Sunday, April 30, 2006

'Elevation (Free My Mind)' Video

"Elevation (Free My Mind)"

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Yahoo's Mic Pass

Yahoo's going dumb. This little video they put together is pretty fresh with a nice cast of the Bay's heavy hitters. 'Freestyles' from Too $hort, Federation, Numskull, FAB, E-40, Dru Down, JT, Yukmouth, and San Quinn.

I especially like the literal mic pass with their fine editing. See above.

Watch it here.

Humm Baby

Monday, April 24, 2006

'187 Proof' Video

Spice 1
'187 Proof'

And then Indo smoked 'em all. This video is fucking doooope! I heard it was directed by Chris Cunningham but I could be wrong.

So gangsta.

Pick a Bigger Weapon

Ok, it's finally dropping tommorow. Go buy this shit, steal it if you must.

The Coup will be at Amoeba Tuesday night at 6 doing a quick set, so if you're in the City, check 'em out.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Interview with the Godfather

If you head over to Davey D's website, hes got a really good interview with Too Short that is definitely worth checking out. It's pretty rare to read or listen to an interview and actually get some new and interesting material, especially with someone on Too Short's level.

This thing is about an hour long, so if you don't work a soul crushing desk job like myself, it will probably be tough to work this into your day.

Click Here to Listen.

'Wonderful Night' Video

This shit with Lateef is pretty dope. Theres nothing I like more than a well done hip hop video.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Rootdown - Friday Night

I'm a little late posting this one, but it's going down tonight.

Bucc Rogerz
The Sole Vibe

2183 Mission St. between 17th and 18th

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Choppin Up Dope (I got 5) ---Interview w/ E Da Boss--

You kids ever heard of Blackalicious? What about the Gift of Gab? Did you know that beatmaker/DJ deluxe Chief Excel often doesn't head out w/ the Quannam crew on tours/gigs overseas and in the States? Why? Duuh dude, you gotta keep it moving and when the crew is touring an album, Excel is in the lab WORKING ON THE NEXT HEATROCK! So who do you think steps up to bat and fills the shoes of a star and deejay's for Blackalicious? Another star, E Da Boss. This cool cat runs Slept-On Records with Nick Andre and has a mixtape, entitled The Catalog, hittin' the underground hard with appearances from: JernEye (Lunar Heights), Bicasso from the Living Legends, Gift of Gab himself, Lateef, Nebulus...and me (king ELJEN!)... but peep this, DJ Platurn reppin' the Oakland Faders mixed the whole joint...its too hot. Anyways, in between touring, doin' gigs, crushing shows with the likes of Jahi and the Light and the Gift of Gab (he was Gab's deejay for his solo album onslaught of hype shows worldwide), making beats, DJing everywhere in the city...HE TOOK TIME OUT TO HOLLAR AT ME AND ANSWER SOME VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR THE CITY OF DOPE!!! Fame hasn't fazed this pro, peep.....

E Da Boss

King Eljen: So E, how many times you been around the world on tour now? Name some of the dopest spots...
E Da Boss: Been to Europe hella times, 10+, also Ausralia & New Zealand. The best place to me was Barcelona, Spain...those folks really know how to PARTY !!

What projects are you hollarin about these days, and whats coming up soon for you?
Om records and a mixtape, but I cant give away the plot, also the new Slept-On Records 12" w/ DJ Enki, Lyrics Born any much much more.

Can i get on a track?
Fa sho!!!

Yo, what movies have you seen recently, whats a good one to see?Dave Chappelle's Block Party, its like the modern day Wattstax.

What celeb honey do you think is the flyest?
Taral Hicks (Kisha from Belly)

Pick one, Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?

Okay okay, name some dope deejays aside from you that are reppin for the Yay right now.....
Joe Quixx always holdin it down for the City of Oakland!!!

Word, I agree. Me and that pimp trade Curb Your Enthusiam DVD's..and at 'Radio' a couple weeks ago, that fool was spinning and I was broke, he let me borrow $20 bucks! I thought he was gonna gimme a drink ticket or some shit! That kid is MAD COOL and sick on the "his and hers". I need a beat from him, and from you too E Da Bossalini!

Thx E!

Peep E Da Boss @, respect the real heads reppin for the Yay and beyond and get "The Catalog" (pssst..listen to the hidden track too!).

And know I got 5 on it.
Top 5 albums to "knock" in your "scraper" and "go dumb" when your "thizzin" and driving around in this beautiful weather, on the search for "rippers" with your "stunner shades" on.....

1. Keak the Sneak, "Counting Other Peoples Money".
2. 3XKrazy, "Stackin' Chips", peep Keaks intro.
3. Mac Dre, "Mac Dre Presents: The Rompilation". The sheer number of albums from Dre the great can be overwhelming and thus intimidating to those who need to get up on the thizz icon, start with this sick classic.
4. E-40, "Breaking News". One word.....Walllaaahhhh!!!!!
5. Neptunes, "The Clones". Trust me on this one kids....

