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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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Prometheus Brown & Bambu ·· Walk Into a Bar

From the Northwest to LA, these two are bringin' it to the Aloha Islands

You know I love me some of that Pacific Northwest shit, but put in a lil’ LA and spice it all off in Hawaii and I’m ready for some summer fresh hip-hop. Blue Scholars’ very own Geologic aka Geo aka Prometheus Brown teams up with LA native, Bambu, while on their University of Hawaii tour, to create a musically inspired project from the Aloha islands. Producers range from Sabzi (the other half of Blue Scholars) to Budo and many other talents.

Here’s a little from the dudes themselves – I’m done writing, I just wanna keep listening […]

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[audio:At-It-Again.mp3|titles=At it Again]

Blue Scholars · Seijun Suzuki

"You know we got hella class like a bidet."

“Seijun Suzuki” hit the hardest the first time around Cinemetropolis – that beat just catches. Now that I’ve been listening to Cinemetropolis a few more times, I’m starting to feel a few more.

I’ve been listening to Blue Scholars for a few years now and love what they’re doin in the Pacific Northwest. Sabzi is progressing his sound nicely and Geo keeps on with the lyrics. Hit me up with your favorites on this until I get in a few more listens. (Check it on Bandcamp)

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[audio:Seijun-Suzuki.mp3|titles=Seijun Suzuki]

Music that Got Me Blogging About Music (Part 2)

All along the West Coast (minus The Bay)

In the second installment in our “Music that Got Me Blogging About Music” series (first), we’re going to be covering most of the West Coast. The only part we’re not is The Bay Area, which’ll be covered in Part 4 (out of 5). In Part 2, however, we’ll be going from the Pacific Northwest all the way down to SoCal.

The SoCal picks you may know, if you know your West Coast hip-hop, but my Pacific Northwest choices are some of my most prized. Take a look at ’em and tell me what you know, I bet you’ll find something you’ve never heard before – and if you don’t, hit me up, I may have a blogging gig for ya.

Check ’em Out »

[audio:The-Elixer.mp3|titles=The Elixer]

It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Soundtrack Highlights

with Blue Scholars, The XX, Queen, Bowie, Red Man & Method Man!

While watching It’s Kind of a Funny Story, I ran across quite a decent soundtrack.

The initial song that caught me was The XX’s “Intro”. At the time, however, I recognized it as a Blue Scholars track I had heard a few months prior and forgot it was a remix. I’ll I could remember was how well Geo glided across this beat. So I Shazam’d it, Google’d “The XX Blue Scholars”, and BAM, I found Blue Scholars’ “Lumiere”.

After that a few other interesting tracks popped up, including Method Man & Redman’s “Da Rockwilder” and Queen & Bowie’s classic […]

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[audio:Lumiere.mp3,XX-Intro.mp3,Under-Pressure.mp3,Da-Rockwilder.mp3|titles=Lumiere,XX Intro,Under Pressure,Da Rockwilder]

Loyalty by Blue Scholars

"While the record goes round, stand up or fall down."

Banner for Bayani

I don’t need to say much for this song, it speaks for itself, especially the video (in the full article). But i’ll say a few words (it’s what I do best)… First, I gotta say, look at Sabzi in the video bumpin’ to his own beat, what a balla! (haha) He’s got to be one of the best producers out today. Producing with two soulful MC’s, Geologic in Blue Scholars and RA Scion in Common Market, as well as a host of other side projects, the guy really spreads his talent far. If I could be taught under anyone, it would be him …or Rob the Viking of Swollen Members …or K-Murdock of Restoring Poetry in Music & Panacea (i’m not picky, any would do :p). Just listen to this damn thing, and experience why the Blue Scholars, among many other Northwest artists, make their place the hip-hop scene. Oh, and post a comment or I won’t know what y’all think of Blue Scholars. And then i’ll never post any of their material again! 8-O

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[audio:Loyalty.mp3|titles=Loyalty]

(Download Link in Full Article)

Solstice: Reintroduction by Blue Scholars

"One DJ & One MC"

Banner for Blue Scholars

I’ll admit it, I was wrong when I said, “[n]ever has a hip-hop album got it so right on the first track”, referring to an article on Mission Statement by Mayday. But, to my defense I did say “I over embellish at times”… which I do.

That aside, never has a hip-hop album got it so right on the first track. ;) But, seriously… The introduction (or reintroduction) on Blue Scholar’s self-titled album is a slick start to a legit album. Sabzi, DJ & producer, creates one chill beat, which Geologic (MC) lays some mighty fine lines to.

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[audio:SolsticeReintroduction.mp3|titles=Solstice: Reintroduction]

(Download Link in Post)