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Too Short, Danyel Smith and D’Wayne Wiggins Chop It Up About The Town

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Man on stage wearing a black shirt with a gold chain around his neck and a microphone in his left hand as he smiles.
Short Dog is in the house: seen here rocking the stage at Urban Peace Movement's 'Town Up Tuesday' event in May 2024. Short will be on the stage again this week discussing music, community, culture and more at the 'That's Oakland, Baby!' event. (Loryan Boyette-Tindall)

The city of Oakland is well known for punching above its weight when it comes to its influence on popular culture. In sports, entertainment, politics and more, the small town in the East Bay has produced numerous people who’ve left their mark on the world.

Every once in a while, these stars descend from the cosmos and come together under one roof. This week offers just such an occasion.

On Wednesday, June 12 the nonprofit community-based organization Urban Peace Movement presents “That’s Oakland, Baby!”, a free town hall discussion with hip-hop icon Too Short, author and pop culture historian Danyel Smith, and legendary musician D’Wayne Wiggins (of Tony! Toni! Toné!).

Woman talking while sitting with laptop on knees in tall chair, man sits beside her on stage
Author Danyel Smith, on stage in San Francisco at The Battery, discussing her book, ‘Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop’ in June 2022. (Pendarvis Harshaw)

The talented trio will discuss their individual journeys to stardom; all hail from East Oakland and represent a wide array of family and community experiences. They’ll also discuss the longstanding legacy of Oakland, covering the Town’s unique culture, deep musical history, the push toward innovation and the righteous fight for social justice.

Throughout their careers all three panelists have exhibited the indomitable spirit of resistance that’s ever-present in the people who come from the jewel of the East Bay. The conversation, taking place at the Oakland Tech’s auditorium, will be accompanied by a set from mix master DJ Slowpoke.


Given all that’s happening in Oakland right now — changes in population, conversations about public safety and the latest wave of talented artists preparing to make their mark on the world — it’s the perfect time for the stars to align.

‘That’s Oakland, Baby!’ takes place June 12, 6–9:30 p.m. at the Oakland Technical High School auditorium (300-340 42nd St.). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Reserve a free ticket here.

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