I'll see you in the traffic pimpin, throw up the playboy bunny when you see me!

Peep me rippin a track with Nate Mezmer and Bucc Rogers on the new Bucc Rogers album, "Music for the 21st Century", and learn how to rap...


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Living and Dying Hip-Hop

187 Proof

KRS-One is often quoted as saying, "rap is something you do, hip-hop is something you live." However, what does it mean to 'live hip-hop' in this day and age?

Hip-hop was originally created in a similar manner to that of the blues. Like the music that was born in the 'juke joints' of rural Mississippi, hip-hop was also created as a result of black struggle and ingenuity. Indeed, the early 'park jams' in New York City were as much about showcasing ones individual talents as they were about forming community and celebrating an entire culture that had been enslaved, ignored and disenfranchised.

Today, although alternative outlets exist that continue to maintain these original ideals, mainstream hip-hop, or the most popular forms of rap music have become much more negative. Disguised as party music and marketed to people of all ages and race, the hip-hop lifestyle has been transformed into a commercial entity that is now in the process of destroying its original values in search of greater profits.

This lack of lyrical credibility as well as social value is demonstrated on a daily basis, every minute of the day, on mainstream 'Urban radio.' Claiming to represent "hip-hop and R&B," these commercial radio stations promote ignorance, misogyny and violence to the tune of billions of dollars. [Checkout a lyric from the Number 8 song on the Billboard Charts this week]:

"I bounce in the club so the ho's call me Rocket, posted in the cut and im lookin for a blockhead, yup in my white tee, i break a bitch back, and i keep a big bank, oh i think dey like dat, before i leave the house, im slizzard on a goose, and im higher than a plane, so a nigga really loose, and i can lean wit it, and i can rock wit it, and if u gotta friend, she gotta suck a cock wit it"

(from, "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" by Dem Franchize Boyz)

* * *
Earlier this week, Detroit rap artist 'Proof' of the group D12 (which includes Eminem), was shot and killed in a night club on the infamous 8 mile. According to police reports, 'Proof' allegedly shot first and was then killed by a subsequent gun shot to the head.

Since Tuesday, it seems the reaction to this deadly event has been mixed between mourning and disgust. I have since spoke with many who say they are sick and tired of all the violence associated with hip-hop and others who merely express sympathy for the loss of life. However tragic an event this may be, one thing is clear, it is certainly not the first time such an incident has occurred.

Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Big L, Freaky Tah, Jam Master Jay, Mac Dre and now Proof. All hip-hop artists. All murdered by gun violence over the past decade.

(Of course there have been many other violent incidents during the last ten years including the recent fatal shooting at the Busta Rhymes video shoot, the brawl and stabbing at the Vibe Awards and even New York's good samaritan and sometimes marathoner, P-diddy's champagne bottle incident with record executive Steve Stout.)

Certainly their are sizable differences when comparing the death of super stars like 2pac and Biggie, with rappers such as Proof or even San Francisco Bay Area legend Mac Dre, however there is one glaring similarity that all these dead young black men have in common?

Nothing will be learned.

(I'm sorry to say but it's the hard truth! For example, let's take a look at the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Mac Dre, two rap artists who grew up in my native Bay Area.)

* * *
Tupac Shakur, in all his frailties was a talented hip-hop artist and a very passionate human being. Although his personal flaws and contradictions (and his involvement with criminal minds such as Marion "Suge" Knight), spelled his ultimate demise, Shakur did make valiant efforts to stand before the world and call for change. A direct quote from Shakur on his thoughts about the future were as follows, "I'm not saying I'm gonna change the world, but I guarantee I will spark the brain that will change the world." (2pac was gunned down after a boxing match in Las Vegas in 1996.)

What is 2pac now? Is he a bootlegged remix? A VH1 special? A t-shirt?

On the other hand, Mac Dre, with all his valid accomplishments before his death was not an extraordinarily talented lyricist. Although he was a savvy promoter of his music, he did not strive for much more musically than his hustle (to his credit he never claimed to do anything more than that). Indeed from his early records which were literally "too hard for the f*ckin radio," to his stint in prison for alleged bank robbery, to his return and re-birth through a Bay Area rap craze he helped create called "Hyphy" (which literally means to "get stupid," or "go dumb" from drug use), Dre didn't stand for much more than pimping and getting high. (Mac Dre was gunned down after a concert in Kansas City in 2004.)

What is Mac Dre now? He's an icon? A hero? A t-shirt?

(If you don't believe me, you haven't been to the Bay Area lately.)

