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Hip Hop's self proclaimed 'Freaky Deaky' Money B of Digital
Underground has been wearing a different hat of sorts.. Lately industry
folks have been receiving phone calls from Money with him requesting an
interview. Apparently Money is trying his hand in television. He has a
new video show called Real Deal Video. The show has been out for about a
month and it consists of Money playing videos and doing interviews in a
variety show format. The show comes out of TCI Cable's Community Affairs
For example, DJ Yonnie Yon, the DJ for the Conscious Daughters has his own Barber shop jumpin' off in Oakland. Yours truly can personally attest to the fact that he does a good job... His place is usually packed.. And in fact you can usually find other Bay Area artists like Mac Mall bouncing through his shop...Believe it or not Yonnie Yon is not the only Bay Area hip hop artist to have his own barber shop or hair cutting service... D-Wise, one of the lead rappers for the BUMS [Brothas Unda Madness], who are currently finishing up their second lp, has also garnered an awesome reputation around the 'The Town' for being good with the shears.. Like Yonnie, more then a few Bay Area superstars seek him out so he can shape up their domes... San Francisco underground rapper Ken Flow is yet another rapper who has some nice hair styling skills under his belt..I can say one thing, when these artists go out and hit the road they won't have to worry about themselves or their crew looking shabby when they hit the stage.
Another Bay Area artist settin' it off is K-Cloud.. For folks unfamiliar with K-Cloud he's one of the Bay Area's pioneering artists.. He used to open for Hammer and later he rolled with Paris.. Right now he's rolling a lotta dough at his own bakery. 'It's All Good Bakery' for the past year has been a major hotspot here in Oakland.. It's become so popular that Cloud has had to start delivering his goods.. Folks from as far away as Sacramento which is a good hour and half away have been coming down to the shop to get their eats.. Cloud, like the rest of his Bay Area business counter parts claims that inspite of side business he's still very much in the game..Recently Cloud celebrated his one year anniversary at the bakery by having an two day all out block party. All sorts of folks showed up for free grub... It was definitely off the hook.
AK Black broke onto the Bay Area hip hop scene several years ago as a main participant in the Eco-Rap Program.. Here Bay Area rappers were encouraged to help bring about awareness to the hazardous conditions that exist in many inner city neighborhoods... AK insightful raps not only helped him win the Eco-Rap contest, but he later went on to be a main spokesperson for the program.. He traveled overseas to Germany and several other countries and eventually released an lp.. Nowadays when AK is not rappin', he and his wife run a weight training business and gym.. In fact both have successfully competed in numerous body building contests around the country..
Chill EB is another veteran Bay Area rap artist has been getting busy.. He is frequently seen on TV, talkin' it up as a pitch man for a variety of goods most notably Sega Genesis. Premo another Bay Area hip hop pioneer has also gotten into acting and modeling. He most recently was featured in a movie called Consequences which was produced and directed by Bay Area film maker Mario Bobino..Here Premo played the part of a ruthless Oakland drug dealer which is counter to his socially conscience personality... Premo has expanded upon his social commitments by penning provocative columns for several publications including Roots a popular Bay Area magazine... Premo is currently working on a book and is now back in school at UC Berkeley where he is pursuing a degree in psychology...Also on the film tip is MC Style who was the lead rapper for the now defunct pioneering group Red Black & Green. While Style is still very much involved in the scene, he has always wanted to pursue his options as a screen writer. He is currently getting that experience as a personal assistant to veteran actor Mykelti Williams.
Probably the most visible and perhaps successful of Bay Area rap artists who've expanded their business horizons are Sway & King Tech. Both long time veterans to the scene, Tech started out as a break dancer and in fact was part of the San Francisco ballet breakers back in the early 80s.. Sway on the other hand, began making a lot of noise in the mid 80s as an up and coming rapper..When the two hooked up they released an ep under their own label ALL City Productions and later a full length lp on Giant records called Concrete Jungle. After seeing that there was a lot more security and money to be made behind the scenes, Sway & Tech began concentrating on mastering the business of music... This led to them landing a hip hop show on radio station KMEL.. 6 years later the very popular Wake Up Show has grown to be syndicated in over 12 major markets around the United States including, Japan, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.. The duo also set up one of the West Coasts largest and most influential marketing and promotional companies... Street Wize.. They've also established a management and production company and currently they are getting ready to launch a 12 city rap tour... In addition to all this, the pair have been official programming consultants to radio station KMEL and had been one of the main brain thrust behind many of the recent programming decisions by KMEL when it launched into being a station that represents for the Hip Hop Generation.. If this isn't enough Sway recently announced that now that he and Tech have had the experience of being behind the scenes in operating and programming a radio station and seeing how the business side of things come into play, he and his partner Tech are in the process of actually trying to purchase a radio station...As Sway put it, there's a certain vision and philosophy that we would love to bring into radio scene, but you can't really do that completely unless you own your own property... He admitted that purchasing a station will not be an overnight thing.. He noted that its part of a much bigger plan that involves everything from fully knowing the business, establishing a successful track record and having the ability to gather capital and investors. The property they want is at least a couple years away.. He seemed very confident that it will happen... To be honest that's the first time in all my years in hip hop that I had heard anyone inside the scene not just talking but actually engaged in the process of purchasing a station.. Now that's handlin' some serious business if you ask me... Props out to them as well as all the other Bay Area artists who've been getting busy outside the hip hop arena..