Five Musicians We Saw at Hippie Hill on 4/20

4/20 is Bay Area, born-and-bred. According to High Times, It began with high school stoners in San Rafael — the Waldos — who would meet at 4:20 p.m. everyday after school to search for an elusive pot field in Pt. Reyes. They never found it, but 4/20 became a national phenomena, and here in San Francisco, April 20 may as well be an official holiday. It’s phenomenal how, without officials, infrastructure or permits, San Franciscans can organically organize a time to sit in the park and get really, really high on a Monday afternoon.

You couldn’t even walk through Hippie Hill yesterday. The crowd was denser than Outside Lands or Hardly Strictly but the people were just as high. Barbecue and marijuana smoke mixed with the fog, crowding the air as vendors hawked cold beer, bottled water, and park fare. But through the cloud of smoke, and chatter of vendors, there was also something else in the air — music. DJs blared through PAs, emcees spat into mics, and a few kids who still like guitars drove through psyched-out rock and roll odysseys.

Here are some sonic highlights from 4/20:

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Every day, at the base of Hippie Hill, an eclectic band of musicians jam in the city’s most iconic drum circle. Today, tens of thousands of people turned out to listen to 15 people play djembe drums and tambourines.

Rene Garcia [right] is Rocky G., a psychedelic rapper who creates melodies influenced by his background as a saxaphone player and weaves them with classic hip-hop bangers. Originally from Washington, D.C., Garcia is currently attending SF State. 

Sacramento’s Stormccloud is another up-and-comer artist in the Northern California hip-hop scene. Zaesha McCloud’s frantic lyrical assault is razor sharp and doesn’t leave room to catch a breath. Her honesty, anxiety, and clever thoughtful lines are mixtape rap at its finest.

DJ Tony T was banging E-40 remixes at 4:20 in the afternoon on April 20 on Hippie Hill. The Oakland native can get a hazy crowd of stoners on their feet and dancing in the matter of one drop. 
Dingo Weasel is a group from South Lake Tahoe who drove out to play for their people. The band, Nik Diaz (keyboards) Oscar Azevedo (drums, vocals) and Rigney Miller (bass), are like psychedelic raconteurs. They pull their listeners through an acid trip colored by grooving bass, tight syncopated drum beats that dip into prog, and Diaz’s keyboard wizardry. And they covered the Snuff Box theme, so there’s that.

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