Shady Nate’s record release show helps remind a local rapper/promoter how far he’s come.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
John Blaze has always written rhymes and wanted to make his living doing something in the hip-hop world. But a few years back, he made some bad choices that ended up costing him his apartment and his girlfriend when he ended up in jail after a couple of marijuana charges and missed court dates.
When Blaze got out of jail he didn’t look back: He jumped in to promoting local hip-hop shows at spots like the now defunct Hippodrome and Planet Gemini. Soon after, he started his own label, Resilient Records, and began collaborating with other labels to put on events showcasing hip-hop talent spanning from Salinas to the Bay Area.
“I just kept pursuing my goals and knew I could make my dreams a reality,” Blaze says. “The shows I’ve been bringing to Monterey have always drawn pretty big crowds.”
On Saturday at Planet Gemini, Blaze is hosting a record release show – which he expects to be another big draw – for Shady Nate’s The DroFessional, presented by Nano Livewire. In the spirit of artists like E-40 and Too Short, the West Oakland-based rapper fuses hard-knock street poetry with lavish beats and soulful R&B hooks. Nate also brings unapologetic satire to his art: The cover of his last album Son of the Hood, features the shirtless rapper gingerly holding an infant in one arm and an M-16 assault rifle in his other hand.
The album’s final track, “Life,” further reaffirms that juxtaposition. The tune begins with a pleasant trumpet, happily gliding from note to note before bleeding into the chorus: “Life, ain’t always good/ It ain’t easy growing up in the hood.”
For Blaze, though, life is better than it’s ever been.
SHADY NATE RECORD RELEASE happens 10:30pm Saturday, April 28, at Planet Gemini, 2110 N. Fremont St., Monterey. $15. 373-1449.