Cutting it a little close, organizers of Hiero Day have finally announced this year's performers for the huge Labor Day block party that takes over multiple stages in Oakland on Monday, Sept. 5 -- and for the event's fifth year, it's looking like the best lineup yet.
A combination of Bay Area veterans (Too Short, Paris, Murs, the Grouch), worthy youngbloods (Caleborate, Rexx Life Raj, Rocky Rivera, Nef the Pharaoh) out-of-town favorites (Dilated Peoples, the Beat Junkies, Blu & Exile, Mr. Lif) and Hieroglyphics themselves, the schedule also includes some welcome surprises.
Juvenile: When was the last time you listened to "Back That Azz Up"? Out of all the non-Bay Area additions this year, Juvenile's bound to attract one of the biggest crowds with pure Louisiana heat.
Invisibl Skratch Piklz: The Daly City DJ crew defined the term "turntable band," and after splitting up in 2000 has been the subject of documentaries and books. Reunited and working on a new album (minus founding member Mix Master Mike), the trio of DJ Qbert, D-Styles and Shortkut should see a joyful homecoming.
J-Cutt: Oakland history, right here. J-Cutt was the producer for the APG Crew, who put out two studio albums in the late '80s from their headquarters on Apgar Street in Oakland -- only to be inexplicably overlooked in most East Bay rap histories. Eric Arnold remembers them here, and it's nice to see them represented at Heiro Day.
Just Blaze: "Exhibit C" by Jay Electronica, "Freedom" by Beyoncé, "Compton" by Kendrick Lamar, "Touch the Sky" by Kanye West, "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Jay-Z -- the guy's produced hit after hit.