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Was 2004 10 years ago already?? In high school I took a secondhand digital camera and went on hypes around the city to take flicks. It was a dope time in graff, lots of bombing, lots of battles, lots of style. I just found these pics stored online, I’ll be posting some from the collection every Wednesday. Almost all the art you’ll see here is gone today! Enjoy.

Everyday People: Malia Connor

What up y’all. I’m happy to introduce the first segment of Everyday People, a quick Q&A interview with folks in my community and from around the world that inspire me. It would only be right that my folks Malia be my first interviewee, since she interviewed me for her blog way back when and gave me the idea of doing interviews of my own. She is an established poet, dancer, mother, and proud Bay Area representative by way of Hawaii. I always run into her around the Bay and at dope community events which she’s constantly supporting. Check her out.

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1. Who are you, where are you from, and why are you here?

I am Malia Connor, originally from the Island of Oahu.. moved here in the 80s for college and never left.

2. What is one defining experience from your life that helped make you who you are?

Only one? Probably when I was told at the age of 21 to find a plan b for my dance career since it was almost over.. i began my dance company, Malia Movement Company which just turned 22yrs old this month.

As a poet, the one defining moment is before the jazz group I was touring with (Mingus Amungus) left for Cuba, my father said.. you are a strong writer with a unique voice so don’t worry about documenting with photos.. document the experience with your observations and write it all down. The piece I created can be found on the first CD of Mingus Amungus.

3. Who are some of your biggest influences?

Dancewise: Katherine Dunham; as a writer: Kiana Davenport, Tananarive Due, Haunani Kay-Trask; as a photographer: my mother

4. What are some of the challenges you’re currently facing, and what are you doing to overcome them?

Being an artist keeps you broke. Good thing it feeds my soul.

5. What gives you the inspiration/motivation to push on everyday?

My inspiration/motivation for the last 16yrs is my daughter Oni.. she is why i continue to create to ensure her voice, and mine are always present.

6. As an author, poet, dancer, how do you balance your creative energy and practice so many art forms successfully?

Without my creativity, i would probably drop dead on the spot. Dance, writing, photography, performing is what keeps me alive and thriving.

Check Malia out at http://http://maliamovement.wordpress.com/ and look out for her new children’s book, Mixed Heritage.

Money Alwayz of EVENODDS Tiny from POOR Magazine, addressing the people Special surprise guest Hugh EMC! One of the pioneers of SF hip-hop Heat reppin' the Outbound Had to smooth thangs out to a lil' soul train...

RECAP, CONT: "TAKE BACK OUR CITY," JUNE 7TH 2014, SLIM’S, SAN FRANCISCO CA

Teenage organizers/activists from POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) DEO of EVENODDS Joey holding down the merch table Tiny from POOR Magazine brought out Benito the drummer to talk about his eviction Lyrical Tone of LLF Telli Prego & Vic, my Outbound brothas! Nina got the crowd pumped talking about #TakingAStandSF Always fun sharing the mic with my brotha A-1 I performed my set with visuals in the background, this one is a photo slide show of the kids I worked with in the Tenderloin

RECAP: “TAKE BACK OUR CITY,” JUNE 7TH 2014, SLIM’S, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Peace y’all. Thanks for checking out my new website. I wanted the first post to be an update for those that missed out on last month’s event. This is a photo series snapped by the talented @jennyspitz, Ima throw up more flicks from other people throughout the day. So many people put in hard work and dedication and it was beautiful to see all my folks come together- thank you to everyone that came through. As a community, we showed that our local culture was alive and well.

The youth of POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights), high school student activists, set off the event by speaking the crowd. They represented as a group and spoke about some of their campaigns, like “Free MUNI for Youth” to give low-income kids a free citywide bus pas. These are young organizers in training, and their program received over $1,000 that night from the proceeds of this show. Thanks to Juana for getting the kids together and connecting the organization with the show.

