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Music, All Shook Down You Gotta Check Out Blackalicious' Sports-Themed Redux of "Alphabet Aerobics"

You Gotta Check Out Blackalicious' Sports-Themed Redux of "Alphabet Aerobics"

Blackalicious' "Alphabet Aerobics" is one of those hip-hop tracks that transcend the genre. What began as one of the finest displays of lyrical fluency became a meme before people ever knew what a meme was. "Have you heard that…
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Music, All Shook Down Blackalicious Producer Chief Xcel Talks New Album and Crafting Music on the Road

Blackalicious Producer Chief Xcel Talks New Album and Crafting Music on the Road

One of the most celebrated hip-hop acts to emerge from the greater Bay Area during the '90s, Blackalicious made a triumphant return with the release of Imani Vol. 1, the duo's first new studio album in a decade that just…
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Music, All Shook Down Last night: Curumin at Slim's

Last night: Curumin at Slim's

Curumin at Slim'sJanuary 22, 2009 Photos by EKAphotography Better Than: Watching Brazilian Football on Telemundo It was a triumphant night for Luciano Nakata Albuquerque, better known as Curumin. Flanked on stage by a handful of the Bay Area's musical…
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Music, Hear This Waxing Brazilian

Waxing Brazilian

Curumin's 2005 debut album, Achados e Perdidos, established the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist as a global alt.pop up-and-comer. He fused funk and soul influences into bossa-nova– and samba-tinged originals, along with what is perhaps the definitive Portuguese-language version of Stevie Wonder's "You…
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Calendar, Night&Day Let's Go to the Hip Hop

Let's Go to the Hip Hop

Just before Oakland's beloved hip-hop duo Blackalicious sets off to tour Australia, members Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab host the Blackalicious Holiday Affair. Their invited guests for this evening of live performances include Alameda's Trackademicks, a producer and remixer…
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Music, BeatBox King Britt storms the turntables

King Britt storms the turntables

Blackalicious gets plenty of props for its lyrical positivity, musical invention, and studio prowess (2005's aptly named The Craft was culled from some 120 tracks recorded over two years with a slew of R&B and hip-hop A-listers). With the recent…
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Music, OK Then


Blackalicious is easily one of this city's biggest sacred cows, musically speaking. The brainchild of high school friends MC Gift of Gab and producer/DJ Chief Xcel, Blackalicious was founded all the way back in 1987, and is responsible for some…
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Music, A Hero Comes Along

A Hero Comes Along

Following a decade of groundbreaking work, the Quannum Projects crew has reached iconic status in the world of underground hip hop. Maybe it's time the artists got their own superhero cartoon. Let's see, DJ Shadow could be the sensei master,…
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Music Awards, Award Show Performers

Award Show Performers

Blackalicious Blackalicious may not have released an album since 2002's breakthrough Blazing Arrow, but this year the band members have continued to cement their reputation as some of the most compelling hip hop artists in the nation with a string…
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Music, Reviewed Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti

This is something of a wet dream for us Bay Area folk, a captivating mix CD of songs by the late Nigerian Afrobeat bandleader Fela Kuti put together in an ultimate DJ set by Chief Xcel of our own home-grown…
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Music, Reviewed Blackalicious


In more than a decade together, Blackalicious' Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel have released only two EPs (1995's Melodica and 1999's A2G) and one full-length (2000's Nia). That's not to suggest a lack of productivity, but rather an obsessive…
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Music, Spirited Rhymes

Spirited Rhymes

It takes an unusually patient hip hop enthusiast to be a Blackalicious fan. Collectors of the Oakland (by way of Sacramento and Davis) twosome's product have had some serious drought years to deal with, getting through the lean times by…
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Quannum Leap

There's a quiet, laid-back energy in the downtown Oakland offices of Quannum Projects, the independent hip-hop label formed out of the ashes of the Solesides label. But gears are definitely turning: Boxes of records and CDs move in and…
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