* * *
Obviously, the virtuous legacy of hip-hop artists like Tupac Shakur is not lost and there are indeed people who will continue to keep his memory alive however, it seems to me that over the past ten years or so hip-hop has taken a turn for the worst. Sadly, messages concerned with change and consciousness have been replaced by threats of senseless violence and calls for mindless behavior. Although both criminal and party elements have always existed in hip-hop, there were once many other aspects or 'elements' that were equally represented. Today, rap artists can't get on the radio unless they "Get crunk," "Get hyphy," "Get stupid" or "Go dumb!"

Imagine 2pac in a video, dancing around in a triple extra large white t-shirt, exclaiming, "Get stupid! Get stupid! Go dumb! Go dumb!" While it is true, that 'Pac' was often involved with less than virtuous activities, I cannot for the life of me imagine the man would ever put out a record that wack!? (wack: adj. meaning lacking lyrical integrity.)

Of course, the argument is raised that this type of hyper, mindless rap music is a release valve for folks and a direct reflection of their socio-economic situation... AND I understand that there is a lot of potential positive energy behind such a release... However what is the energy being used for and by whom is this energy being harnessed?

If three white guys walk into a hip-hop club trying to sell "Hyphy water" and "R.I.P. Mac Dre" t-shirts, is that hip-hop?

If two young men (white, black, brown or yellow) do a bunch of exstacy because they're favorite rapper does it, is that hip-hop?

If one young person, anywhere, loses their life to a bullet in a hip-hop club, is that hip-hop?

I don't know ... I guess it is up to you?

Nate Mezmer
'Kill The Precendent'
Mad Seven Records

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

'Thats When Ya Lost' Video

Souls of Mischief
'Thats When Ya Lost'

More Heat

I found a few more tracks today from The Coups 'Pick A Bigger Weapon'. I just ripped these links off from a site that I'd name but can't remember.

The Coup - Head of State
The Coup - Shoyoass

I've yet to even listen to either of these joints but I'll assume that they're fresh.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Not Slick

Wow...this post is has nothing to do with whats usually going on here, but what the fuck! In all my life, I've never seen Slick Rick without his patch on, and neither have you. Now you know.

Jacked from SpineMag

Sunday, April 09, 2006

An Afro and a Tux

Just in the nick of time, Boots and Pam are back to remove your crash helmets and help you off the yellow bus. The new album, 'Pick a Bigger Weapon', is finally dropping on the 25th on Epitaph and I think people might actually buy this one. If you arent up on The Coup, do your homework kids, they've been putting out that Oakland funk since '91.

Here's a taste of what's to come...

The Coup - My Favorite Mutiny feat. Black Thought & Talib Kweli
If you don't like this track, you don't like hip hop.

The Coup - Laugh/Love/Fuck
They wanna laugh, love, fuck and drink liqour. Me too.

The Coup
'Ride the Fence'

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Turner, Jonz, and Co-Deez

This is a J-Dilla produced track from Prozack Turners new album, 'Bangathon'. You may know him as one half of the group, Foreign Legion, who always come with a dope live show. This guy appeared onstage once by unzipping himself out of a duffel bag while rapping. Thats crazy.

Prozack Turner - Leisure Rules

Sunspot Jonz is a straight up cold muthafucka on the mic, one of Oaklands finest. Hes got a few words for you too....

Sunspot Jonz feat. Micah9 - She

This ones from Sakima and Otayo Dubb, who come together as the group Co-Deez. These guys have been making big noise for a while with the release of their album 'Royalty'. Go check them out on April 21st at the Balazo 18 Gallery in SF.

Co-Deez - Final Round

Friday, April 07, 2006

He's Alive!

Just kidding...he's still dead. Or is he....

Tupac’s aunt Gloria “Go” Cox and his sister Kyiwa Shakur visit the new Tupac Eternal’ exhibition of Tupac Shakur a wax work, designed by Jeni Fairey, to mark the 10th anniversary of his death at Madame Tussauds, inside the Venetitian Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Check out this quick video of the unveiling of Waxpac and more pics here. That thing looks pretty real, kind of creepy.

While youre loitering on the mean streets of the internet, do yourself a favor and peep Mac Jay & Doxx at Yay Mecca and Strivin', respectively. Big things.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Choppin Dope Up w/ kingELJEN (i got 5)

Its the illegal weapon kingELJEN! Im the dude w/ the drink tickets my famous friends gave me, a guest list in the thousands, and dealers of all sorts on speed dial. I also have a 7" single entitled "Entertainment" ( catching spins around the world as well as the secret track on "The Catalog", (Blackalicious' tour deejay E DA BOSS and dope producer Nick Andre's mixtape)hosted by Gift of Gab & Lateef, and mixed by DJ Platurn of the Oakland Faders feat. Lunar Heights, Bicasso (Living Legends), Crown City Rockers and more....I'm also on Bucc Rogerz fresh new LP( and I got an EP coming to you within the month w/ my DJ, Waxsmith...he's way too dope...details coming soon....I also got more Polo than Ralph Lauren and more opinions than your racist mama....this week I'll be easy on you and just kick a few top 5 lists.....GET USED TO SEEING ME KIDS HAHAHAHHA!!!! AND NOW......

