island Music Festival announced this morning that it will be relocating several hundred yards for this October's party.

The great news for East Bay concert-goers is that there will be killer views of downtown Oakland, the new Bay Bridge and the hills due to this new location.

And, you know, there's no real bad news. There will even be a first-ever shuttle to and from the East Bay (location to-be-announced). And if you're a VIP-section baller, well, there's a larger VIP section, as well.

Plus, they're keeping the ferris wheel: This year, it will be set up on the pier on the east side of the island.

Here's a map of the new layout:

Single-day tickets recently went on sale are are still available. But hurry, 'cause TIMF is in a few weeks, October 15-16, grab tickets here.

Friday, September 23, 2016

This Weekend's Top Five Events

September 23, 24 & 25

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 2:41 PM

Brangelina broke up. It's true.  Hope your weekend makes you as happy as Jennifer Aniston was this week. 


Here are some tips:

Traicíon x Swagger Like Us x Folsom Friday 

Cat Donohue was once the culture editor at the dearly missed San Francisco Bay Guardian. But months before the paper folded in 2014, she split off to run her nightlife-centric online-only publication,, with Kelly Lovemonster, the promoter behind the popular queer party Swagger Like Us. The duo quickly created a distinct and inclusive brand of sex-positive coverage that included interviews with trans porn stars and queer, erotic fiction. (They also did an entire issue dedicated to Beyoncé. Legendary!) When Donohue moved to Mexico City, the mag became bilingual as she immersed herself in the city’s eclectic club scene. Now, she and Mexican party throwing collective Traicíon are traveling up north to San Francisco for a Folsom Street Fair after-party at DNA Lounge. The event, which is a collab with Swagger Like Us, features DJs Mexican Jihad, Derré Tidá, 8ulentina, boy_friend, and davOmakesbeats. Expect eclectic, international club music that’ll get your body moving. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Sun., Sept. 25, 6 p.m. DNA Lounge (375 11th St., San Francisco). $10, $12.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marshawn Lynch on Colin Kaepernick: Rather See Him Take a Knee Than 'Get Murdered'

by Nick Miller
Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 6:13 PM

Oakland native Marshawn Lynch dropped some bold wisdom last night on Conan, and it's worth sharing :

Conan had asked the former UC Berkeley football standout and Super Bowl champion his thoughts on the Colin Kaepernick-National Anthem drama. 

Lynch responded with the following: "I'd rather see him take a knee than stand up and put his hands up, and get murdered."

He went on: "I just hope people open up their eyes and see that there's really a problem going on," he said.

Eventually, Conan intervened to white-splain what Lynch had just said, and the audience applauded.

Lynch is a man of very few words, but this was a very lucid, and much-needed, condemnation of use-of-force by law enforcement. Hat tip, sir.

Monday, September 19, 2016

K.E.L.L.S. Premieres His Gorgeous, Lyrical Mixtape, 'Good $hit Vol. 2'

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 9:46 AM

  • Chose "Deario" Austin
  • K.E.L.L.S.
K.E.L.L.S. brings his laidback flow to a kaleidoscopic array of genre-bending beats on his new mixtape, Good $hit Vol. 2, which he dropped today. The rapper, who is a social worker by day, is a skillful storyteller whose thoughtful lyrics reflect on personal challenges as well as those facing his East Oakland community.

See more:
Rapper K.E.L.L.S. is Challenging Mental Health Stigmas 

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Friday, September 16, 2016

This Weekend's Top Six Events

September 16, 17 & 18

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 11:06 AM

The weekend has arrived. Have at it!
Flying Lotus.
  • Flying Lotus.

Flying Lotus
Flying Lotus, whom fans fondly refer to as “FlyLo,” is a Los Angeles-based music producer who has gained traction in recent years for his experimental, genre-blending sounds and use of instrumental hip-hop in electronic music. This Thursday and Friday, September 15 and 16, FlyLo will bring the best of his Brainfeeder label to the Fox Theater in Oakland, featuring standouts George Clinton, Shabazz Palaces, Thundercat, and Gaslamp Killer both evenings. A group with a widespread reputation for pushing traditional limits of electronic music, Brainfeeder creates music that sounds like an enigmatic mix of jazz, rap, hip-hop, and experimental electronic. Legend George Clinton is a seemingly unlikely addition to the lineup, but Flying Lotus’ music — and a lot of hip-hop production — is inescapably indebted to his legacy of experimental funk psychedelia. Catch FlyLo and his labelmates at the Fox for a sonic and visual adventure Thursday or Friday night. — Eda Yu
Thurs. and Fri., Sept. 15 and 16, 7 p.m. The Fox Theatre (1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). $45+.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Elujay Creates Anthems for Oakland on His Long-Awaited Album, 'Jentrify'