When I had the idea to do this show around local issues, I wanted to give a voice to those who were being displaced and evicted. Tiny of POOR Magazine works with elders and families who are going through the process, and brought a few of them to address the crowd. Salute those elders for being brave enough to go through that process, and to bring themselves to a loud hip-hop party on a late Saturday night! Ha!

Nina Parks and D’Paris repped #TakingAStandSF, a movement they helped organize in response to a police brutality case in the Valencia Gardens. I wanted D’Paris to speak about his experience and for the crowd to connect with folks who were trying to fight back. With Alex Nieto other recent victims of police violence, I hoped we could use hip-hop to bring people together around these issues.

Hip-hop was definitely in the building, San Francisco was definitely in the building. This was a showcase of artists who were born and raised in the City and really represent our sound and style. I go back with all of them and it was dope to rock with Even Odds, Legends Live Forever, and my Outbound homies. Huge thanks to Equipto for being a great host, and Sean G & COF for DJing. Also peace to my All Tribes Zulus for bringing the b-boys and b-girls on stage during my performance, and to the big homie Joker for painting a live burner in front of the venue.

All the hard work I put into this show became worthwhile the moment I hit the stage. It was big to see so many people enjoying the music, and supporting the cause. Even my mama came out to catch her very first Dregs One show. It felt like the message I wanted to put out there was getting heard, and it made me optimistic to see such a diverse group there, from lil’ kids to elders. I feel like this generation could really make a change in San Francisco- or at least preserve what’s left of its core culture.

Another thing I felt when I was rocking on stage was how can I keep this thing going… and do it even bigger again and again. So that’s where we are now, with me back on my hustle trying to put some positive energy out in the world. I’m pushing harder then ever on the musical grind, and the community grind. There’s going to be more follow up to the Slim’s show, on both of those sides.

So thank you for checking me out on the first day of my website. Come tap in with me later and check out some of this other content.

Support your local artists, musicians, and businesses! (hint: that’s a solution to gentrification..)

This track is all about the other side of the World Cup. If you didn’t know, there have been protests and turmoil in Brazil because many of the country’s citizens are suffering in the middle of all these games. $16 billion was diverted from public funds by the Brazilian government and used to cover the costs of hosting the events. Over 250,000 people were displaced and their homes destroyed to build new soccer stadiums. Child prostitution is on the rise as youth in poverty are forced to sell themselves to tourists. The police have attacked and arrested peaceful, non-violent protestors. There’s definitely an ugly side to these games.

This has been on my mind lately, so I decided to write out and record my feelings about this issue. I don’t mean to be negative or stop anyone from enjoying the World Cup, but I feel like this stuff is just good for people to know about and consider when watching the games.

Lyrics:
Houses get destroyed, they knockin down walls
Let them eat cake feed the kids soccer balls
16 billion in a nation of millions
That care more about the World Cup then helping the children
What we need is education
We what we need is preservation
Of the culture & tradition carried on by the natives
The goal ain’t to score points for big corporations
The players just livestock on a big plantation
Fans throw bananas from the stands
That land at the feet of displaced Africans
Kings & queens turned to beggars and peasants
Fightin for survival in the dirty favelas
The situation need to be solved urgently
That requires real love beyond capital currency
It’s been more holocausts since Nazi Germany
Ask the Palestinians what they goin through currently
It’s kinda like my own hood where the cops profile
And pull pistols out on a teenage child
The kids run wild sniffin glue in the streets
Selling off their innocence, foreigners from overseas
Paying to abuse pedophiles and predators
Rooting for their team to beat competitors
Countries colonized gon break the chains
And fight the colonizers, beat em at they own game
Here at home the crowds chant U S A
They believe in Obama they don’t believe in Ghana
I believe in healing to ease the trauma
And refuse to give FIFA a single solitary dollar
For overpriced products made with slave labor
No World Cup fever just World Cup anger

Produced and recorded by Brycon

Mixed and mastered by D-Wiz

NEW WEBSITE DESIGN & CONTENT - 7. 7. 14.

