By Nastia Voynovskaya
Hieroglyphics left an indelible mark on the Bay Area’s conscious hip-hop scene with songs like “You Never Knew” and Souls of Mischief’s “93 Til Infinity.” Not to mention, the nine-person collective helped write the blueprint for independent artists in today’s industry with their own record label, events and clothing line.
Now an Oakland institution, their annual festival, Hiero Day, celebrates its 8th anniversary Aug. 30–Sept. 2 with an entire Labor Day weekend of festivities.
Taking place on Sept. 2, Hiero Day is known for its savvy mix of old-school hip-hop acts and up-and-coming artists. In addition to the Hieroglyphics crew, this year’s edition stars Houston legend Scarface, Hayward’s Spice 1 and Pete Rock & Yukmouth (of Luniz). New Roc Nation signees Benny the Butcher & Conway the Machine also perform, as well as the honey-voiced R&B singer Mereba, Oakland rap power couple Jay Stone & Queens D.Light, Stockton’s unhinged freestyler Haiti Babii, Midnight Hour (a new collaboration between composer Adrian Younge and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad) and more. Oakland rap star Mistah F.A.B., R&B singer Rayana Jay, poet and playwright Chinaka Hodge and radio personality Sway Calloway are among the hosts of the festival’s three stages.
On Aug. 30, the Hieroglyphics crew is also throwing a silent disco dance party at Complex in Oakland. On Aug. 31, they host a free family day at DeFremery Park in West Oakland, with a skate contest, three-on-three basketball tournament, STEM-focused learning activities and more. The party continues with DJ sets from the 45 Sessions on Sept. 1 at the Uptown Nightclub and a comedy show that night at Level 13.