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Bike to Work Day May 29, 2015 Join thousands of bike riders throughout the region to bike to work and stop by one of an estimated 100 pit stop locations to pick up t-shirts, snacks and encouragement. Originally scheduled for May 15, but postponed due to rain.  71 other events on Friday, May 29
Seen Local
The media artist/designer wants women to challenge the idea of what’s expected of them
Seen Local
The third in our series on the artists awarded grants through the Creative Catalyst Fund
Seen Local
After nearly 50 years, faculty and staff fear next two shows will be the last for a while
Bertrand Bonello’s biopic fragments history to find the emotion of style
If I Were U
D.O.A., Bit Maps, Dead Meadow and other shows we’re stoked about this week


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.