Tag Archives: Black Bane

Black Bane Puts Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch On Notice In New Video

Black Bane Puts Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch On Notice With New Video

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First Degree The D.E. takes on the Black Bane persona and looks to raise the thought, talent, and purpose in today’s rap music

By Fahrenheit Insight’s Jimmy Blog

   Just when America needs answers, The D.E. provides. In a quest to bolster hip hop consciousness, Sacramento rapper First Degree The D.E. calls out rap heavy weights Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch in new video, “Black Bane”, which can be seen HERE.

   First Degree The D.E. is a world renowned entertainer/activist and pioneer of Sacramento rap, has performed over 100 shows across the USA, and  is responsible for 55 projects in all. In addition to his uplifting message in the recording booth, First Degree is an active participant in South Sacramento community. The label he owns, Fahrenheit Records, had sold over 80,000 units world-wide , consists of artists stretching the West Coast,  and enjoys a 20 years history of quality, thoughtful, diverse music. Fahrenheit Records operates an award winning, world-wide online radio station called Fahrenheit Radio, and owns and operates 14 websites, including FirstDegreeTheDE.com, Sacramentorap.com, Californiarap.com, and USrapnews.com.

    The Fahrenheit Insight caught up with First Degree during the “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style” video shoot at the 49er’s stadium in Santa Clara, CA. It was a cloudy evening with thousands of raucous, optimistic fans tailgating in the Levi Stadium paring lot for Monday Night Football’s opening of the 2015 season. The D.E.  gave us insight into the history and purpose behind Black Bane, and what it means to be a street vigilante. Who is First Degree Black Bane?

First Degree black bane 3First Degree The D.E. defines conscious lyricism with Fahrenheit’s 55 project, Black Bane The Misunderstood Genius Part 1

   Over his 20 year rap history, First Degree has put on many masks to deliver his message. This includes RoboDE, Blackulem, Shlumpulicious, and Super Black to name a few. Being Fahrenheit Records’ 55th project, the first thing The Fahrenheit Insight wanted to know about Black Bane was what the difference between it all the past First Degree characters.

   “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” First Degree explains. “Like the other recent characters I’ve portrayed on albums, I was told by the universe to take on this persona. I don’t just sit around and decide, ‘I’m gunna do this, or I’m gunna say that.’ God an His universe instructs me to do so, and I oblige.” He then went on to lay out the purpose of Black Bane.

   First Degree The D.E. went all out to detail the characteristics of Black Bane. He explained tat unlike the other characters he’s portrayed, Black Bane sees the world as a grey area, meaning there’s no definitive good or bad, just perspective. “Black Bane is a street vigilante. Once he’s locked onto a goal that’s just, he affiliates with the good and the bad in order to fulfill that purpose. He’s purpose is just, his means are questionable to some.”

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Long time Brotha Lynch producer Phonk Beta goes all the way live with his production on First Degree Black Bane

   When asked about Black Bane’s purpose and goals, First Degree related Black Bane’s vision of a fair society in which opportunities flow equally across all social and economic levels, the people are informed and inspired, and doing his part to help shed the effects of Jim Crow and return the people to the regalness that is within them. “This is what he calls fighting for the people. Black Bane just takes aggressive means and plays the role only he can play, in order to get the job did,” First Degree The D.E. asserts. He concludes, “To deliver this message, I relied on the Great Phonk Beta and challenged him to remind the people what makes him great, and he succeeded with an unbelievable array of superior, live shlumpage.”

When we got in the lab we asked ourselves how we can make this one bigger and better. We achieved that goal with thought, soul, effort, talent, time, patience, and purpose.

The Fahrenheit Record was given a copy of the First Degree Black Bane singles in preparation of this article. They include “Black Bane”, “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style”, and “Say Serra”.