What up everyone. This year has been full of changes for me, and I’m still pushing to take my work to the next level. I’m hoping my new website will allow me to reach more people and engage them with creative, informative, and inspiring material. Starting on Monday July 7th, DREGSONE.COM is gonna have a whole new look with plenty of original content. Here are some of the new things I’ll be featuring:

  • Exclusive videos, pictures, and articles/essays
  • Store with CDs, sticker packs, shirts, and more
  • Interviews (inspiring folks working in the community)
  • Artist Spotlight (profiles of independent musicians)
  • Hip-Hop History
  • Community resources
  • San Francisco Graffiti 2004-05 photo series
  • Reading List
  • Underground Classics (reviews of albums, mixtapes, and compilations)
  • Zulu Nation Infinity Lessons
  • And more!

The blog will be updated with original, exclusive content Monday-Thursday, with additional bonus posts 7 days a week. Check back soon for some new music, and get ready for the new site July 7th!

Watch/share this video myself & Hungrie Ones recorded at Carnaval last weekend. Like I said, that event was the perfect display of Frisco culture & unity and the exact type of vibe I wanna present at Slim’s on June 7th!

SATURDAY JUNE 7TH @ Slim’s IN SAN FRANCISCO. TAKE BACK OUR CITY.

Performances by:
Dregs One
Telli Prego, Heat & Big Vic
Legends Live Forever
EVENODDS
Plus special surprise guests
Hosted by Equipto
Deejay Sean G & Children of the Funk.

Live art by JOKER ICP.KHY
Community speakers on evictions, police brutality, and community organizing
Proceeds going to POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights)

ALL AGES!
Doors open @ 8pm // show @ 9pm
Cop presale tickets at http://www.slimspresents.com/events/2014-06-07/dregs-one/

JUNE 7TH AT SLIM’S IN SAN FRANCISCO. WE ARE TAKING BACK OUR CITY.

Performances by
Dregs One
Telli Prego, Heat & Big Vic
Legends Live Forever
Evenodds
Plus special surprise guests
Hosted by Equipto
DJs Sean G & Children of the Funk

Live art by JOKER ICP.KHY
Community speakers on evictions, police brutality, and community organizing
Proceeds going to People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER)

All ages!
Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm
Cop presale tickets at http://www.slimspresents.com/events/2014-06-07/dregs-one/

JUNE 7TH AT SLIM’S IN SAN FRANCISCO. WE ARE TAKING BACK OUR CITY.

Performances by
Dregs One
Telli Prego, Heat & Big Vic
Legends Live Forever
Evenodds
Plus special surprise guests
Hosted by Equipto
DJs Sean G & Children of the Funk

Live art by JOKER ICP.KHY
Community speakers on evictions, police brutality, and community organizing
Proceeds going to People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER)

All ages!
Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm
Cop presale tickets at http://www.slimspresents.com/events/2014-06-07/dregs-one/

Donald Sterling: The NBA Handled Business, But We Didn’t

Although I think it’s good that the NBA has taken action against Donald Sterling, I have mixed feelings. We all know the $2.5 million fine for him is about equivalent to a $100 dollar fine for the average American. A lifetime ban is a huge statement, although Sterling is 82 years old- his lifetime will probably be over within the next 10 years. If he is forced to sell the team that will be huge, but we all know that will also put money in his pocket and basketball is not his only source of revenue. I’m not writing this to be pessimistic, I just thought I saw an opportunity by the players, coaches, and fans of the NBA to take a stand against the entire institution of racism, rather than against just one man.

I remember being very young watching the NBA with my pops, and I overheard him say under his breath, “Just a bunch of black boys playing ball for a white audience.” My first reaction as a little kid was like, “Whoa, what the hell is pops trippin about?” Now that I’m older I understand his frustration a little better. Success in professional sports is not the same thing as upward social mobility and cultural dignity. Although these players are paid millions, much like every other employer-employee dynamic in the US, that doesn’t compare to the multi-million dollar profits of the owners for a fraction of the work. Team scouts pull teenage youth from their communities, recruit them for colleges that make millions off of their athleticism, or send them straight to the auction block (the draft) where they are sold to the highest bidder. If they are lucky, these young players may enjoy a successful career. However, there is a high percentage of pro athletes who fall victim to injury, shady agents and advisors, bum contracts, lack of financial education, or the temptations of drugs and gold-diggers. Being a professional athlete does not guarantee you dignity as a Black man, as we have seen through many portrayals of athletes in the media, or soccer players getting bananas thrown at them, or the NBA telling these young boys that they must wear a suit when they come to games. There isn’t a single owner that has a problem with tossing these players to the side when they are no longer of any value to them. Does any of this seem familiar?

