Hip hip hop-ray
Credited with fueling San Francisco’s underground hip hop scene in the ’90s, Blackalicious has been a working entity for more than a decade. An impressive discography gave birth to their newest release and first major label album, “Blazing Arrow.” By most accounts it’s the musical fulfillment of what their talent promised along the way: a multi-dimensional experiment of music and message.Blackalicious is the result of a union by Xavier Mosley (Chief Xcel) and Tim Parker (Gift of Gab). The duo met in high school, and were fast friends with a shared love of hip hop. They brought an organic feel to the genre when they began playing together, Parker rhyming and Mosley sampling.They started digging deeper, bringing hip hop’s roots into the mix, albeit subtly. Building on the primal beats and lyrical chants that gave birth to hip hop, Blackalicious is part innovator, part historian.Parker’s wordplay is lightning quick as he explores freedom of personal expression, familial love, social politics and believing in oneself. Mosley’s background of hip hop, R&B, jazz and funk underscore his sample-heavy style.”Blazing Arrow” has infused their reputation with convention-defying creativity. Drawing from an extensive list of famous friends, the album is filled with cameos. Zach De La Rocha (Rage Against the Machine) and Ben Harper are two such visitors. Rolling Stone Magazine calls the album “a blend of almost baroquely convoluted yet very juicy grooves.”According to their press material, the message of the music is the most important component. Parker said:”We always speak from our hearts about life as we see it, life as we know it, and life as we would like to see it.”They’re not into glitz and glam, but create out of a love of the word and the music. Blackalicious recently toured Europe, getting rowdy with their fans across the pond. They’re riding high on the success of “Blazing Arrow.”Blackalicous lays down the grooves tonight at 8150. Tickets are available at Mojo Music and at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the music begins at 10 p.m. For more information call 479-0607.Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.