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From Berkeley to the international stage with the Cataracs

Niles Hollowell-Dhar and David Singer-Vine were just sophomores at Berkeley High School when they formed the Cataracs in 2003. Deriving their name from a Snoop Dogg lyric (“Smoke ‘till your eyes get cataracts”), the duo rose to Bay Area fame as a definitive force in the hyphy movement. After their
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Schoolboy Q becomes teacher at Rasputin Music

Schoolboy Q stopped by Berkeley’s Rasputin Music on Telegraph Avenue and Channing Way on Tuesday to celebrate the release of his major-label debut, Oxymoron. One-fourth of rap supergroup Black Hippy, LA hip-hop artist Schoolboy Q’s debut album features collaborations with artists such as 2 Chainz; Tyler, the Creator; BJ the
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Taran

Rappers will never truly be rock stars

Back in high school, I was infatuated with the rock ‘n’ roll persona. The rock ‘n’ roll sound. The rock ‘n’ roll feel. I grew my hair out, bought a leather jacket and wanted to go to college in New York City to embody Julian Casablancas from The Strokes. I
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The best of R. Kelly’s ‘hip-hopera’

R. Kelly is not only dropping his “Black Panties” these days. The so-called king of R&B is also releasing new chapters of his long-running hip-hopera, “Trapped in the Closet,” in 2014 on IFC. Arguably, one of the greatest moments in pop culture happened when “Trapped” debuted in 2005. Kelly pioneered
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Hieroglyphics: The Kitchen

After a decade of marinating, the hip-hop ensemble releases a beefy new album

After a decade of studio silence, Oakland-based hip-hop ensemble Hieroglyphics have released The Kitchen, an album that serves up a reminder of why the nine-man group has solidified its presence in the underground hip-hop scene and beyond. Though the album boasts a meaty helping of 17 tracks, each one is
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Cat Deeleyphoto by Rob Rich © 2011 robwayne1@aol.com 516-676-3939

3 things to learn from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

If you do not already know, “So You Think You Can Dance” is a summer program on Fox in which contestants from all around the United States — and, in some cases, from all around the world — audition and compete for the title of “America’s favorite dancer.” Once the auditions are
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Jay-Z and Ian Brown

Tunesday: Hip-Hop BBQ

Ah, Independence Day. Otherwise known as the only day of the year where you can wear as many tacky combinations of red, white and blue as you want, grease up that George Foreman grill, day-drink and barbeque to your heart’s (or liver’s) delight and yell “FUCK YEA, AMURRICA” to all
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UC Berkeley student rapper Second Nature releases album ‘Saving Private Rhymes’

UC Berkeley rap is well-represented by Mark ‘Second Nature’ Gavigan

Most students spend finals week stressing about exams and grades. Mark Gavigan, a fourth-year English major at UC Berkeley, spent finals week of fall 2012 rapping in his dorm room. For Gavigan, who rhymes under the moniker “Second Nature,” it was the culmination of two years of producing beats and
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On the Up and Up

Richmond rapper Jay Ant is making a name for himself in Bay Area rap

California has always been a dominant player in rap throughout the genre’s history. Whether in the Los Angeles region or the Bay Area, some aspect of hip-hop on a national scale has always revolved around the activity of the West Coast. The state has unfortunately remained dormant for the last
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Bun B creates hip-hop coloring book

Rapper Bun B teams up with Shea Serrano for rap activity book

Rap music tends to take itself a little too seriously. Even with plenty of playful personas in the genre, most parties involved are not necessarily allowed to show off their fun side. This fall, Houston rap legend Bun B, who stands as a flag bearer for the rap community as
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