Greetings from Honolulu!
First off, I wanna say thank you so much to everyone who has been reading and keeping up with my "Friday Features." I honestly wasn't expecting to get as many views and likes, at least not at this "pilot" stage. I send huge shouts outs to the artists (GIM$, 3XTK, Bombz, and DizzieDaz) that I have featured thus far and for the support from my own viewers/listeners. It truly is a pleasure to share dialogue with fellow artists and Hip-Hop lovers all around the world and to share their stories on my platforms.
Summer has been great so far! I was interviewed for a second time on KNDI Radio (a local radio station geared towards various ethnic groups here in Hawaii), got to bring in one of my good friends, Marjury, on-air to share her musical talents and personal pursuits regarding a very important fundraiser of hers, and also got to check out some other local talent this passed weekend (more footage from that will be on my next Lumpia Lifestyle Vlog). Aside from all that, I've been writing, recording, and brainstorming new material nearly every day. Thank God for inspiration!
Other than that, summer is going very well! My girlfriend, my homegirl Rizza, and I have been hiking on a weekly basis (trying to get in shape a little bit), going to the beach, and spending lots of time under the sun. I'm enjoying all of this while I can because once Fall comes around, Ima have to lay low again. However, some things to expect this summer include more music, a full-length music video(s), and overall more content.
Rap's Favorite Lumpia
*Mahalo means "Thank You" in Hawaiian.
If someone were to ask you when the “Golden Age” of Hip-Hop was, most of us would refer to the 90s. Many also say that current Hip-Hop is nothing compared to its purer form from back then. Apparently, gone are the days of poetic lyricists like 2Pac or Immortal Technique and so-long are the strong political influence that rappers strived for like in some of Eminem’s early work or Run D.M.C’s “Fight the Power.” But I believe there is opportunity more than ever to create change. There’s a reason why it seems like everyone wants to be a rapper. True, on the surface, Hip-Hop has glorified guns, drugs, and promiscuity and has promoted a desensitized vision of women’s worth, homosexuality, etc. But if you dig a little pass what’s available on the radio or television, you’ll find an independent scene of artists and Hip-Hop lovers alive and well with similar goals- to perpetuate good music and tell their own stories. Dizzie Daz, who prefers to be known as a poet rather than a rapper/MC, is one of those artists that can bridge the gap between the cassettes and boom box era and the Fruity Loops/autotune generation that fills the airwaves and news feeds today. Take a listen to his track “Mary” and see if it reminds you of some of your favorite old school Gangsta Rap jams.
Born and raised in Baltimore, MA- Dizzie Daz started playing on turntables and learned how to mix records alongside his family and friends at the age of 9. His curiosity for developing new sounds and growing up in the late 80s/early 90s era had him hooked on music ever since. At 12 years old, his talent for writing poetry earned him 13th place out of 1000 young poets and went on to have one of his poems published in a book.
Dizzie Daz comes from an old school era of Hip-Hop only a few got to witness first-hand. He solemnly speaks on the recent tragedies affecting his home-town especially in regards to the death of Freddie Gray. “Walking through the streets of Baltimore is an everyday struggle, Rap/Hip-Hop was my way of escaping the stress and pain as a young black male in this unpredictable society,” says Dizzie. Despite that, he considers himself blessed to be around talented friends and family making music daily. With more than two decades of experience, he continues to do what he loves- from recording to producing and performing.
Transitioning to the island of Maui, he has currently resided there for over 10 years. He states that studio time in the mainland can get expensive, and he was so fortunate to have met other artists with home studios and ambition to create music. While he has been part of many musical projects, Dizzie Daz is a member of the 808 Lava Squad Mafia, based out of Maui, which also features GIM$ and DallahDeezo. The group is building a buzz around Maui and the rest of Hawaii state. They will be performing collectively at their first Oahu gig at Hawaiian Brian’s in Honolulu tomorrow night, as part of the Post-Battle party following the “Maui vs. Oahu” rap battle. Be sure to come check them out! See more of Dizzie Daz on his social media pages and other music outlets.
There’s no doubt that Hip Hop has influenced cities all around the world. When we think of the U.S., we’ve come to associate some of its “Hip Hop Centrals.” New York has The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens (Big Pun, ASAP Rocky, Notorious B.I.G); Michigan has Detroit (Big Sean, Eminem, Angel Haze); and California boasts the Bay Area (E-40, Watsky, Keak Da Sneak) and Los Angeles is home to the likes of Tupac Shakur, N.W.A, and even Dumbfoundead and Bambu. In Hawaii, although Hip Hop from this area is hardly known to the rest of the world, Hawaii’s Hip Hop Central would have to be none other than the town of Kalihi. Emerging from the scent of Filipino food in the air, where Polynesian and Asian dialects mixed with “pidgin english” can be heard in the street, and an influx of brown kids roam the town loud and proud, stands one of Hawaii’s most known MC’s- Franz Huerbana aka "Bombz!"
A lyricist, producer, editor, graphic designer, and all around creative mind, Bombz has proved himself time and time again as a serious artist. What makes Bombz different is not only his ability to cleverly form beats and rhymes, but in his love for his family and community and how he is able to tell his narrative in a compelling and nonetheless Hip Hop manner. Full Filipino/Visayan, he’s inherited some notorious genes- hot tempered, proud, and equipped with a fighting spirit that dates back generations to the Philippines. Take a listen to Bombz’ “Hometown” track and he’ll put you right in the mix of Kalihi, with a strong theme of love and strength that only comes from being born and raised in Hawaii.
Remarkably, Bombz started writing raps in fourth grade. One of his first songs was his own version of “Wanksta,” originally performed by 50 Cent. Throughout the rest of his public school years, he burned his own CD’s, handed them out to friends, and soon after gained a local following, which has only grown with his move to Las Vegas in 2011. In hopes of building a better life for his kids and wife, Bombz has persevered as a father, husband, and artist. He continues to generate traction through his “Ill Season” mix tapes along with thousands of views on his Youtube and Soundcloud channels. Nothing that Bombz creates is less than amazing, from remixes to freestyles to fully directed music videos- high quality, high definition, everything.
Check out Bombz on the "Feature Block" to learn more! Be sure to follow Bombz on all his social media accounts and show support for this talented, hard-working, and humble young man from Hawaii!
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OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.