The JabbaWockeeZ Scheduled to Wake the Dead at Universal

JabbaWockeeZ publicity image
As Halloween season creeps closer, SoCal's theme parks begin to stir with their various haunted motifs. One of the biggest beacons of grand scale, seasonal production comes from Universal Studios Hollywood, which will open its gates to this year's Halloween Horror Nights on Friday, Sept. 18. In addition to the park's various scare zones, rides, and horror film inspired mazes, guests will have the option of getting their groove on with an all new performance by the world-renowned hip-hop dance group, JabbaWockeeZ.

The group, which won on the first season of America's Best Dance Crew, has been busy performing their Las Vegas show, PRiSM, at Luxor for the past two years. Now, they are taking a little break to add a few twists and turns to Universal's fright fair. When the season is over, they will return to Las Vegas, where they will be performing at their new location, MGM Grand. In the meantime, the Weekly had a chance to speak with one of the founding members of JabbaWockeeZ, Kevin Brewer, about the crew's involvement with Horror Nights.

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The Five Types of OC Rappers

Categories: Hip-Hop

David Watt
Juice County!

What does it take to be an MC from OC? A lot of determination, skill and undying belief in the cause. Where punk rock and ska have launched legendary groups nationwide, Juice County is still waiting for its movement and moment. There's plenty of hustlers on the scene trying to make it happen. We take a look the five types of OC rappers putting in work in the lab and onstage. As for the sixth? That's easy! The "Hey I Read Your Article Here's My Mixtape" Rapper!

Dave Watt
5. The OG Veteran

The OG Veteran can't kick down with Lil' Wayne's whinny, obnoxious flow nor his skinny ass jeans. It's representative of his overall difficulties adapting to the changing times, ever resisting by maintaining a love for the gritty East Coast boom bap beats and West Coast Gangsta Funk he grew up on in the early '90s. No one can really throw shade; that was the Golden Age of hip-hop after all. The nostalgia doesn't just extend for preferred beats, but to the closet as well. Oversized baggy pants are still in style, just not like MC Hammer's. Gangster beanies are a must. Unlaced Timberland boots? Still cool. Saddled with a couple of kids, the OG Veteran is now a family man and can only get some studio time or catch a show at the Observatory on the rarest of weekends. Don't fuck with him, tho! Rhyming is like learning to ride a bike and he'll still kill you on the mic!

See also: The Five Types of OC Punks

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Rapper Phora Injured in Pasadena Drive-By Freeway Shooting

Categories: Hip-Hop

Thumbnail image for phorasigning1.jpg
Nate Jackson / OC Weekly
Phora during a meet-and-greet at Pachuco Tattoo earlier this year
An unknown assailant opened fire on a car driven by rapper Phora just after midnight Tuesday in Pasadena. The Anaheim-bred rapper's brush with death happened when he headed home with his girlfriend to Corona on the 210 freeway.

Another vehicle pulled next to him near Lake Avenue in the drive-by shooting with bullets striking Phora's car multiple times. He suffered a wound to his neck in the incident.

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N.W.A. Have A Movie In Theaters...Deal With It, Rap Revisionists

Categories: Hip-Hop

Universal Pictures
The World's Most Dangerous Biopic
As you've probably heard, for the second week in a row the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton was number one at the box office. Director F. Gary Gray's film has been inspiring passionate responses across the board. While many have celebrated one of hip-hop's greatest legacies exploding across the silver screen, like any successful piece of art the film has no shortage of detractors. But while there are some valid criticisms of the film, a surprising number of even self-described hip-hop fans are taking issue that Straight Outta Compton even got greenlit.

Again, we at The Weekly aren't saying the film is flawless. Like most music biopics, arguments could be made about the omission of the subject's treatment of women as well as the condensing of several separate life events into one big event under the guise of "poetic license" or "artistic liberties." For those who demand 100% accuracy and thorough exploration of the major moments from art based on historical events, we see where you're coming from and respect your issues with the motion picture.

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The Top Five Films of Master P

Mikamote via Wikimedia Commons
The Bout It One Himself, Master P

Hip-hop and Hollywood have combined to create the biggest story in all of entertainment at the moment as the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton is dominating the box office and receiving rave reviews for bringing rap history to the silver screen. Its success has already caused quite a number of moves to be made in the industry, including the announcement of a biopic for No Limit Solder and iconic rap entrepreneur Master P. But if you've ever been bout it bout it, you'd know this wouldn't be the first time P's solid gold tank would roll into the celluloid canon.

No Limit Films was actually a pretty groundbreaking division of P's No Limit Records, paving the way for rappers to star in their own direct-to-video films and prove there's a market to see them act. From ambitious but humble beginnings shooting on VHS to getting some actual big name stars under P's direction, there's quite a lot to "Hoody-Hoo" in your popcorn about. It is in anticipation of more P cinema that we bring you The Top Five Movies of Master P.

