By TAMARA PALMER and IAN S. PORT Having a great band logo is more than art; it's also part science, alchemy, and business smarts. To create something impactful is like capturing lightning in a bottle, and a successful effort results in an image fans will want to show off for years. A few local grea ... More >>
Attending middle school with artists such as Opio, Casual, and Touré of the Hieroglyphics crew in the early '90s, Oakland-born DJ Delgado sought to find his own creative outlet amid the beats and rhymes of hip-hop. He was attracted to "the constant positivity and push for social change" in reggae m ... More >>
2012 was a fertile year for Bay Area rap, a time when the intellectual, the brazen, the sexed-up, and the chilled-out all took center stage at one point or another. There were songs that inspired dances, songs of Bay Area pride and protest, and more of that straight mack flow that still bumps around ... More >>
It's been another big year in Bay Area hip-hop, with one huge collaboration album from two local greats and lots of strong releases from young local upstarts. So before the world ends, let's round up the 10 best Bay Area hip-hop/rap records (including albums, mixtapes, etc.) of 2012. Main Attrakion ... More >>
After a fiery new video for first single "the Guillotine" and that thumping set at last week's Treasure Island festival, we're pretty excited for the new album from Oakland rap-funk outfit The Coup. Sorry to Bother You isn't out until Oct. 30, but you can stream the whole thing now over at the A.V. ... More >>
With the election only weeks away, it's a perfect time for a new video from the Coup, the radical Oakland hip-hop group whose leader, Boots Riley, was one of the loudest agitators in the city's Occupy movement. The group is back with a new album, Sorry to Bother You, on Oct. 30, and the first taste ... More >>
Jolie Holland Will Sprott DRMS Emily Jane White Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 Swedish American Hall Better than: Every show I've been to in the last 12 months. Among those who work there, it's common knowledge that the Swedish American Hall is haunted. This is according to violinist Carey Lamprecht, who ... More >>
Das Racist at Ruby Skye on Friday. Das Racist Danny Brown Trackademicks Boots Riley Nov. 4, 2011 Ruby Skye Better than: A typical night at Ruby Skye. Don't blame Das Racist. The words "Ruby Skye" didn't bode well for a successful hip hop show at a club known for pedaling desensitized four- ... More >>
Das Racist performs tonight at Ruby Skye. Das Racist wants to be taken on its own terms. Sort of. The Brooklyn-based trio consisting of Himanshu "Heems" Suri, Victor Vazquez, and hypeman/ "spiritual advisor" Ashok Kondabolu has spent more time discussing the group's motivations, identity, and ... More >>
via EKA PhotographyBoots Riley at Occupy Oakland The Occupy movement doesn't have a leader, but Oakland activist-rapper Boots Riley is serving as one sort of de facto spokesman for his hometown's defiant occupation, lending the collective grievances a high-profile voice. Inspired by public g ... More >>
Tom Morello as the NightwatchmanApologies for the late notice, but those you political rock/Rage Against the Machine/protest-folk fans will appreciate knowing that Tom Morello will be performing twice in S.F. today. First up, Morello is playing Occupy SF at 4 p.m., according to several differ ... More >>
It's been over two weeks since the protest in SF's financial district commenced -- prompted by the occupation of Wall Street that started almost a month ago -- and four days since Oakland joined this now apparently worldwide movement. As we all know, Occupy Wall Street was outright ignored by mai ... More >>
Boots Riley. Photo by John Duah So, so fitting: On a day when his bandmate in Street Sweeper Social Club, Tom Morello, performed at Occupy Wall Street, politically conscious Oakland rapper Boots Riley of the Coup is bringing his boisterous rhymes to Occupy Oakland for a free performance. But ... More >>
The Coup's Boots Riley It's been almost a decade since 9/11 -- which means (among other things) that it's been 10 years since Boots Riley was seemingly everywhere, coolly responding to outrage over some extremely ill-timed album art depicting explosions at World Trade Center. It's also been f ... More >>
Don't let the attention-grabbing choice of a first single mislead you: Though their cover of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" sounds pointless at all but the most eardrum-shattering volumes (and only slightly amusing at those), Tom Morello and Oakland rapper Boots Riley, as Street Sweeper Social Club ... More >>
