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Hiero Day 2015

Annual festival in Oakland

Hieroglyphics is a hip hop group out of Northern California. Each year they celebrate new hip hop talent with their own festival in Oakland on Labor Day. I got the chance to cover their show this year and even though there were over a dozen quality performers to see on each stage, I was there for one.

It took me over three hours to get to Hiero Day, public transit wasn’t doing so well. When I got there the temp had to be hitting on 90 and everyone was looking for shade to sit in. But I had to find Anderson .Paak. The main reason I was there.

I caught him right before his performance on the Third Eye stage. I ran up to him like a giddy fool and blathered about my love for his music. When I realized how foolish I was sounding, his manager assured me that they all felt the same way too. We talked a bit longer about other LA emcees, I actually told him the only other one that could compete with him was Doja Cat. He got a kick out of it.

His performance on stage had just as much character as his music, along with the short time I talked to him. The day was a highlight I’ll be holding on to at least until next Labor Day.

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Nujabes

Jazz rap from Japan

Whatever people want to classify him as, Nujabes has a sentiment of jazz. Our first look at him on here was almost five years back, within the blog’s first few months running, but I’ve known about Nujabes for years before that.

He came out with a few albums in the early 2000’s that were perfectly in tune with my style of hip hop at the time. Hieroglyphics, The Pharcyde, Jurassic 5 type music.

Ever since the blog started in 2009 my taste has gone to a broader base of electronic. But Nujabes was the first electronic producer focusing on the jazzy side of things and taking hooking it up with some complimentary American MCing. And with that Japanese flavor, it made Nujabes stand out just above the best – for me.

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Music that Got Me Blogging About Music (Part 5)

The best of the BEST (of the best)

Going over this five part series, it’s pretty obvious that hip-hop was the kickstart into my fasciation with music. I had a lot of love and appreciation for classic rock back in the day, but never enough to do anything about it. Discovering music in the underground scene made me realize that not all good music gets promoted, and since my monetary support lacked, I thought I could help in another way.

I hope you enjoy each and every artist on here and make sure to support the ones you appreciate in any way possible. We are their future.

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Feather by Nujabes

"Lettin' my soul take me away from the hurt and despair."

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As promised (from the last post), here is Akin & Cise Star featured in another classic beat from Nujabes. This may not be my favorite of his (that would be Blessin’ it), but it’s one of many in which he combines classical, jazz instrumentals in an elegance all his own; and of course slaps on a few talented MC’s to go with it. Although I’m not one who critically analyzes lyrics too often, this one has some soul searching lyrics. I guess, this is just more proof of Akin & Cise Star’s vocal talents, not to mention the talents of Nujabes.

As always, post your thoughts, follow along on Twitter, and give back some love.

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Blessin’ it (Remix) by Nujabes

I'm a sucka for the sax.

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The fusion of hip-hop & jazz has caught my attention the last few years. Other than the U.S., Japan has pushed the boundaries of DJing farther than ever before, merging various genres with hip-hop, and have shown that hip-hop can expand beyond the borders of the U.S. Although, I must say, MCing is still (mostly) confined to the American dialect, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. A good example of Japan’s talent is producer & DJ Nujabes. Nujabes is a master at cutting classic jazz tracks, as well as including some of his own instrumentals, and mixing them with some profound American MCs. I think this is where Nujabes really pushes forward, he recognizes that MCs in Japan won’t be recognized wordwide, so he collaborates with talented American MCs. A good example of his work is Blessin’ it off of his first studio album, “Metaphorical Music”.

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