Rapper Shady Blaze has nose to the grindstone 

click to enlarge Solid skills: Oakland rapper Shady Blaze, center, learns by watching and listening — and then does it better. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Solid skills: Oakland rapper Shady Blaze, center, learns by watching and listening — and then does it better.

DIY rapper Shady Blaze recorded his latest album, “The Grind, Hustle & Talent,” with just a laptop and a microphone.

The process was trying at times for the Oakland rapper, who appears at SOM-Bar on Monday with resident “Slap City!” DJs Willie Maze and DJ Jack.

While creating the track “Another Dimension,” Shady couldn’t find a quiet place to work. Annoyed, he went to his car and recorded it in the parking lot. “People driving by were looking at me all crazy,” he says, laughing.

He isn’t bothered by flack he got from friends for not using better studios and more elaborate equipment.

“It’s not about how or where you record it, or what you are using,” he says. “It’s about how it’s mixed and mastered.”

Shady, who mixed three tracks on "The Grind," says he is learning his craft from the best producers: Ryan Hemsworth, Al Jieh and DK All Day.

Known for rapid-fire delivery, Shady, whose birth name is Ravalle Quinn, began rapping at 11, after standing back and quietly listening to friends spit rhymes for months.

“They told me I was the best one out of us all,” he says. “[I’ve] never stopped since.” At 14, he started making beats on a Yamaha keyboard — again, self-taught.

Shady associates himself with Green Ova Undergrounds. The group of young and talented hip-hop artists from Oakland includes the up-and-coming Main Attrakionz.

The album title is a survival code for Shady. He says, “Whatever your skill may be, use it to survive ... get money. I’m a rapper, and that’s my grind, hustle and talent.”




Shady Blaze

Presented by Slap City!

Where: SOM-Bar, 2925 16th St., S.F.
When: 10 p.m. Monday
Tickets: $2
Contact: www.facebook.com/SlapCitySF
Note: 21+


Where: 2925 16th St., S.F.
Info: Call (415) 558-8521 or visit www.som-bar.com

SOM-Bar opened in 2009 in the Mission district in the space that formerly housed Pink and Liquid. Showcasing renowned DJs and live performances, “SOM” is named after the Portuguese word for “sound,” which, proprietors say, has an additional meaning: It’s the feeling that resonates when people connect with their experiences.

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