Chicago songstress Lili K. is a name perhaps familiar for appearing alongside Chance The Rapper on numerous records, and recently collaborated with the Jeff Gibbs Quartet for a jazzy rendition of Disclosure's hit record "Latch". This version brings the soul to the table, and although exhibiting a completely different feel than the original, is something we find much preferable, the instrumentation and Lili K's vocals here are splendid. Be on the lookout for Lili K's debut album RUBY this coming year, which'll feature self production and more than likely some exciting guest appearances as well.
Bay area music blog & a group of young creatives. Est. 2010
Although it's been a minute since we've heard some new Dom, the OPM frontman is back with some more music for us. In a recent interview Dom Kennedy states that he is tirelessly working on new music. His last album Get Home Safely did really well, as we can expect another great album from Dom. For now check out his latest track "Represent" below.
Diego Mendoza is a Berkeley based artist of multiple talents, dabbling in photography, painting, graphic design and street art and also the creative director of the clothing brand Frosty Sauce. He also contributed to our feature on Kool John's $hmop City, lending his graphic design talents to the article. Through his design work and painting, Diego utilizes vivid color schemes and pattern work to create surreal and otherworldly environments - intermingling his play on form and shapes with the occasional original character of his own creation. Enlisting the help of local talent like CaliMade members Clyde Shankle and Carbyne and Jaimes Rodriguez to appear in lookbooks for Frosty Sauce, Diego's photography work has propelled the brand even further through his rich imagery. Much of Diego's work embodies and channels his Latin heritage, his personal photography and use of imagery within his painting work displaying a very vivid influence.
Below is a culmination of the many angles through which Diego chooses to express himself, he'll be appearing in our upcoming art show on January 9th. Stay tuned for more details of the forthcoming show and also check out our interview with photographer Andre Elliott who'll be appearing in the show as well.
You're a multi-faceted artist, who dabbles in painting, graphic design, street art and photography. Which craft preceded which, and how did the culmination develop?
It started with me reading comics, I've always been an avid comic reader. I used to draw and make my own comics and then from there I moved to this area and started going to Berkeley schools and had a real art class. So then I was introduced to a variety of different genres, and from there I got into graffiti/street art because I liked how they were using comic book characters and environments and combining letter form. That was middle school/high school and right before I graduated I took a digital media art class so I learned how to use Photoshop so that's kinda how I jumped into digital art. From there I got the job at the (YMCA) Teen Center and I started teaching digital media art, so that's I kept learning and progressing in digital media art. I look at my art and find it really cartoon-y, playful, colorful and it's childish but at the same time I try to implement some type of reality.. that's why I mess around with shading and depth and texture and stuff like that. It's just me kinda playing with different realities.
We originally met through a Youthful Kinfolk mixer we held a while back, but you've been rocking for some time now. You're one of the creative directors of the clothing brand Frosty Sauce, how did the brand come about and what is the mission statement?
Frosty Sauce started as a response to a bunch of other clothing brands, when I see other people's work I try to find what their inspiration is, you know, the style. A lot of people do this thing where they kinda just hop on Microsoft Word or whatever and kinda slap something together, and start pushing that. And I'm like, c'mon.. ya'll could do something better than that. So being an artist I kinda put myself to the challenge and got my personal artwork onto tee shirts, that was in high school. It was just a response to un-creativity and something that we wear everyday so I put myself up to the challenge of learning the process of getting the ink onto the shirt and trying to master the technique.
What's next for Frosty Sauce in 2015?
A team. Almost everything I do is solo, so it's time for me to start growing and expanding and it's time to bring people in and start building. Just more content, keep pushing the line. I'm also just trying to work bigger, move away from paper to 36x40 canvases and stuff like that.
For each medium through which you express yourself do you tap into a different source of inspiration? Is there something different you are trying to express through each avenue of visual art?
When I tap into different mediums, I wanna use it for it's intended purpose.. for example with photography right, it's to record a moment in time so I like to record the things that are really close and dear to me. My culture, my trips, my art... I don't know, I just like to document things that are personal to me and share it with people. Same thing with painting and drawing, I just like to do it. It's an impulse, can't stop won't stop. It kinda just throws up.
Your heritage is prevalent within your artistry, showcased through both your photography and painting. What about your culture are you trying to convey to the masses?
If anything, that it's still alive, that it's still around. I'm not really with the contemporary culture that's going on. I'm more of the indigenous, the roots, where I'm really from so I tap into that in different forms. When I get home, I burn a little bit of what's called copal, it's this special tree sap that we use in ceremonies and stuff. I just rep, rep the set, rep the squad, I put on for my team because that's how I was brought up. Don't forget where you come from. I'm from Guatemala, last time I was there was about a year ago this time, I was there for the holidays just kickin back and relaxing. I actually have some images for this show that I wanna share, that I never showed anybody.
This Saturday is another festival coming from Oakland Drops Beats, catch YK's own Shruggs spinning at Burnt Oak Art Gallery once again - check out the latest episode of R.I.M.E. Radio below for a preview of what to expect (last time he went in for 6 hours and he has a gang of new material so get there). The homie Jay Stone'll be hosting a 5th Handed pop-up shop as well, at Mary Weather featuring some of the articles showcased in the lookbook we recently did for them. CaliMade also made an appearance at the last ODB, Down 2 Earth having dropped off two new tracks and Legendvry preparing the release of Trap Art there's sure to be a lot of new material performed.
Ryan Hemsworth recently dropped his second official release, Alone For The First Time, a moody 7 track EP that was led by his single "Snow In Newark" with Dawn Golden. Today XXYYXX brings his twist to Hemsworth's track, further bringing the hazy song into the left field, warping the vocals and adding his signature sound to the mix.
Kendrick Lamar's sophomore album is one of the most highly anticipated releases in contemporary music, after impressing the world with the release of his single "i", he returned last night to one of America's favorite late night t.v. specials with some new material. Joined by the immaculate Bilal, Thundercat, Terrace Martin (who goes off as expected with an ill sax solo), and Anna Wise this was a riveting showcase of what we can expect from the forthcoming album. Kendrick's experimental track takes us through the different perspectives he's heard from the different races he's encountered on his journey into stardom, an introspective and once again powerful track from K.Dot. Stay tuned for Kendrick to release his upcoming album this coming year, and take the time to appreciate the attention to detail through the above performance, which brings us substance and musical experimentation at it's finest.
It may come as a surprise to many, but OG Maco's material goes far beyond the hard hitting "B*tch You Guessed It", and after releasing his debut OG Maco EP, he returns with the socially conscious BREATHE EP. The Atlanta rapper takes the time to reflect on the recent state of affairs in the United States, addressing the race relations and lack of justice that the system has shown to Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and countless others in a repeating cycle of oppression. The powerful cover art isn't just that, it represents the body of work that OG Maco's presented here, with production from Chuck Inglish on the questioning intro track "Get Down". Stream + download the EP below, you may be surprised by what you hear.