On Tour: Riff Raff

Riff Raff played a set at the Regency Ballroom on Sunday night where everything went so wrong that it felt so right. The so-bad-it’s-good shit show that was Riff Raff’s show was so absurd, I have to wonder whether or not it was strategically orchestrated. Riff Raff’s aesthetic is over-the-top
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Local artist G-Eazy refuses to take the easy way out

“Might not be on the radio, but this is art,” raps Oakland-born musician G-Eazy on the title track of his 2012 album Must Be Nice. Although the airwaves may be slow to catch on, G’s hard-hitting sound and laid back, dapper style have earned him massive attention online. Local hip-hop
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Former collaborators Jay-Z and Kanye West diverge with their latest albums

Jay-Z's new offering fails to live up to its mother album, 'Watch the Throne'

Sometimes, when Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Frank Ocean love each other very much, they form a self-referential and very profitable psychosexual corporation and produce an album. That album was 2011’s Watch the Throne. Since that album, Jay and Kanye have become fathers, Ocean publicly came out and Beyonce’s stardom
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4 painfully literal song titles

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the music scene has been taking some desperate measures. With a generation ready to embrace whatever trending thing that comes up on their social media news feed, there are hundreds of thousands of artists out in the world trying to make the next
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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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Falling in Love

UC Berkeley student and rapper Kaila Love dishes on her background and inspirations

“It’s all about energy; when you catch a flow, you’re maybe starting out with a couple words and a contact or a rhyme but you literally catch it. You can feel the energy building,” Kaila Love said when asked if one could learn freestyle. Like her response, her energy caught
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Jay-Z’s audio engineer visits Berkeley

Young Guru stops in Berkeley as part of educational tour for students interested in audio engineering

Those behind the scenes in music rarely get properly recognized. This isn’t the case for Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Young Guru, who has engineered and mixed seven of Jay-Z’s 11 solo albums, as well as music from several other high-profile musicians. Guru kept mum about Jay-Z’s forthcoming album. “I can’t
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Syd tha Kyd at The New Parish

This past weekend welcomed the month’s First Friday festivities, and, as usual, hundreds of Bay Area socialites came out to celebrate art, music and good vibes throughout downtown Oakland. One of the city’s very own arts and culture magazines, Wine & Bowties, brought Syd tha Kyd to The New Parish
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Lil Wayne: I Am Not A Human Being II

There’s the essential canon of Lil Wayne’s extensive discography, and then there’s I Am Not A Human Being II. With his incredible music run in the second half of the last decade, Lil Wayne fulfilled his personal quest to become one of rap’s greats. The next few years found Wayne
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Aesop Rock: Skelethon

If Woody Allen were a hip hop fan, one of his more recent films would probably contain some joke about ‘pseudo-intellectuals’ overanalyzing the latest Waka Flocka record. It would be funny because it’s Woody. And it would be riotously hilarious because it’s true. But Aesop Rock is the rapper who
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