Beloved promoter, educator, and host of ADP.FM’s Streets is Talking Radio, Leon “DNas” Sykes has long been a force in Oakland’s rap scene. Until last January, he hosted the monthly party Fresh Steps at Luka’s Taproom, which has served as an incubator of local hip-hop talent for seven years. Now he’s back with Monday Night Cap, a weekly open mic and local hip-hop showcase at Somar in downtown Oakland. Though it’s only been going on for about a month, it’s already attracted the attention of prominent East Bay artists, such as Young Gully, who recently released the final installment of his excellent, three-part album Bermuda, and Beejus, whose new BeeSmoove2 delves into potent, introspective lyricism. In addition to the open mic portion of the event, each week’s edition features different guest performers and a DJ set by Lady Ryan.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Fresh Steps was discontinued last January.