First Degree Black Bane Annimated Face Oji

First Degree Black Bane through the eyes of Oji

Black Bane

The first single is the title track, Black Bane. It starts with First Degree and The Celebration (his kids), telling the story of Black Bane to a dark, aggressive, piano driven, Phonk Beta beat. The first line, “The cost to be boss, atroc-it-ties, that most can’t handle, that’s that’s why you boss, that’s why you bump my blamble, that and rap scandal” provides immediate insight into the mind of Black Bane. The chorus is a daunting 8 bars of dark singing, thunder, and whipping. Black Bane’s lyrics are hard, political, and thoughtful, “Not affected by ISIS, that’s way far, the man’s cookin books here, that’s on our radar.”

The First Degree Black Bane video is another genius animation from Fahrenheit’s Oji, filled with good guys, bad guys, and all in between. The ultra creative video details the many faces and duties of Black Bane and his allies. In addition, the video includes Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch. When asked why they were included in the video, First Degree explains, “Oji and I saw this video as an opportunity to remind rap’s division leaders to have purpose in their music, before its too late. I’m in cahoots with Lynch as we speak, collaborating on Strange Music’s ‘Kevlar’ album, and that ‘Black Bane Part 2, The Underestimated Villan'”. The D.E. asserts, “its time for the Brotha Lynchs, the Phonk Betas, and the First Degrees to get back together in unison and continue this legacy we’ve created.” He finishes his thought by including that Brotha Lynch was on his way back from Kansas City laying vocals for Strange Music’s Strangulation 2 album, and would will be back at work the Sactown vet as soon as he gets back.

In this single, First Degree raps, “(I’m) banned from Strange Music Inc.” When asked to elaborate, The D.E. declined, citing that it wasn’t the time and a desire to move forward. Why did he put the line in the song, The Fahrenheit Insight wonders.

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NFL Network films part of the First Degree The D.E. “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style” video shoot, 49er Stadium with Empire Row

I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style

The second single from the Black Bane album is a dedication to West Coast 90’s rap pioneers and the influence it had on world-wide American culture. ‘I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style’ is a 90’s style Beta beat with live pianos and live guitar played by L.A.’s Eric Otis. The sound is a nice, unique mix between old school west coast sampling, a live Curtis funk band, and the Straight Outta Cmopton movie. The song’s title and theme came from a 90’s rap group consisting of The D.E.’s good friend Big Ron and Live Wire from the L.A. area.

The “Wear Black’ video was being shot at 49ers Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California the day of this interview. An official 49er’s tailgating pep rally, thrown by Arevalo Production’s Empire Row, served as the back drop. It was a nationally televised Monday Night Football game and the unveiling of the 49ers’ new black uniforms. It was a wild event, filled with Fahrenheit fans and 49er faithfuls alike. The scene is sure to jump off the camera as soon as the video is completed and released.

First Degree black bane 5First Degree utilizes green screen for the first time in Say Serra

Say Serra

The third Black Bane video is the most musical, lyrical, and entertaining of the bunch.” Say Serra” is a finely-crafted First Degree hit with its own sound and racially controversial lyrics that will have the streets buzzing for some time to come. This single has a hard, groovy, big production, live sound that has never and will never be duplicated. Once again, Phonk Beta is on the beat and live pianos, and Eric Otis is on the live Spanish guitar.

The Say Serra video is all D.E.. First Degree gets close up, entertains, dances, and delivers his unique brand of poetry, “That video’s gunna be up close and personal to leave no doubt what I’m sayin!” Oh boy.

When asked how one picks singles for the album, First Degree reiterates that he is a vessel of the universe and does what it instructs him to do. He also points out that local publication Sacramento News and Review leaked and reviewed one of the songs, ‘The Fahrenheit Record’, HERE. The article included reporter Raheem Hosseini’s funny individual experience with the informative song. The Fahrenheit Record mentions many Sacramento area reporters, and several of them, including the KCRA’s Edie Lambert, Kevin Riggs, and Sacramento Bee’s Chris Macias started the buzz by posting about the song on their Facebook pages.

