• Ab-Soul

Show Gallery: Ab-Soul, dead prez and Boots Riley at Hip-Hop Proclamations

Photos: Kevin Lee / April 1, 2013

​Last Friday, for the first installment of the Art Under Pressure’s new Hip-Hop Proclamations series of concerts in San Francisco, Ab-Soul and dead prez main-evented the evening, while four up-and-comers from the east coast made their San Francisco Bay Area debuts and joined Jahi on the undercard. Before he headed off for Paid Dues Festival the next day, Ab-Soul anchored the midnight set as he performed tracks from his album Control System. Unlike Ab-Soul, who came by himself, dead prez was short one man, as couldn’t make it back from dead prez’s European tour in time. Instead, Boots Riley of The Coup came on as a surprise to fill the void, taking on a few of stic’s verses and supplying a few of his own as well. Not to be left out, dead prez’s DJ Mic Flow also joined the proceedings as an emcee, rocking the stage while M-1 took the boards for the last song of their set. And although the Bay Area has a special place in the hearts of dead prez (M-1 called it “our hometown” during his set), it was also a special show for four rising stars, DC’s Kelow and STEFisdope, Pittsburg’s Jasiri X, and Atlanta’s Stahhr. Kelow, STEFisdope, and Stahhr were all animated performers who leaped and hopped around the stage shaking their dreads and braids in ways the Bay Area audience were familiar with, even if they weren’t quite familiar with these artists in particular. Jasiri X, the one with the least hair of the quintet, made it up with the fieriest lyrics, doubling down on the conscious theme of the night and taking on the deaths of Oscar Grant, Kimani Gray, Troy Davis, and Trayvon Martin, all of whom killed by police (or in the case of Martin, a security guard protected by police). Starting it all off was Bay Area mainstay and educator Jahi, who channeled boom-bap mainstays KRS-ONE and Supernatural for his crowd-pleasing opener.


Gallery: KRS-ONE rocks Yoshi’s

​We caught KRS-ONE performing at Yoshi’s San Francisco live last Thursday as DUCKWRTH and the Them Hellas crew opened the show and Jahi provided assistance… Read


Jasiri X, “Mandela (Listen to What the Drums Say)”

​The activist rapper takes a moment to talk about the life of Nelson Mandela and his example. Grab the free single off of Jasiri X’s Bandcamp page. Watch


Jasiri X, “Crooked Cops”

Jasiri X with more proper propaganda, taking on the problem that is the police. ​From his latest project with producer Religion, Ascension. Watch


Rock The Bells 2013 Photo Gallery: Day 2

​Day 2 of Rock The Bells brought in even more artists than the first, as we see acts like Dilated Peoples, Danny Brown, Riff Raff, Black Hippy, Wu-Tang Clan… Read

Show Recap

Show Recap: The Coup perform a different kind of balancing act

After a recent return from touring Europe, Oakland natives The Coup brought their politically-charged, punk-rock hip-hop fusion back to the bay in a sold-out… Read


Vic Mensa, “Did It B4”

​The Kids These Days frontman (formerly, actually, as he just revealed yesterday that the group broke up) steps out solo to do things not before done, or so he… Watch