Zacky T is a Seaside Rapper Who Stays on The Grind

Courtesy of Zacky T
It's not often that you see an up-and-coming rapper repping Laguna Beach. But for 21 year-old Zacky T, seaside life informed his flow and style in ways that set him apart from a wave of local emcees tripping over themselves to prove their street cred. You won't see too much blunt smoking, gun toting or other trap music tropes coming from this guy. Instead, cliff-side views, blue water and sunsets are a more suitable backdrop for his effortless and positive lyrics woven over Drake-inspired beats on music videos for "Glow" and "Django." Maybe it's not the toughest setting in the world for a rap video, but you can't argue with the idea of a rapper keeping it real and still coming off looking cool at the same time.

His flows are also dripping with humility on tracks like "Float," a warning about not getting caught up in a fabricated world of earthly possessions. Then there's "Blessed Up," a hip-hop mantra for Laguna's youth who live with heavy hearts after seeing friends pass away far too young behind the Orange Curtain. His sensitive and retrospective approach to rap helps his rhymes ring true on his new mixtape, The Final Touch, currently available on Datpiff. We had the chance to interview Zacky T about his journey to create this album, the adversity he faces making a name for himself, dream collaborations, and his role models in the industry.

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The Devil's Carnival Pulls Into Santa Ana

Categories: Culture, Film, music

Costumed fans show their colors at The Frida. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
It was 40 years ago on this very date, September 25, that a campy, cult, musical, horror film called The Rocky Horror Show had its theatrical premiere. Rocky Horror still screens (along with the audience participatory shenanigans that have become inseparable from its theatrical experience) at arthouse theaters like The Frida, in Santa Ana. Last night, The Frida hosted the Santa Ana premiere screening of Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival -- the latest film from the Rocky Horror-esque Devil's Carnival film series.

Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival is the second Devil's Carnival film and the third cult, musical, horror film by the creative team of director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II-IV, Mother's Day) and writer / actor Terrance Zdunich. Back in 2008, the duo and their ensemble cast and crew first teamed up to make Repo! The Genetic Opera, which also still enjoys a midnight screening life at art theaters (including The Frida). Additionally, Repo screenings -- like Rocky Horror screenings -- are usually accompanied by shadow cast performances, where costumed audience members perform physical accompaniments to the onscreen action.

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Six Reasons We Will Always Love Boyz II Men

You don't have to beg. We'll forever forgive you.
We never realized the first time Motownphilly played on our car stereo that Boyz II Men would become one of our all-time favorite things to come out of the 90's. But they are. And in an era where people are listening to auto-tuned overload or watching Miley shoot lasers out of her tits on stage, Boyz II Men continue to keep it real without gimmicks and/or a hologram.

What started as a four man group (Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Michael McCary, and Shawn Stockman) may have dwindled down to three but regardless of the man count, we genuinely feel that the impact they have had on R&B is absolutely timeless. Armed with their newest album "Collide" as extra ammo and an upcoming date at the House of Blues in Anaheim on September 10th, Boyz II Men is also sending a powerful message to all of the young bucks out there and that message is: great music equals longevity.

As super huge fans of the guys who make up Boyz II Men, we wanted to show our love by listing our six reasons (As in the 76ers. Get it?) as to why they have remained in our heart of hearts and why we think people from young to old will always love them.

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Matisyahu Talks Religion, Music, and Adversity

Courtesy of DN Photos
In 2004 Matisyahu sported an untrimmed beard and a broad-brimmed hat with a yarmulke underneath. He injected Hebrew and Yiddish prayers with rhythm and impressive tongue rolling. His lyrics, though mostly about facing life's struggles, still managed to sound uplifting.

"I've been praying for/For the people to say/ That we don't wanna fight no more/ They'll be no more wars/And our children will play/One day/It's not about/Win or lose/We all lose" He goes on to say "Keep on moving through the waters" in his song "One Day" off his 2009 album Light.

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Homespun Turns 21 and Fullerton Kicks Ass Sunday in Honor of its Weird Madness

Categories: music

Steve Miller
By Johan Vogel

Gather 'round youngens. Come and sit for a spell. And I'll spin you a yarn of olden times...

Y'see, back in the early 19 hundred and 90's, back when the crick ran fat with catfish and freedom was just another word for nothing left to lose, long before the town made international news for its cops killing unarmed, mentally ill homeless people, long before its downtown became a magnet for all-DJ's-all-the-time, even a few years before an infernal rag named OC Weekly launched, there could be found, in and around that colorful town called Fullerton, a sight that is, alas, quite rare today.

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Twitter's #InThe90sWeAsked: Music Edition

Categories: LOL, Twitter, music

The '90s left us with photo proof of questionable fashion and hair choices but even more than that, the '90s left us with a lot of unanswered questions. Lucky for us, the Twitter hashtag #InThe90sWeAsked popped up and let us know we weren't alone with certain thoughts. From beeper inquiries, Rugrats and Alf chatter, and internet dialups woes, we nodded our heads in agreement that there are in fact more unanswered questions than we could've ever imagined.