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D’Angelo Black Messiah played a roll in developing First Degree Black Bane

   When asked about what, if any, outside musician provided influence for Black Bane, First Degree bared a big grin and explained that the D’Angelo Black Messiah album was the first album in ten years that stimulated his mind. “D’Angelo is the greatest singing and producing entity of all time. I have never heard such funky, sticky, risky, smooth, forward thinking, live music ever. Michael Jackson is the best dancer ever, Phonk Beta is the best rap producer ever, and D’Angelo is the greatest singer/producer of all time, fa sho. I’ve listened to that album 100 times already.” First Degree goes on to justify that D’Angelos latest album Black Messiah is “gleaming with purpose” and “stimulates those that understand”. The D.E. states that Black Messiah is the reason he reached out to Phonk Beta and Eric Otis for live instrumentation.

First Degree also sites the current urban struggle, and a second meeting with hip hop legend Rakim that had influence on his new direction.

If the people take to the Black Bane album like the listeners that this reporter has witnessed, the West Coast rap game will have a new bar to try to live to.

First Degree Black Bane hits stores world-wide October 20, 2015. Live First Degree Black Bane performances will take place in the Seattle and Denver areas in December of 2015, with more locations to be announced. The album is produced by Phonk Beta, with additional production by Oji and Sultan Mir. Fahrenheit Records is distributed by City Hall Records and The Orchard.

More information can be found at FirstDegreeTheDE.com

Black Bane Cover

Fahrenheit Records’ 55th album, First Degree The D.E. “Black Bane” brings purpose to the underground rap game and hits stores October 20, 2015

E-40 Live In Sacramento, From The Eyes Of An O.G.

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E-40 Live In Sacramento, From The Eyes Of An O.G.

By Jimmy Blog For The Fahrenheit Insight

Photos by Fahrenheit Photography

“When I say E, you say 40!”

When I got the text on Mother’s Day from First Degree The D.E., telling us to meet him at E -40’s concert in an hour, I was a little taken back. However, when E-40 is in the buildin’, and First Degree The D.E. is on the move, it pays to keep up!

 

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E-40’s flow is a nice combination of flippin’ and conscious rap

E-40 live is always a rockin’ show. His history in the rap game, along with his all ages, multicultural fan base, makes for a good time. E-40 live celebrates West Coast hip hop culture at its best. His single “Choices” has been a hit in the clubs, the streets, and the radio. E-40 keeps buzz and stays relevant.

 

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Sacramento’s Ace Of Spades has established itself as Sactown’s hottest venue

When The Fahrenheit Insight met up with First Degree The D.E. outside of Ace Of Spades in downtown Sacramento, we asked about the purpose of our attendance at the show. With First Degree The D.E., things are never as simple as they seem. When we discovered the purpose of our trip to the E-40 live Choices Tour, things got interesting.

Before entering Ace Of Spades, our conversation when something like this…

“So D.E., why are we here?” asked the Fahrenheit Insight.
“I don’t know,” responded First Degree.
“Are we here to see E-40 perform his new songs?”                                           “No, it’s more than that.”                                                                                         “Are we here to get a picture with 40?”                                                       “No.”                                                                                                                                    “Are we here to try to get 40 on Black Bane?”

“No, he’d probably too expensive for me. Black Bane is a militant album, I’m not sure if 40 would get down like that. Truth is, I don’t know why we’re here. But when the universe lines up for something important to happen, and for you to be there, you gotta trust the wisdom of the universe, and just go.”

“Ok, Ok. Do you think we’re here so you can one day be on his album?”

“No, again its more than that.” After a long pause, First Degree then explained, “Its about recognition.” He further points out, “Respect. I want to make sure he remembers me and knows what we’re doing now.”

 

e-40 live sacramento e 40 8“When I say E, you say 40!”

e-40 show sacramento first degree the deFirst Degree The D.E. enjoys old school E-40 songs performed. No, really

First Degree The D.E. then describes his long time admiration for E-40. In the late 90’s, First Degree The D.E. and E-40 did a song together on Brotha Lynch Hung’s “Loaded” album. The D.E. went on to explain that E-40 is the most successful rapper/rap CEO in Northern California, and most Northern California rappers look up to him. “I somewhat based my business model after them (Sic Wit It Records).”