by Eda Yu
Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 4:52 PM

  • Elujay.
Wondering where the next generation of Bay Area hip-hop is at? Elujay, the 20-year-old Oakland rapper and producer, lets everyone know with his highly anticipated release, Jentrify. The 13-track album features some of the Bay Area’s best, including production by Mikos Da Gawd on “Mrs. Jackson” and cameos by Samaria and Caleborate on “We Don’t Mind.” Although Elujay has been talking about dropping the album for months, the final product definitely proves it was worth the wait.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Drake Brings Kevin Durant On Stage During Oracle Arena Performance

by Nick Miller
Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Most fans probably hoped that Rihanna would join Drake last night , but there was no Ri-Ri sighting during his first of two back-to-back gigs in Oakland.

But, hey, Kevin Durant made an appearance. 

During the final act of Drake's two-and-a-half hour set, he introduced the Oracle crowd for the first time to their new all-star, Durant, who joined the Toronto pop star/rapper on stage just before midnight. Drake also kicked off his show donning a No. 35 Durant jersey.

Guess we know where Steph, Dray, and Klay stand ...
Just kidding.

The sold-out performance was the first Northern California stop for Drake's forty-date Summer Sixteen jaunt with Future. His set was broken up into four acts and featured many songs from his latest release, Views, and also included a thirty-minute solo set by Future. The two also performed songs together from their collaboration mixtape, What a Time to Be Alive.

Local rapper Kamaiyah and fellow Canadian rapper Roy Woods opened.

The highlights:

It's no secret that, when it comes to hip-hop, if you're not a rabid fan of the artist, performances can get a bit dry. But there was no dry Drake last night. Visually, his show was split into acts: The first featuring a production design of elevating stages, rear strobe and spot lights, and flashing, chromatic video. Drake hustled and worked all corners of the stage, which spanned the width of a basketball court's baseline, while running through hits such as "Headlines" and "Started from the Bottom."

The second set, however, truly wowed. A glowing, fluorescent pink, globe-shaped ball dropped from the ceiling. Drake sang to it, then broke into "Hotline Bling" — and hundreds of balls fell from the rafters:
At the midway point of his set, Drake also flew over the crowd (perhaps appropriate to use the hashtag #FloatingSoftDrake):
Future took the baton after an hour of Drake and did about thirty-minutes of his own tunes. Frankly, the audience took this Drake Break to use the restroom and reload on drinks. When Drake reappeared, the two ripped through tracks from What a Time

The crowd seemed to be dominated by out-of-town fans. At one point, the deejay asked "Oakland, make some noise!" Then he called out S.F. and San Jose — and San Jo was by far the loudest.

The final act of his performance featured total integration of the production, stage and light design — plus dancers — and culminated with the Durant cameo.
Final thoughts:

I'm not a huge Drake fan and, admittedly, gravitate toward the harder and stranger tracks, such as those off If You're Reading This ... But the man is clearly a showman that's unafraid to give the crowd what it wants: big lights, explosions, fire, sexy talk, outfit changes (3), cameos, and fun.

That said, while riding BART home, I kept thinking back to the Kendrick Lamar performance I caught last month in Los Angeles, at FYF Fest, and the shirt he wore at that gig (no costume changes). It read: "Image more valued than truth."

Unsurprisingly, Lamar's set embraced a more raw and authentic live experience than Drake, complete with full backing band and minimalist video production (sequences from Black pop-culture, such as Ron Artest's "Malice in the Palace," Oprah Winfrey exalting, or Don King at a podium, etc).

Lamar seemed adamant to use hip-hop, jazz, and even spoken word to peel away at the collision of Black culture and popular music — to find some piece of truth, and to let the audience be uncomfortable with that discovery.  Whereas Drake, what with his talent, was clearly satisfied with bangers, soft ballads, big lights, and sports superstars.

Not sure what that has to do with anything — and I realize comparing the two artists is by no means apples-to-apples — but that's what my take-home from my date with Drizzy.

Drake will perform again tonight at Oracle at 7 p.m. — but only after-market tickets are available, sorry.

Oh, and for kicks, some Lamar videos from Los Angeles last month:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lil B and Clams Casino Release New Track, Kick Off National Tour

by Eda Yu
Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 3:57 PM

  • Bert Johnson
East Bay rapper and social media guru Lil B is getting ready to join producer Clams Casino on his national tour, which begins today in San Diego. And last week, the two released a new song, "Live My Life," before hitting the road. 

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