January 17, 2008

Kumeyaay hip-hop with potential

DAGO BRAVES:  Big things poppin' in SycuanTake a look at the lineup for two of the biggest recent hip-hop shows to come through San Diego--Young Jeezy and Lil' Wayne--and you'll notice the same opening act, locals (and relatively unknowns) Dago Braves. Take a listen to the Sycuan duo's debut album, "Native American Hustle," and you'll notice how it manages to sound well-constructed and amateurish at the same time, and how the features (guest verses) manage to often overshadow the young duo without trying very hard. (You may also hear the sound of potential.)

To see what was goin' down, I took a drive out to the Sycuan Music Department, home of the Braves' record label Shulaced Entertainment, and found a ranch home with two studios (the larger a converted garage fitted with ProTools HD, a Control 24 mixing board and other high-end equipment--engineer J Elliott Ness played with beats on one of a couple of MPC 4000's), a cozy office, and a pool in the back sporting the lagoon look, rocks and slides and palms--everything but the video girls.

The Braves are cousins Terence "Poodeezy" Brown and Mike "Odoe" Allen, 19 and 18 years old, respectively. They both grew up in Bakersfield until about 10 years ago, when they moved to Sycuan; they're both three-fourths black and one-fourth Kumeyaay.
Comment:  I gather "Dago" is slang for "[San] Diego" as well as an ethnic slur.

With your Chief Wahoo pendants, you go, guys. Show the world it's okay to stereotype Indians.

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