Ace Of Spades was packed. Sactown was in full force for E-40 and the Sic Wit It crew. We weren’t expected, but because we were rollin’ with First Degree, we got in free and got premiere seating. Feel me?! It literally pays to be down with Fahrenheit! It was probably the story in Sacramento’s News and Review about the Ace Of Spades Nightclub, First Degree The D.E.,  Ced Sing, and Sacramento rap.

The show started with Nassasary. She is a petite, energetic MC from Florida known for Youtube fame. The crowd showed appreciation to her, her original sound, and flow, by getting into her set and learning her choruses. After her was Strange Music’s Stevie Stone. He had a decent set, displaying a Tech N9ne-like synchronism with his stage partner, and flowing with a MidWest sound. The opening acts did a good job setting the stage for The Man. Once E-40 hit the stage, the crowd erupted!

 

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E-40 had the crowd rockin’, even in the “cheap seats”

 

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 E-40 live has still got it

During his set, E-40 did not disappoint. For the O.G.’s E-40 started with classics like .Sprinkle Me’ and ‘Captain-Save-A-Hoe’. “How many old school E-40 fans out there?!” The crowd rocked, sang along, and reminisced during the popular rap tunes. It was interesting to see the younger audience members sing along to tunes that were hot before their time, a true sign of longevity.

During the hour plus long set, the self-proclaimed Ambassador of the Bay performed his newer singles like “Tell Me When To Go”, his hit with Big Sean “I Don’t (expletive) Wit You”, and his latest hit, “Choices”. It was all to a raucous crowd. Both 40 and his audience left the function full of our hip hop culture, good times, and pride.

Local celebrities filled the venue. Along with First Degree The D.E., Big Roc and Loc2DaBrain was at the spot taking in the scene as well. Big Roc, T-Nutty’s manager, is now managing B-Legit, and doin’ it big like his name. Madesicc Musicc’s Loc2DaBrain crew was promoting their mini movie and EP entitled, “Asylum”. E-40 and Sacramento, brings out the hood stars, is a nice combination. E-40 live is the truth!

 

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Sacramento is a second home to E-40

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E-40 hears his chorus sung by 800 fans

After the show, we caught back up with First Degree The D.E. The D.E. had met with a few hundred fans, handing out free CDs, fliers, and Fahrenheit information. He said he had a good time, but was not done with his evening. “I need to talk to 40.” D.E. declared. OK, here we go.

Somehow, First Degree The D.E. got us past security and backstage after the event. That Fahrenheit gleam shines for rillas! Having performed with Too Short and Smoov-E a few years prior, The D.E. knew his way around the backstage area. We didn’t, and temporarily lost First Degree. The climax of the story was hanging in the balance! However, we eventually found him, outside the dressing room, talking to a group. As we approached First Degree, a couple securtity guards came out of the dressing room to make space, and out came E-40! I was frozen, but The D.E. was not.

E-40 was on a dash from the black SUV that had come to swoop him up. He had been swamped by fans all night, he was ready to go. He was being followed by fans hawking him for selfies. When he was about 10 feet from the SUV, First Degree The D.E. hollers out, “40, it’s First Degree The D.E.!” What E-40 did next, I’ll never forget.

Although E-40 had just rocked Sacramento, and been worn out by fans, when he heard The D.E.’s name he stopped in his tracks and stopped everything to talk to him. I saw it with my own eyes! “Awe, what’s up First Degree!” E-40 was heard greeting D.E. as the two shook hands and hugged. With a reminising, happy look, the two talked for a minute, shook hands again, and then E-40 was off. First Degree The D.E. was the last person E-40 talked to at the venue.

Later, when The Fahrenheit Insight inquired to First Degree about what he and E-40 talked about, he said, “That’s between MCs.”

So close, but so far.

“Did you get what you were looking for?” we asked.

“Yes.”

 

E-40 SHOW sacramento e 40 corners cover

E-40 “Sharp On All Four Corners” OUT NOW

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First Degree The D.E. “Black Bane” OUT OCTOBER