Bay Area

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: E-40, Bay Area rap legend

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
E-40

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

E-40 on his new record Practice Makes Paper and growing up in the Bay area

When it comes to Bay Area hip-hop, this week's guest is quite possibly the greatest of all time. He goes by many names: Forty Fonzarelli, Charlie Hustle, 40-Water or maybe you know him as the Ambassador of the Bay Area. We couldn't be more excited to share this conversation with the one and only E-40.

He was born and raised in the small town of Vallejo, and he has brought the culture of the Bay Area to the world. His distinctive style is overflowing with language — bars stuffed to the gills with words both real and imagined. He's hip-hop's king of slang and a stylist without peer.

He’s spent his career at the forefront of independent music, building a rap empire that changed the way music was recorded and sold, in hip-hop and beyond. He is both an artist and a movement.

His distinctiveness has kept him relevant for three decades now, from mob music in the 1990's to hyphy slaps in the aughts to new music today.

The themes are simple: hustling, street life, a bit of wisdom and a lot of money making. But even now, in his early 50's he tries to stay humble about his success.

E-40 joins us to talk about his new record. We'll pull up some deep cuts from R&B singer Saint Charles, who 40 knows as his Uncle Chuckie. Chuckie was a huge inspiration for E-40. E will also take us to the root of his passion for music. Plus, he'll talk about his college days at Grambling State University. Did he win the school's talent show? Only one way to find out. Listen up!

E-40's latest record "Practice Makes Paper" is out now.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: What Happened, Miss Simone? & Oliver Wang

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Liz Garbus
Guests: 
Oliver Wang

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


Photo: Monty Fresco/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What Happened, Miss Simone? Liz Garbus Explores the Passionate Life of Nina Simone

Nina Simone pursued freedom in her politics, her music and her personal life. Yet, it was something that often eluded her when she wasn’t on stage. Struggles with bi-polar disorder, a complex and often violent marriage and a legacy of racism caused her great pain, but these same things also shaped her into one of the most quintessential performers of her generation.

Filmmaker Liz Garbus’ documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, reveals the life of the performer using an exhaustive collection of archival material, interviews and even excerpts from Simone’s personal diaries. The result is a film that reveals an artist in all her complexity, a woman whose ability to be simultaneously vulnerable and powerful helped define her as a voice of her generation.

Garbus joins us to discuss Simone’s beginnings as a child prodigy in the Jim Crow south; how the civil right moment changed Simone’s professional and personal life; and how the contradictions that make a human being made Nina Simone truly unforgettable.

Liz Garbus’ film What Happened, Miss Simone? is now available to stream on Netflix.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.

Oliver Wang on the Rise of the Filipino Mobile DJ Crews

If you don't know about the dozens of Filipino mobile DJ crews that rocked garage parties, weddings, birthdays, school dances and showcases in the Bay Area during the 1970s to 1990s, you're not alone. The DJs who made up these crews were mostly teenagers, initially inspired by what they heard and saw at nightclubs. They even tended to fly under the radar at school or outside of their Filipino communities. Yet their work is an important, if understudied part of the history of turntablism.

Academic, journalist and DJ Oliver Wang spent nearly fifteen years researching and interviewing these crews to spotlight a scene that created a foundation for famed scratch DJs like DJ Qbert, Mix Master Mike and DJ Shortkut. Wang's new book on the subject is called Legions of Boom.

Wang joins us to talk about what these mobile DJs borrowed from the discos of the 1970s, how continuous mixing ensured the party would go on, and why the California-style two car garage became the perfect place for that party.

Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area is available now. You can hear Oliver Wang on our pop culture sister podcast, Pop Rocket, every week.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.

The Outshot: The Promise of Summer

Jesse explains how The Hold Steady's "Constructive Summer" seems to capture the season's essence.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this Outshot with a friend.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: What Happened, Miss Simone? & Oliver Wang

| 1 comment
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Liz Garbus
Guests: 
Oliver Wang

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


Photo: Monty Fresco/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What Happened, Miss Simone? Liz Garbus Explores the Passionate Life of Nina Simone

Nina Simone pursued freedom in her politics, her music and her personal life. Yet, it was something that often eluded her when she wasn’t on stage. Struggles with bi-polar disorder, a complex and often violent marriage and a legacy of racism caused her great pain, but these same things also shaped her into one of the most quintessential performers of her generation.

Filmmaker Liz Garbus’ documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, reveals the life of the performer using an exhaustive collection of archival material, interviews and even excerpts from Simone’s personal diaries. The result is a film that reveals an artist in all her complexity, a woman whose ability to be simultaneously vulnerable and powerful helped define her as a voice of her generation.

Garbus joins us to discuss Simone’s beginnings as a child prodigy in the Jim Crow south; how the civil right moment changed Simone’s professional and personal life; and how the contradictions that make a human being made Nina Simone truly unforgettable.

Liz Garbus’ film What Happened, Miss Simone? is now available to stream on Netflix.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.

Oliver Wang on the Rise of the Filipino Mobile DJ Crews

If you don't know about the dozens of Filipino mobile DJ crews that rocked garage parties, weddings, birthdays, school dances and showcases in the Bay Area during the 1970s to 1990s, you're not alone. The DJs who made up these crews were mostly teenagers, initially inspired by what they heard and saw at nightclubs. They even tended to fly under the radar at school or outside of their Filipino communities. Yet their work is an important, if understudied part of the history of turntablism.

Academic, journalist and DJ Oliver Wang spent nearly fifteen years researching and interviewing these crews to spotlight a scene that created a foundation for famed scratch DJs like DJ Qbert, Mix Master Mike and DJ Shortkut. Wang's new book on the subject is called Legions of Boom.

Wang joins us to talk about what these mobile DJs borrowed from the discos of the 1970s, how continuous mixing ensured the party would go on, and why the California-style two car garage became the perfect place for that party.

Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area is available now. You can hear Oliver Wang on our pop culture sister podcast, Pop Rocket, every week.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with a friend.

The Outshot: The Promise of Summer

Jesse explains how The Hold Steady's "Constructive Summer" seems to capture the season's essence.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this Outshot with a friend.

E-40 on Understanding

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E-40 lets it be known that if you don't get it, you don't get it: "Me and squares and the game-goofy motherfuckers and the don't-knows and the motherfuckers that ain't never been in the life or even hit a block or been on no corners or been in any type of sticky situation or nothing they ain't gonna never understand me."

Noz's interview with 40 Water is a must-read.

(Above: "Lil Grimey N***a" f. Stressmatic)

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