1. Black Thought (im sorry you've slept so long, peep The Tipping Point and wake up. then read "the tipping point" by Malcolm Gladwell, its fresh too, for you thinkers)
2. Gift of Gab (blackalicious) Im not bias just because my main man E da Boss deejays for 'em, and i know they love those laid back groovy tunes a bit too much, but when Gabs rippin' NO ONE CAN FUCK WITH HIM! (accept for maybe Jihad or Insomniac of course)
3. Ghostface Killah (you should know already, he's bulletproof)
4. Del the Funky Homosapien (the god, "niggas have a memory loss" ...are you one of em? you got your style from him kids!)
5. ...this is a toss up, lets just go with E40, fuck it!

1. E-40 is getting FAMOUS FOR REAL FOR REAL...MTV style (IM KING ELJEN! but i say "all hail the king of the Yay..." fershiggity)
2. Distortion 2 Static... dude, i saw Wonway from Secluded Journalists on that shit just chillin! dope. (its almost as good as CMC hip hop fridays back in the day...i need an hour though.)
3. Weed is legal here.
4. Thanks to Mistah FAB, and everyone else like San Quinn and Keak and E-fizzle, theres no geographic beef in the yay! EVERYONE ROOTS FOR TEAM BAY AREA and thus, pop their collective collars and go unison. awwwwww....its so rad.
5. City of me (thanks iron mike!)

1. Devil's Rejects (its nooo joke!)
2. Collateral ( i hate Jamie Foxx and Tomcat but this shit is kida raw on a grainy yet crystal clear surreal shit...the clakaclaka goes pop too, for added fun)3. Tie: Unzipped & Comedian (for the documentary heads, Isaac Mizrahi is spun, and Jerry Seinfeld chops it up w/ Bill Cosby at the end) Dope.
4. Coffee and Cigarettes (indy flick, like, a bunch of shorts with a crazy but cool theme close to ALL OF OUR HEARTS...i cant explain it but in one short RZA and GZA get coffee served to them by Bill dope)
5. Dawn of the Dead (im no horror head but game recognize zombie game)

Im out kids.see you next week...hollarate at me myspace styles if you need to settle a opinion dispute...peaaaace!

'Browsin' Video


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Callin' Out

"When I look out from the stage onto the audience, I definitely see like a really broad range of people. I see a lot of women, which is not typical of most hip-hop shows [chuckles], a lot of women of color; I see a lot of people of color across the board. You know the more records that sell and the more popular the music gets, I just see that if the area has that kind of diversity, those people are definitely checking us out."

Lyrics Born interview via Shout Magazine

B-Legit Likes Weed

Go check out The Savage this Thursday at the Berkeley Rasputins. He'll be doing an instore performance at 6pm with DJ Rick Lee. Be on the lookout for special guests Keak and FAB.

He's ridin sideways.

Monday, April 03, 2006

They're Kinda Vein

the black adam west

Third Sight - Anti-Happy

Jihad the Roughneck, D-Styles, and Dufunk are Third Sight. Go buy the album 'cuz it's funky fresh like a barrel full of monkey flesh.

Opening Day!

Humm Baby...

Thank You

Over the past weekend, City of Dope has reached a major milestone, 1000 page views! Id like to thank all of my loyal readers who made this possible (Mike and Jason), the two of you make it all worthwhile. Lets keep it going, maintaining the position as the least influential blog on the internet!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The 6ft. Chucky Doll

You didnt give a fuck if he was pissin' on himself or shittin' of the Bay Bridge...

Spice 1 feat. MC Eiht - Murda Show

'Hypnotized' Video

Luniz feat. Redman

Saturday, April 01, 2006

East meets West

Rasco feat. Aesop Rock - World's Collide

This is a bizzare pairing, but I've heard Aesop Rock lives in SF now. Im pretty sure I saw him driving a maroon Volvo down Divisadero one night. A real East meets West, like Ming Tsai.

What It Do!

It's a Saturday night, my girl's actin real shitty
Due to the fact I just left Campbell City
Straight lace Zeniths and vogues all on point
On my way to the Town to get a doja joint...

415 - Sideshow

While Southern California car culture is all about looking good, take a trip up north to East Oakland and you might see a Sideshow—a gathering of hundreds of youths there to witness smoky, loud, beefed-up beasts, where the audience is as much a part of the show as the cars. Now, a handful of DIY DVDs are putting you front and center for the show....

-via MassAppeal