Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Beloved Bay Area Hip-Hop Photographer D-Ray Needs Help Paying for Surgery

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge D-Ray Archer (right) and hip-hop star Drake.
  • D-Ray Archer (right) and hip-hop star Drake.

D-Ray Archer needs no last name in the West Coast rap world; she's widely known as one of the few female photojournalists with a street stamp of approval up and down the state. Her deep love for the local Bay Area scene is apparent to anyone who talks to her for five minutes.

But now D-Ray needs help from her community: She's raising funds for an urgently-needed surgery for an undisclosed but life-threatening condition.

"D-Ray has played a major role in giving Bay Area artists visibility outside of the Bay Area," says Julia Beverly, publisher of Ozone, a leading Southern rap media company in Atlanta. D-Ray served as West Coast editor for Ozone West, a dedicated magazine within a magazine when Ozone published in print form. "Every time I've met a West Coast artist, DJ, etcetera, I felt like I already knew them through D-Ray's photos."

This short video compiling dozens of D-Ray's images offers a quick glimpse of her visual talent as a photographer as well as her close access to artists both local and international. She's onstage, backstage, at video shoots, afterparties, sideshows, and many places where someone who isn't respected in the streets can never go. "As an editor, it's a huge asset to have someone as connected to the streets as D-Ray," affirms Beverly, who carries similar credibility in the Southern rap community. "She's not only connected, but she knows how to document the moments visually. Being a photojournalist is often a thankless job, but the artists in the Bay really seem to understand and appreciate how involved D-Ray is with the community."
click to enlarge D-Ray freezes a moment of the Snoop Dogg, Mistah F.A.B., and Too $hort video shoot for "Life of the Party." - D-RAY
  • D-Ray
  • D-Ray freezes a moment of the Snoop Dogg, Mistah F.A.B., and Too $hort video shoot for "Life of the Party."
I met D-Ray in person just one time, while being a conspicuous fly on the wall at Too $hort's Oakland video shoot for "Blow the Whistle" in 2006. $hort had invited me personally, but he was a little bit busy, and for some reason I felt awkward being there with no one I knew. Perhaps D-Ray sensed this: She instantly made me feel at home for the rest of the day, and it was clear that she was well-known and respected in the crowd. In the years since, she's been generous with information and resources for stories, and I've admired her hustle and absolute commitment to Bay Area rap. A surgery scheduled for this week was canceled due to financial constraints, so what's needed most urgently are monetary donations in any amount via PayPal (use the email address helpdray@gmail.com). She's also got a 2012 wall calendar called "Watching The Days Go By" that can be purchased on Rapbay.

----
Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Tamara Palmer @teemoney415, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Tamara Palmer

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.