Being that we are big fans of '90s music in general around these parts, we dove right in to the query pond to fish out our top 9 chuckle worthy '90s questions for your eyes. Hey "children of the 80's," we'll wait while you grab your glasses.

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Dinner In Five Parts Pairs Quality Food With Amazing Music

Courtesy of Jim Colombo
In the last 50 years, the way that we consume food has drastically changed. Take Buffalo Wild Wing's for example, you're offered an iPad to play games as you walk in the door. Sports stream throughout plasma's just about everywhere you look and contests for eating dangerously hot wings commence here and there, as well. Maybe you're more fond of staying in and whipping up a delicious, gluten-free, meal as you binge on Orange Is The New Black, but either way it's evident that the world is in need of a culinary renaissance. People are not only craving a richer dining experience, they're expecting it.

Wednesday, July 29th at 7p.m. Five Crowns will delight and entice attendees as they present Dinner In Five Parts. It's time to be present, taste that subtle hint of mache as it flirts with ricotta salata in your mouth and bare witness to how the dining landscape can shape your sensory experience.

Five courses, five pairings, five musicians, five sets, and five senses amiss the charming Corona Del Mar, English garden. Creative genius Allen Moon, of Santa Ana Sites, has brought together Chris Roundtree, of wild Up, to curate a live set list composed by Missy Mazzoli, Morton Feldman, Andrew Tholl, J.S. Back, and Jodie Landau.

The conventional setting of musicians gathering before attendees will be stripped as performers intersperse throughout the space. Moon explains, "When you're able to break down the barriers it can become a very powerful experience. [Roundtree] breaks down formality and address' accessibility, allowing the audience to experience it in a personal way, that only can happen in this sort of environment."

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Skapeche Mode Lead a Glowing Local Roster at Slidebar

Skapeche Mode performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The great thing about seeing local bands perform at a local venue (apart from the likelihood that the concert will be free) is that you really get to weigh the band by its musical and performance merits instead of by its popularity or any major buzz that it may have developed. Even in the case of The Radioactive Chicken Heads and Skapeche Mode, which already have developed enough of a following to pack the back room at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen, in Fullerton, the bands must truly shine in order to cultivate, maintain, and expand their fan bases. On Friday night, Slidebar hosted the aforementioned bands as well as Tiktaalik and MELTED, and each band subsequently showed what they could do given around 30 minutes of stage time.

Tiktaalik performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The first up was Tiktaalik. This high-concept, "post-core," three-piece outfit sounded like the soundtrack of someone who was being chased through a junkyard by wind-up robots. The lyrics were not that clearly discernible, but the guitarist / lead singer's Cobainesque shouting at one point seemed to reveal something about voluntary exile into disenfranchisement. The bassist laid down the solid tracks of this roller coaster ride while the drummer's vicious percussive attacks cleared the roller coaster's path with the relentlessness of a wrecking ball.

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The 10 Best R&B Groups from the '90s

Not too hard, not too soft.
1. Short for rhythm and blues
2. A music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, soul, funk, pop, hip-hop, and dance.

Only you know how the '90s treated you and only you can share pictures of that wardrobe you chose to lace yourself up with. The thing we all have in common when thinking back on the '90s is the music. And when it came time to set the tone to make sweet sweet love, picking the perfect "mood setting medley" was a must. Back before the word "baby" was replaced by "bitch," the variety was beyond bountiful which made it hard to narrow down what jammy jam you'd play after lighting the candles and cracking that bottle of Cisco. (The booze, not the dude.) Thank god for the mix tape, right? And there were plenty of one-hit wonders during this time but we're not going to focus on that, for now. We're looking towards R&B groups that did the most to make us sway, fall in love, sing along, gyrate...all of that. Picking this list was crazy difficult because that era was so kind to our ears with a buffet of tunes that made us feel the softer side of music. And while we gained affection (and ADD) once again while researching this idea, we also managed to line-up some stellar picks. Do these groups have a shelf life or do they stand the test of time? You be the judge and bitch to us later. We'll be here.

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Have a Hip-Hop Question for Rachel Dolezal? Just #AskRachel!

Categories: LOL, Twitter, music

Ohhh Rachel, Rachel, Rachel...
Everyone loves an outrageous news story. These stories give people a chance to join in with all walks of life online to voice their opinion and connect with others in their "outrage." Case in point, Rachel Dolezal. The revelation that Dolezal, the NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President, has been posing as a black woman while speaking on behalf of black people sparked plenty of outrage across the country. Then ironically (not really), the tweets flying around on this "taboo" topic went from "how dare she" to "let's ask her ridiculous questions." These questions soon turned into inquiring about "urban" song lyrics and at that point, we were all in.

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