Twitter heated up today as the Oscar Grant verdict came in. Here are some reactions to the news from members of the Bay Area's music community:Oakland dance-pop diva OONA:Vallejo rapper Moe Green:
We had our own little Coachella last week in SF, with shows by MGMT, Beach House, Faith No More, Charlotte Gainsbourg, the Dead Weather, Passion Pit, Spoon, and Atoms For Peace, among other Bay Area gigs. But photographer Christopher Victoria went to the actual Coachella down south and sent us the f ... More >>
The Coup January 15, 2010 The Independent Better Than: Zion I Friday night, The Coup played a somber salute to Dewey Tucker, the group's bassist who was murdered Wednesday while driving to band practice. "I would have cancelled the show tonight," said Boots Riley, the Coup's frontman. "I almost ... More >>
Saul Williams's facepaint resembled a dolphin crossed with the Star Trek logoSaul Williams, Earl Greyhound, American Fangs November 10, 2009 The Independent Better Than: Gym Class Heroes, or 2009 David Bowie With a head full of feathers and his face painted like a glittering Star Trek dolphin, ... More >>
EKAphotographyBoots Riley at Outside Lands, 2009 It's been a minute since Oakland's legendary hip-hop group the Coup last played its hometown - nine years in fact, according to frontman and primary songwriter Boots Riley. In that time, the group has played SF and Berkeley -"We did a kind of ... More >>
EKAphotographyVinyl Vamp: Zap Mama Fickle weather and last-minute headliner replacements aside, Outside Lands was a success, by most yard sticks. Here's what folks are saying about the three-day extravaganza, which drew more than 100,000 people to Golden Gate Park: Local reaction: The Chron ... More >>
EKAphotographyRBGz at YBG: dead prez @G4G's solar-powered concert Outside Lands, Shmoutside Lands. The hundreds of folks who came out to Yerba Buena Gardens to see dead prez and Mistah F.A.B. perform for free yesterday may have gotten a better deal than the tens of thousands who shelled out $90 ... More >>
EKAphotographyOutside Lands Day 2: Street Sweeper Social Club, Trombone Shorty, Black Eyed Peas, The Mars Volta, & more, Saturday, August 20, 2009.Better Than: sitting in the park, waiting for you.The first day of Outside Lands was a huge freakin' success, especially if you stayed at the Twin ... More >>
Let's Remember Him This Way When a pop culture icon passes, it's never a happy thing. The death of Michael Jackson has definitely sent shivers through the urban community, most of whom revered MJ's music, which was an essential soundtrack for most of their lives. Well, up until Bad, at least. But ... More >>
Hard Truth: T-K.A.S.H. in AustraliaThough the postponement of the Hard Truth Soldiers Tour--featuring acts signed to Paris' Guerilla Funk label, along with national artists like Pete Rock, dead prez, Planet Asia, Immortal Technique and Kam--was disappointing, that hasn't deterred the indie label f ... More >>
EKAphotographyGalactic (with guest emcee Boots Riley) at the Fillmore, 2007 We've enjoyed summer-like weather the past few days here in the Bay Area, so what better time to announce a summertime music and camping festival? Today, the High Sierra Music Festival, which takes place July 2-5 in Quincy ( ... More >>
Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Wayne Kramer, Sammy Hagar, Boots Riley (The Coup), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Joe Satriani, and Damian Kulash (OK Go) Thursday, March 26, 2009Slim'sBetter than: Playing Guitar Hero.It was midway through the Tom Morello hootenanny when Rage's shredding machine grinned at ... More >>
EKAphotographySomebody's Watching You: Tom Morello Back in the pre-Obama days, Tom Morello was like, the only guitar god with a conscience. While Slash and Jack White were doing bumps off of stripper tits, Morello was playing demonstrations outside the Democratic National Convention (with Rage Agai ... More >>
Thizzle, bling, and blunts may have helped bring down the overhyped hyphy movement. But KMEL pulled the trigger.
Mistah F.A.B. picks up where hyphy left off
Oakland's Coup takes political rap to the next level
DJ "I rule the school"
Stop Bush! Stop the Republicans! Slackers unite: It's time, once again, to "Rock the Vote."
A galaxy-spanning journey through space and sound!
The Cali Comm tour brings the region's best hip hop talent under one roof
The Coup just may be the greatest, angriest, most militant hip hop act around. So what's up with the Puff Daddy tour?