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Star Spangled Pops Jul 03, 2015 Celebrate Independence Day as principal pops conductor Bill Conti leads a patriotic extravaganza featuring all-American hits, a fireworks display and an appearance from American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez. 80 other events on Friday, July 3
Local experts say tech privacy is a thing of the past
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Local alternative band reuniting at The Casbah
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The Stay Classy cocktail is Ron Burgundy-approved


Home » Articles »   By Quan Vu
Wednesday, October 16,2013
Music feature

The Icons’ creative chemistry

San Diego rap group recalibrates after five-year hiatus

By Quan Vu
The Icons clearly retain the style of the ’90s underground. Back then, many underground rappers were delving deeper into abstraction, testing the limits of vocabulary, wordplay and battling.
Wednesday, July 10,2013
Music feature

Getting to know rapper Lil B

A bluffer’s guide to being ‘based’

By Quan Vu
Lil B is fucking weird. The Berkeley rapper, born Brandon McCartney, scored his first hit, 2006’s sneaker anthem “Vans,” with The Pack, a group he formed in high school. But rather than build on that group’s success, Lil B retreated to the Internet.
Wednesday, June 5,2013
Music feature

Stuntdouble & Tenshun are middle-class heroes

Hip-hop duo tackle local economic issues

By Quan Vu
Stuntdouble & Tenshun have been making funky, intelligent hip-hop since the mid-’00s. In 2011, the duo released the first of three EPs as part of Welcome to San Diego, a series that speaks to local issues with biting humor.
Wednesday, May 15,2013
Music feature

Mitchy Slick: rapper in exile

San Diego’s biggest hip-hop artist loves the city, but a gang injunction keeps him away

By Quan Vu
Charles Mitchell, aka rapper Mitchy Slick, doesn’t exactly feel welcome in his hometown. Despite being San Diego’s most famous rap export, his visit home in April was extremely low-key.
Wednesday, February 27,2013
Music feature

The wrath of Odessa Kane

Local rapper embraces his role as a ‘cultural worker’

By Quan Vu
When Frankie Quiñones speaks, his soft voice carries a surprising weight. He speaks solemnly, choosing his words carefully.
Wednesday, November 7,2012
Music feature

Michael Quiñones makes the ‘raw shit’

Local artist's hip-hop sounds haunting but beautiful

By Quan Vu
It’s a Friday night in October, and local rapper and producer Michael Quiñones is setting up a projector at Headquarters Café, a coffeehouse in El Cerrito that might be the ideal new spot to showcase his music.
Wednesday, October 3,2012
Notes from the Smoking Patio

Awol & Gamma get conscious on 'SinSerious'

Rappers show potential with new album

By Quan Vu
When rappers like Common and Mos Def got big in the 1990s, record companies concocted a new label, “conscious hip-hop,” to neatly package their sociopolitical-themed music and exploit an older, more affluent and often elitist demographic.
Wednesday, July 25,2012
Music feature

Piff California Herrera speaks the truth

Local rapper acts as a positive voice for the Southeast

By Quan Vu

On a Saturday afternoon in June, local rapper Perry Wilkins Jr. stares out across several houses. Dressed in a flannel shirt with rolled-up jeans and boat shoes, he’s hanging out on a large wooden balcony at “The Flight Deck,” the home of a friend, on a steep hill in Encanto, in San Diego’s sprawling 4th City Council district.

Tuesday, July 3,2012
Music feature

Parker & The Numberman bring the ruckus

San Diego hip-hop trio goes all out, all the time

By Quan Vu
On a Saturday afternoon at Ranchos Cocina restaurant in North Park, Jack King, Jamal Smith and Brandon Zamudio bounce off  each other electrically. Between the three members of local hip-hop group Parker & The Numberman, you can hardly get a word in.
Wednesday, May 30,2012
Music feature

A look at San Diego’s ‘beat scene’

From Skrapez to Room E, here are the local acts to watch for

By Quan Vu
The first installment of Critical Beatdown—a monthly series dedicated to a new class of glitch-laden, avant-garde, instrumental hip-hop and electronic music known simply as “beat” music—took place at Kava Lounge in January 2011. A year-and-a-half later, the series is going strong.