“I’ve been coming to Oakland for years. I used to come up here quite often to listen to the blues legend Brownie McGhee. We used to sit in his garage and eat candy. And talk—...
I used to rewrite Nas' rhymes, replacing key words in his lines in order to make his verses apply to my life here in Oakland. On October 19th, 2014, I heard Nas make alterations t...
As children, very few of us wanted to eat our vegetables. I would try to convince my mom "my vegetable shelf (of my stomach) is full, but my dessert shelf is empty." That never wor...
My little brother just put me on to the south side Chicago emcee Mick Jenkins. He wanted me to be as juiced about Mick as he was, so he led off by texting me a Boy Meets World re...
Read the notes Oaklanders are writing to their beloved city, and submit your own! Shoot us your story, celebration or plea to Oakland at email@example.com with “Notes to Oakland” in the subject.
Once a year, people of all stripes gather in a Jingletown warehouse in East Oakland to explore the treasures to be had at a huge White Elephant sale. You can find pretty much anything there. There are entire sections dedicated to art, furniture, electronics, [...]
Sly & The Family Stone were pioneers in the world of funk, soul, and rock, due to their eclectic genre-blending sounds, Larry Graham’s invention of slapping the bass, the anti-prejudice messages in their lyrics, and their multi-gender and ethnically [...]
San Francisco emcee Nate (aka Nate the Great) has built his reputation by sharing honest reflections of a blue collar kid traversing adolescence in the Sco. His youthful introspection stands in stark contrast to the glorified hood-rich stuntin’ that permeates [...]
It’s a wonderful thing to watch an artist grow, especially when you love how they’ve grown. In the spring of 2010, SiairaShawn dropped The In Between EP. Throughout the years she’s experimented with her sound a bit, but always provided content that [...]
It doesn’t snow here, but there are plenty of things to signal “the most wonderful time of year.” As soon as I hear Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” I’m ready for holiday feasts, gifts, and a drive down Picardy Drive to see the lights. I usually [...]
My father has been talking about the amazing history of Oakland sports for as long as I can remember. Every night at the kitchen table the whole family was given history lessons about the local legends who collectively told the Oakland story. There [...]
Never underestimate Oakland youth. If I’ve learned anything as a high school educator in Oakland, it’s that our young people are strong, intelligent, and talented. Case in point? Vocal Rush, an impressive student acapella group from the Oakland School [...]
When you cruise through Oakland, you see some vintage automotive gems gleaming on chrome rims or gold spokes. Candy-painted Stangs, Cougs, Chevelles and El Caminos shine like turf prisms; hood rich testaments to pride amidst struggle. You also see [...]
Most Fridays after school, my mom or my aunt would take my brother, my cousin, and I to Loard’s Ice Cream on MacArthur Blvd in East Oakland’s Dimond District for ice cream cones. In those days I was a Rainbow Sherbet fiend, Lara was a Mint Chip girl, [...]