David Sterling is a modern day plantation owner. He represents the face of capitalism. If you didn’t know, capitalism cannot exist without racism. In capitalism, there must always be a level of inequality and there is an “anything goes” attitude when it comes to taking control of the market. The term “minority” is a misnomer, as this planet is mostly populated by people of color. However to maintain this inequality and prosperity for the few, the masses must be subdued and portrayed as inferior. The first examples of racist propaganda coming from a government state occurred amongst European nations who told their citizens that the people being enslaved in the New World were not really people, but more like savage animals; and that it was okay to liberate their resources from them because Europeans were genetically superior. Or chosen by God. Or whatever lame-ass excuse that was used to commit mass theft, rape, and genocide. This country was built on the labor and the oppression of the Indigenous and the African. Rich white men (not poor white men, not white women- rich white men) enjoyed the benefits of their laborers while at the same time doing everything to condemn them and wanting absolutely nothing to do with them as people, unless it was to rape their women. By championing racism, they protected their power and were able to justify their free labor.

Donald Sterling’s empire was built on the backs of “minorities,” whether it’s the Black and Latino tenants paying rent in his housing, or the players who get paid a fraction of his profits to toss a ball around. Other than their profitability as athletes, tenants, and employees, he loathes Black people and yet he sought physical ownership of a Black/Latina woman; whose company he was willing to pay for in the form of sports cars, luxury vacations, and cold cash. Of course, thanks to V. Stiviano, we all know that now. Sterling has been an NBA team owner since the 80s, but despite the fact that he has been involved in a string of racist incidents inside and outside of basketball, it is only now that the eyes of the entire country are on them that the NBA decides to take action. Commissioner Silver stated that he has know Sterling for decades and never heard or seen any racist behavior from him, despite the fact that Hall of Fame players and unfairly evicted tenants have sued him. Commissioner Silver did not take action against David Sterling in the interest of promoting racial justice, he did so in the interest of protecting the brand of the NBA and allowing business to continue as usual.

Although I’m pleased that the NBA addressed this issue, since so often we are used to hearing outrages such as these be ignored or covered up, I am not satisfied. I’m not satisfied because I see this whole incident as a missed opportunity by the players, coaches, and the fans. When something happens within our communities, we leave the resolution up to the police, to the justice system, to the education board, to the NBA- we, the workers and the oppressed of the world, never take action into our own hands. The object of any bureaucracy, especially within a capitalist society, is its own self-preservation. Therefore it is the utmost priority of the NBA to preserve the system that allows owners and administrators to take advantage of the athletes, not to expose the truths that I touched on above, and to continue operating under the faleshood that we are in “post-racial America.” I feel like after yesterday’s press conference, most people said, “Welp, I’m glad that’s over with, back to the playoffs! Woo-hoo!”

This was an opportunity to take a stand against the entire institution of racism- not just the racist inclinations of one man. It was an opportunity to address the oppression of Black Jews and other Africans within Israel, who Sterling also condemned in recorded conversation. It was an opportunity to speak on the emotionally-abusive relationships of old men in power with young women. It was also an opportunity to address these young women who are willing to sacrifice their morals, their roots, and their bodies just to be with a wealthy man. It was an opportunity to shed light on all the other inequalities that our people have to face on a daily basis. It was an opportunity to expose that Donald Sterling is simply one of thousands of rich white men who profit from the labor of “minorities” yet have absolutely no regard for them.

Most importantly, it was an opportunity to tell the world that post-racial America is a lie and that the struggle is not over. Or is it? What time are the playoffs on tonight, again?