O.B. James 1 p.m., March 7
Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap
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- Blurt · Aug. 27, 2008
“Hip-hop is the bastard child of the San Diego music scene,” says Cleveland transplant Jamaal Hale, aka M-Double-A-L. “In some cases, it’s viewed with fear and apprehensiveness; it’s similar to Cleveland in that both cities aren’t known for hip-hop, but both in fact have a lot going on underground.”
In Cleveland, Hale was a member of a six-rapper hip-hop group called the Primate Foundation, which ended up splitting after signing to a label that he says screwed them.
When he moved to San Diego in 2002, at the age of 23, he says, “I saw a heavy indie-rock presence, but I was trying to find hip-hop culture in SD. I stumbled across the Hot Monkey Love Café, [where] they had open-mike nights, emcee battles, break dancing, and deejaying. After involving myself, I found out about groups such as the Icons, Deep Rooted, and others who’ve had success in and outside San Diego.”
“Every weekend, I would go to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. Armed with a CD player and headphones, I let anyone who wanted to listen to the music, and some would even buy the album [from me].” That 2005 album, Mackalactick Musick, was also carried on consignment at Access Music in Pacific Beach.
In 2008, M-Double-A-L’s record, Table Manners, was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Album at the San Diego Music Awards, where the artist was also nominated for Best Hip-Hop. His 2009 mixtape is called Think and Grow Rich, a title borrowed from a self-help book by Napoleon Hill.