Hip-Hop in the Central Valley: ICE CUBE

Ice Cube- the West Coast legend, surprised many by coming to perform in Downtown Modesto,  on Saturday June 27th outside the Palladium Night Club near 10th & J streets. Cube comes to the Central Valley celebrating 25 years as a Hip-Hop icon. “I picked up the mic in 1984” Cube stated at his concert before performing the line “I started this gangsta shit, and this the muthafuckin’ thanks I get.” Ice Cube has been repeatedly credited with birthing the popularity of “Gangsta Rap” with his early career as one of the founding members of Niggaz Wit Attitudes (N.W.A.) with Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, & DJ Yella. With classics like “Fuck the Police” “Straight Outta Compton” & “Gangsta Gangsta” in his portfolio and the idea he wasn’t being paid his due in his head, Cube went solo and put out some of the most politically charged albums Hip-Hop has seen. “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” “Death Certificate” “The Predator” & “Lethal Injection” are now California classics that delved into the deepest, darkest corners of American life. From police brutality to scandalous women, Cube has a history of breaking down complex issues into language ‘the Block’ can understand and learn from. Some have even claimed that Cube’s songs predicted the LA rebellion of 1992. Cube has his own independent label Lench Mob Records (the name come from his short-lived group Da Lench Mob who put out the album “Guerillas in da Midst”) & has since come out with the group Westside Connection with blood member Mack 10 and long-time crip WC (who he performed with in Modesto). Plus, let’s not forget about his long and impressive entrepreneurial and acting career with such films as “Boyz N da Hood”  “Friday” & “3 Kings.” His 2 recent albums “Laugh Now, Cry Later” & “Raw Footage” have returned Cube to his seat as ghetto spokesman with songs like “Why We Thugs” & “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It.” Let’s hope Cube is around for another 25 years and continues to challenge the system, the police state, white supremacy, & corporate rap.      

The Frontline- The South Richmond Hip-Hop duo (Locksmith & Left) came to the V Lounge in Merced on Sunday June 21st for the 1 year anniversary of Teen Night. Performing their hits “Bang It” & “What It Is” The Frontline did not disappoint. Currently the Bay Area residents are set to put out their new album “Lock & Left” You can find out more on Frontline at myspace.com/thefrontline510 & more on the V Lounge in Merced at myspace.com/clubvlounge

The Underground- is Modesto’s new Hip-Hop clothing shop located at 516½ McHenry Ave (look for the graffiti) & on Saturday June 27th they presented their first Art Show featuring paintings inside, graff in progress outside, their wide variety of Hip-Hop fashion, and a live performance from Modesto’s Grains of Sand. Stop by the store the next time you’re on South McHenry and support your local Hip-Hop business. For more info visit myspace.com/theundergroundfma                                                                                               

Kings of the Valley –was a full-clip line-up of local rappers event that went down on Saturday June 27th at the 141 Club in Modesto. Presented by Thurm Starzz, Bid Reezy the Bo$$, & Da Other Place Barber Shop, the showcase included 209’s heaviest hitters including Cob@lt, Mr. 700, Cali Soldiers, Ill Phil, J-Namic, Defcon, C-Sik, Villian Gang, Jackpot Money, E.O.D., Vi Peech, PenPoint Ent, Young Rich & Finesse. For more info  check-out myspace.com/dabossofdavalley

Fig.MuTanT –celebrated the release of his new album “Fight or Die” at the Fat Cat on Thursday July 2nd in Downtown Modesto. The album’s release marks the next step in what looks like a promising career for the Modesto’s MC. Opening up for Fig was a mix of UFC fighters, R&B singers, hard rock, comedians, & pure Hip-Hop. The line-up included Mike Swick (UFC), Flyboys, Bv Bridges, Nikfuq, Cob@lt, Luna J, JinChi, & Grains of Sand. Make sure and pick up that CD and get more info at myspace.com/figmutant

Agerman- was at The 141 club in Modesto this year for Independence Day. He performed his classic single “Keep It On the Real” & songs from his new album. He also brought his new group “The Staff” to bless our ears. If you don’t know, 3XKrazy was the group Keak Da Sneak was with in the 90s. The show was promoted by Savstarr & PenPoint Ent & displayed a ensemble of local acts. PenPoint Ent consisting of Roc Rolla & Miss P, blazed the stage with their new style of mixing jazz with hip-hop, while Savstarr handled their business like they always do. New to the scene was a group from Stockton named “Smoke Sqodd” led by Young Cel, they set the stage on fire, & a group from L.A. “Tall Boi Ent” In my opinion the show was a success, good entertainment and no fights or drama is always a recipe for fun. If you want to see the whole show live with interviews, check out “PenPoint’s Nightlife” on Comcast ch26 Tues. & Fri. at 10pm…WRITTEN BY THA1HANDMAN

Spice-1 –returned to the209 on Thursday July 9th at The Spot in Stockton along with Subliminal & Amon. The show was put on by G-Stacks Entertainment & Fat Boy Productions.  Also performing that night was .40 Cal, Big Jess, Cobra of Spit Flame, Ill Phil, Bo Gz, Livin Proof, Eddi Projex, & VI Peach. The Spot id located inside the Flamingo Club at 1233 E. Charter Way in Stockton. For more info go to myspace.com/209GZUP  

The Shiznit Part 2 –was presented by K-Cizzl Productions and went down on Thursday July 9th at Virtual in Downtown Modesto. Headlining the show was KWIN’s “Unsigned at 9” winner Alina performing her hit “Too Hot ta Touch.” Along with Hip-Hop, R&B, & spoken word, comedians Anthony K, Roberto, & Issac Ames provided the humor. Ed Jackson & Do Dirty recited poetry, DJ 5on5 came with the beats, DJ the Comedian hosted, and Livin Proof, G-Stone, Da Goonz, Jucealini, Truth B Told, Kid Carre, Jeff Geezy, Capital T, Lil Go Dummy, & A.E. rocked the microphones. To find out about upcoming K-Sizzl shows visit myspace.com/kcizzlproductions

Hip-Hop in the Park –was a guerilla-style free concert thrown together by the Revolutionary Hip-Hop Reporters Organization & The Modesto Anarcho Crew that was held on Thurday July 16th at Graceda Park in Downtown Modesto. The theme was “Takin’ It Back” with the double meaning of taking back the park for Hip-Hop and taking it back to the good old days of art-form. Armed with only a loud stereo, a microphone, & a few CDs of instrumentals local favorites Co@lt, Nikfuq, Roc Rolla of PenPoint Ent, Writmo of the Chosen Phew Krew, Knox, DJ 5on5 & K-Cizzl held it down with a steady stream of freestyle ciphers and writtens. For RHHR & MA events check out RHHR.org & geocities.com/anarcho209                                                                         

Pep-Love –of the Oakland Hip-Hop super group Hieroglyphics stopped through at The Babylon in Fresno on Friday July 17th. Opening for Pep was a strong line-up of underground artists like Nima Fadavi, Populus, Invarious Nature, Phaze-1, Ahymz, Science, & Eternal. For more info on those artists check out peplovemusic.com and nimafadavibeats.com

Send info on your past or future show or event to RHHRorg@live.com



Categories: Central Valley Hip-Hop

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