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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chela Simone Tonight at Levende

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM

click to enlarge Back to Burn: Chela Simone
  • Back to Burn: Chela Simone

Levende Lounge's weekly emerging talent showcase "We All We Got" heats up tonight with an appearance by Chela Simone, one of the Bay Area's rawest female emcees.

Imagine the lyrical finesse of MC Lyte with the revolutionary intellectualism of Sister Souljah--but coming from the Bay--and you might have an inkling of how dope Simone really is. Her fire is well-evident on "Shut 'Em Down" (featuring frequent collaborator Azeem), a song inspired by the Oscar Grant incident, on which she spits blazing lines like "I'm a ask you a melanin question/ how old were you when you learned your first lesson?"

Simone's MySpace page reveals a plethora of similarly-blazing tracks, suggesting she's stockpiling a lyrical armada to serve as a soundtrack for tomorrow's insurrection. Simone is no stranger to the stage--she was trained as a classical/opera vocalist and has been a fixture in the Bay's independent hip-hop scene for many years, as well as a featured vocalist in future-jazz act Colossus. Over the years, she's performed with the likes of KRS1, Pharaoh Monch, Talib Kweli, Common, Del, Medusa, Common, Lyrics Born, Saafir & The Whoriddas (Hobo Junction), Mystic Journeymen, Jungle Bros, De La Soul, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Strange Fruit Project, and the Living Legends. As if that wasn't enough, in 2008, she toured Europe alongside femcee legends Roxanne Shante and Bahamedia.

If you like strong, independent women (and aren't threatened by their smarts), you owe it to yourself to check Simone out, before she blows up. Also appearing on tonight's bill: Ramrock.

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Eric Arnold

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