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Warren G's Back To Regulate Again

Categories: Hip-Hop

Warren G Contemplates on The Second Wave of G-Funk
Regulators, mount up! If you've noticed more rhythm in your bass and more bass in your treble than usual, it's because the Guardian of the G-Funk Mr. Warren G has dropped his first release in six years, and it's a sequel to his classic. Regulate... G Funk Era, Pt. II, which is available now on iTunes, is a five track EP that not only boasts the dearly missed Nate Dogg on every track, but features some dream collaborations, including Nate and Warren joined by fellow legends E-40 and Too $hort on the same track.

We spoke to Warren about his new EP, his feelings today on the original and what his interactions with Kenny G have been like.

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Mike Miller's Photography Captures '90s Hip-Hop and Lowrider Culture to the Fullest

Categories: Culture, Hip-Hop

Mike Miller/Courtesy of Dax Gallery
He's captured notable LA rap figures like Tupac Shakur, Coolio, Snoop Dogg, and Eazy E; album covers, lowriders, and fashion models, all with a breathtaking flair and energy that espouses west coast/Los Angeles culture. Known as a true originator, Mike Miller developed his own particular brand of photography in the late '80s and '90s while his subjects would emerge as legendary artists with their own mythos further sealed by Miller's sharp black and white shots.

You'd be hard pressed to remember another photographer whose work was more rampant on notable rap album covers than Miller's, and for the discerning fan hoping to see his photos brought together, head down to Costa Mesa's Dax Gallery where a major sampling of Miller's work will be on display starting this weekend.

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Filming Straight Outta Compton Got a Lot More Real Than Anyone Intended

Categories: Hip-Hop

[Editor's Note: This cover story recently ran in our sister paper, LA Weekly.]

Back in September, on the set of the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, cameras rolled in the parking lot of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium as actors playing prudish protesters hoisted signs ("Crap Rap N.W.A") and ran over a pile of the group's records with a steamroller. A little later, a group of young extras -- many of whom weren't yet born when Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E were challenging the status quo with N.W.A's politically charged, invective-filled rhymes -- formed a line outside the auditorium, preparing to shoot a concert scene. An old-school tour bus and retro TV news van helped establish the late-'80s ambiance, and the extras sported their favorite throwback haircuts and wore the thick, gold-plated "dookie rope" chains that were popular back in the day.

Dr. Dre was holed up in his plush trailer, and another producer, Tomica Woods-Wright (Eazy-E's widow), was barely seen on set at all. But there were good celebrity-spotting opportunities nonetheless. Director F. Gary Gray walked by reading some notes -- he'd collaborated with Cube on Friday -- and then came Cube himself, a producer as well, ambling by in dark shades. Preparing for a scene nearby was Cube's look-alike son, O'Shea Jackson Jr., who plays his dad in the movie. (Junior was in good spirits but declined a reporter's request to snap his photo "while I'm wearing the Jheri curl wig.")

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RJD2 Talks New Album and Growing as an Artist

Categories: Hip-Hop

Photo courtesy of Benny Mistak / Pitch Perfect PR
You may know Ramble Jon Krohn--better known by his stage name RJD2--from his critically acclaimed debut album Deadringer or Mad Men where his song "A Beautiful Mine" is the theme. Fifteen years into his career as a DJ-producer, Krohn continues to develop his unique genre of hip-hop: an amalgamation of funk, soul, and beat-centric melodies that evoke visual imagery. This past May, he released a collaboration album with Philly-originated rapper STS called RJD2 x STS. STS had previously appeared as a vocalist on RJD2's last solo album More Than Isn't. We sat down with Krohn to discuss the new album and how he's grown as an artist.

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rj krohn, rjd2, sts

Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 Creates an EP Set /Coffee Table Book

Categories: Hip-Hop

For the past 20 years, Chali 2na, aka the verbal Herman Munster has been one of the most well-known MCs of Jurassic 5. His booming baritone is one of the most instantly recognizable voices in all of hip hop and easily memorable. Even after the alternative hip hop legends successfully reunited in 2013, 2na --born Charles Stewart --continued to venture out and squeeze time in between shows to focus on his solo career.

Calling his project Against The Current, the MC is in the process of releasing five distinct EPs that will culminate in a coffee table-styled art book and music box-set to be unveiled later this year. Fans unfamiliar with 2na's solo material may be surprised to hear the diverse sounds that encompass his songs.

"I felt that, when I was coming up with the idea for the coffee table book, I felt that five EPs would help serve as a commercial for the book instead of the centerpiece," the MC says over the phone while weaving in and out of traffic on the 405. "The music would be based on all the genres I enjoyed as a child. Anything from newer hip hop to R&B to reggae to salsa to electronica is what I wanted to incorporate on the EPs. I've made a career of not trying to put myself in a box and share the music that I love."

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