Garrett Caples

YEAR IN MUSIC 2012: Waiting for Four-O

E-40 and Too Short's historic collaboration caps another strange year for Bay Area rap

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN MUSIC I'm at the Marina in Berkeley with J-Stalin around noon, waiting for producer-rapper Droop E to arrive so he and J can shoot a video for his upcoming EP, Hungry & Humble. I was invited, not by Droop but by his "Pops," Bay Area legend E-40, to do an interview for 40's epic, two-album collaboration with Too Short, History (HeavyOnTheGrind/EMI, 2012).Read more »

The new old school

After a stretch in Pelican Bay, G-Stack protégé Deev Da Greed returns to put the real back in Bay Area rap

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC "When I was growing up, bootsy wasn't in," Deev Da Greed says. "I wish I was rappin' when Seagram [1969-1996] was alive, when Rappin' Ron and the Dangerous Crew were shining. There were a handful of real rappers back then and if you tried to fake it you were blown out the water."Read more »

Smells like team spirit

Are hyphy progenitors Clyde Carson and the Team bigger than ever?

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MUSIC "This is our biggest song by far," Clyde Carson says wearily at his hotel room in San Jose. The song, "Slow Down," features Clyde alongside his newly reconstituted group, the Team, and we're waiting for Kaz Kyzah and Mayne Mannish to show. Mayne turns up, along with "Slow Down" producer Sho Nuff, but Kaz remains MIA, and the difficulty of keeping three rappers on the same page probably explains why the song is credited to "Clyde Carson featuring the Team," though it appears on the crew's reunion EP, Hell of a Night (Moedoe, 2012). Read more »

Garage Days re-revisited

Musical mentors to J-Stalin and other post-hyphy Oakland acts, the Mekanix lure E-40 into The Chop Shop.

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MUSIC In 2003, at Moses Music in East Oakland, I stumbled across a CD labeled "Numskull of the Luniz Presents...Hittaz on tha Payroll, Ghetto Storm" (Hitta Records). I bought it and was blown away, not simply by the rappers — one of whom, Eddi Projex, has gone on to be a Bay hitmaker — but also by the cinematic expressiveness of the music, with its moody, minor-key atmospheres and rapid counterpunctual basslines, courtesy of the Mekanix: Dotrix 4000 and Kenny Tweed.Read more »

Whatever happened to Baby Jaymes?

Seven years after his landmark Ghetto Retro, the Bay's hip-hop soul phenom returns with a new EP

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC One day in November 2004, my then-girlfriend returned to our Oakland apartment all excited. "I just heard this on KMEL," she said. She handed me a CD, Baby Jaymes, Ghetto Retro (Underground Soul), while she unwrapped the included Ghetto Retro EP and cued up "Nice Girl." "He sounds like Prince," she enthused—we were Prince geeks—"but he's from East Oakland!"Read more »

Abstract truth

Navigating an art movement — and a local gallery's history — in "Surrealism: New Worlds"

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VISUAL ART A museum-quality show in terms of ambition and achievement, "Surrealism: New Worlds" fleshes out a forgotten, if not effaced, chapter in American art history, even as it incidentally tells the story of the gallery showing it.Read more »

GOLDIES 2011 Lifetime Achievement: David Meltzer

"Of course, when I got here, the first place I went to was City Lights."

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GOLDIES "This isn't a conflict of interest, I hope?" David Meltzer asks. We're smoking on the back porch of his Piedmont apartment with his wife, poet Julie Rogers, about two bottles of wine into our interview, wondering whether he's the first former Guardian contributor to get a Goldie. A decade or so ago, he was writing CD reviews and the odd feature on anything from pedal steel guitar to new age music. Read more »

Addicted to print

Pop-up store Scanners celebrates the thrill of used-book salvage

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Ghosts in the machine

Matthew Zapruder's poems are built to last

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LIT According to the Bureau of Invented Statistics, 99.9 percent of all poetry disappears into the void. This rate remains steady throughout history, though at certain times and places the figure undergoes radical fluctuations, plummeting to as low as 99 percent. Such periods are eventually given names like the San Francisco Renaissance, or the Elizabethan Renaissance. I mention this because I think Bay Area poetry has quietly entered one of those periods. Read more »

Free at last?

Mistah FAB finally gets airplay on KMEL — but will the station play the Bay?

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