Real talk, how many of your favorite groups perform songs about the day-to-day stories and struggles that you and everyday working people in our communities face? Sadly, there are far too few. That’s why two of the most beloved groups to come out of the Bay Area in recent years are Mass Bass and BRWN BFLO. If you have heard their banging music then you know how uplifting it is to have these artists represent our neighborhoods and homelands. If you haven’t yet, take a listen:
On Friday, March 4 La Pelanga proudly welcomes Mass Bass and Somos One from BRWN BFLO to The Brick and Mortar Music Hall. Advance tickets only $12!!!
A not-to-miss show that will feature Somos One’s new EP Two Vagos w/ special guests, Mass Bass’ Movement Movin‘ music and La Pelanga’s global dance floor records.
Space, the final frontier—well at least for gabachos. Chicanos and Chicanas have been traveling through the cosmos and putting down roots in the heavens for some time now. In fact some of the more notable explorers are based here in Oakland, California. Going back nearly 40 years, percussionists Pete and Coke Escovedo left Santana’s first band to form their own creation called Azteca. It was a bold project of creating a full 15-20 piece band on any given performance that fused latin rhythms, soul, funk, rock and could pretty much play anything. They made two incredible records that are a lasting testament to their innovation as multi-cultural musicians. In their 2nd record, Pyramid of the Moon, they take full flight as they lead the way through the stars for the rest of la raza to follow.
One of those to follow was my primo Lukumi. Fans of the group BRWN BFLO know him as Giant, aka Gigante. Back in 2010 he suited up for space travel with fellow BFLO, Somos One, for his mixtape Giant vs Doom where they document their travels in his song Xican@s in Space. (download it here for free)
Checkout his latest recordings where he mixes reality, imagination, humor and brown soul. He definitely follows the ethos that we believe in—music has no boundaries and you can use it to take you anywhere.
3 or 4 years ago I went to Berkeley’s annual Hip-Hop in the Park and there was my fellow futbolista and friend DJ Treat-U-Nice (aka Dominic Villeda) selling shirts he designed and printed up. It read “Kill a hipster, save your hood”. My reaction at the time was, there’s Dom being Dom. I didn’t realize just how bad the epidemic would grow. My neighborhood in Oakland, (a huge mix of working class people, mostly of color), hadn’t been taken over yet. Soon though they were living next door and my hood started to resemble something far too close to this video by SF rapper/poet Watsky alongside our local friends DJ Treat-U-Nice and playwright/educator Chinaka Hodge.