Friday, July 29, 2016

Oakland Writer Andrew Nosnitsky On Shadowing Gucci Mane for His FADER Cover Story

The journalist took a break from running Park Blvd. Records to spend time with the Southern legend during an illustrious moment in his career.

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 3:22 PM


Oakland writer Andrew Nosnitsky, known to many as Noz, became an unlikely influencer in the local hip-hop scene with his blog, a DIY endeavor that he parlayed into writing gigs at prominent publications such as Pitchfork and The Wire. And while he's mostly retired from music journalism to run his rap-centric record store Park Blvd. Records near Lake Merritt, he recently traveled to the suburbs of Atlanta to shadow the newly free Gucci Mane, who recently returned home from a three-year stint in federal prison for a firearm charge.

Noz' in-depth profile of Guwop went live on The FADER's website yesterday and also graces the cover of the magazine's August/September issue — and it couldn't be more timely. A legendary figure who occupies an E-40 or Mac Dre-like position of influence in the South, Gucci Mane baffled many with his recent transformation. Gone are his signature baller belly and lean-addled drawl, which he's replaced with a six pack and energized, clear-headed demeanor that he attributes to his new, sober lifestyle. 

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This Weekend's Top Six Events

July 29, 30 & 31

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 7:01 AM

After you're done — inevitably  whether you like her or not —watching Hillary's speech, then reading all the think pieces about her speech, then looking at all the gifs of her presenting the speech, then lurking all the Hillary memes playing off the speech... you might just have time to do something this weekend. Even if it's just to get out of the house to play Pokemon Go. Maybe? Here are some ideas: 

Black Lives Matter Benefit Party from Gallery Y2K x Hussy Planet 
Turn up to house music and EDM with eclectic influences and an experimental edge at art space Y2K Gallery and promotional outfit Hussy Planet’s Black Lives Matter benefit party, where proceeds will be donated to BLM’s national network. The event takes place at the White Horse Bar and features DJs Fela Kutchii (who just received the designation of Best DJ for Your Hot Tub Party in our annual Best of the East Bay issue, which came out last week), Cali420Princess, and Jeremy Castillo and Primo of Club Lonely. Cali420Princess is one to look forward to, as she mixes pounding deep house beats with forward-thinking hip-hop selections from artists such as Lil Yachty. Also, video artist Laney Billingsley created trippy visual projections for the event. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Sat., July 30, 9 p.m. White Horse Bar (6551 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). $5-$10 sliding scale.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Let Rayana Jay Serenade You Into Bliss with "Sleepy Brown"

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 6:14 PM

Rayana Jay
  • Rayana Jay

Richmond native Rayana Jay made a strong debut in 2015 with her debut mixtape XXI, a project that showed off her distinctly rich, smoky voice. And East Bay hip-hop and R&B fans have been seeing her pop up in notable projects all year, including her features on Azure's Leap Year and P-Lo's Before Anything

2016 sees the R&B singer honing on a distinct style, with updated takes on old-school grooves and slang-laden lyrics that prove she's a tough chick with the voice of an angel. Her latest single, "Sleepy Brown" produced by Mikos Da Gawd, pays homage to Sleepy Brown of Outkast's production team, Organized Noise. In a Q&A with Saint Heron, Jay said the track is indebted to her family's Southern roots. Take a listen below. 

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Monday, July 25, 2016

East Bay Rapper T. Carriér Feels Your FOMO on "Still"

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 12:37 PM

T. Carriér. - NAILAH HOWZE
  • Nailah Howze
  • T. Carriér.
You know when there's a really fun-sounding party on a week night, and you decide to go against your better judgment? You might promise yourself you'll attend without drinking or only stay until midnight, but you end up dancing until last call. FOMO can drive us to do all sorts of things, and East Bay rapper T. Carriér gets it on "Still," his brand-new track about making time to have fun despite the responsibilities waiting for us in the morning. 

See more:
Bay Area Rapper T. Carriér Reinvents Himself

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Friday, July 22, 2016

This Weekend's Top Six Events

July 22, 23 & 24

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 6:58 AM

It's about time you get off the internet — there's only so many articles you can read about Taylor Swift's fight with Kimye before your brain starts to deteriorate. That's science. To help, here are six ways to distract yourself this weekend:

Too $hort. - RONALD DAVIS
  • Ronald Davis
  • Too $hort.
The Summer Classic Featuring Too $hort and Fat Joe 
From “Freaky Tales” to “Blow the Whistle” to “Shake That Monkey” to “The Ghetto,” Too $hort’s contributions to Oakland music over the past three decades have been monumental. The rapper, who began his career in the Eighties, has given the Town slick-talking pimp rap, hyphy slaps and twerk anthems, and protest songs. He’s exceedingly prolific even to this day. He performs on Saturday at Regency Ballroom for The Summer Classic, a huge blowout that also features Fat Joe and an epic roster of supporting acts. Local favorites J Stalin, Philthy Rich, Rayven Justice, Rexx Life Raj, D-Lo, Show Banga, and Tay Way are on the bill, as well as Young Dolph and D.R.A.M., of “Cut It” and “Cha Cha” fame, respectively. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Sat., July 23, 8:30 p.m. The Regency Ballroom (1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco). $29.50-$45.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Elujay Teams Up with Caleborate and Samaria for "We Don't Mind"

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 12:15 PM

  • Elujay.
We form the most gratifying relationships with people who accept us for being ourselves — that's the key takeaway from "We Don't Mind," Elujay's latest single featuring Samaria and Caleborate from his upcoming album, Jentrify

See more:

Rapper Elujay Is Making Protest Songs for a New Generation

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This Video About Oakland's Shade Zine Is Your Daily Dose of Inspiration

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 9:43 AM

Azha Ayanna Luckman and Apryl Fuentes are the founders of Shade Magazine. - COURTESY MANCY GANT
  • Courtesy Mancy Gant
  • Azha Ayanna Luckman and Apryl Fuentes are the founders of Shade Magazine.
Shade Zine is a lot of things — it's a blog rife with eye-catching photos and plenty of other original content; a publisher of limited-edition zines and merchandise; and an IRL curatorial platform.

See more:
Blossoming Online: How Shade Magazine Came to Be

Founded by best friends, room mates, and over-all partners in crime Azha Luckman and Apryl Fuentes, Shade has built its large online and local following through its carefully stylized aesthetic (think pastel-hued, with just the right balance of geometric minimalism and vintage kitsch), as well as its mission to amplify the voices and visions of young artists of color of various gender expressions and sexualities. 

Project 1324 recently did a mini-documentary on the women behind Shade, where they give some insight about what it means to be a multifaceted creative with many hustles. Watch below for your daily dose of inspiration.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Kamaiyah's New Mini-Doc Follows Her Journey to Rap Fame

by Rayanne Piaña
Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 5:43 PM

  • Kamaiyah.

You might know Kamaiyah from her breakout banger, "How Does it Feel." But if you haven't already heard of the Oakland MC, you're about to. 2016 has been Kamaiyah's year. Her debut mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, quickly rose to popular and critical acclaim, and her success in the rap game has so far landed her a feature on YG's new single "Why You Always Hatin?" alongside Drake. And at her sold-out, first headlining show at The New Parish last month, she revealed that she recently signed deal with Interscope Records.

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This Weekend's Top Five Events

July 15, 16 & 17

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Since it's apparently this has been the week to reveal your endorsements, the Express would like to officially announce our endorsements for the top five things to do this weekend: 

  • G. Charles
Beast Crawl 
Beast Crawl is back for its fifth literary pub crawl extravaganza on July 16 from 5–9 p.m. (with after parties from 9:30–11:30). For the uninitiated, Beast Crawl is Oakland’s scrappier and edgier answer to San Francisco’s LitQuake — which means it’s a festival of literary events that takes place all around the city. (Millenial translation: It’s like Pokemon Go, except instead of combative creatures, you’re catching literary experiences). Beast Crawl is split up into three hour-long legs separated by half-hour breaks. During each leg, about thirteen events take place at venues all over downtown Oakland — everywhere from Econo Jam on 25th Street to E.M. Wolfman on 13th Street. The events are all free, and they highlight pockets of the East Bay literary scene by featuring shows curated by publishers and organizations — such as Pandemonium Press, Youth Radio, Brown people Don’t Read?, and Lyrics & Dirges. There are a lot of choices to choose from, but typically, wherever you find yourself will be entertaining. — Sarah Burke
July 16, 5–9 p.m.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rapper Int'l Hay Sús Takes a Stand with "Black Panther Rebels"

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 1:53 PM

Int'l Hay Sús (R). - DEPHKHAN
  • Dephkhan
  • Int'l Hay Sús (R).
Rapper Int'l Hay Sús has taken it upon himself to organize for positive change. His community service collective, The Black Neighborhood, has been hosting grocery, shoe, and clothing giveaways at the People's Baptist Church in East Oakland, providing free essential goods for the area's most vulnerable populations.  

See more:
Rapper Int'l Hay Sús Seeks to Unify #TheBlackNeighborhood

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