Today is Dream Day-Remembering Graf King Mike Dream

Dream DayFebruary 5th, 2010 at The New Parish, Oakland, California. Celebrating the life and legacy of Mike “Dream” Francisco.

Art exhibition by TDK crew + more

Music by DJs: Apollo, ShortKut, Sake One, Fuze, Myke One, Platurn, Namane, and Willie Maze. Live drums by Big G of the 808 Band!

Performances by Equipto, F.A.M.E. and The Bangers.

The Bay Area’s best DJs and Artists have assembled to pay tribute to life and legacy of Oakland’s beloved Graffiti King and Bay Area legend, Mike “DREAM” Francisco. Recognized worldwide as a style master, Dream’s graffiti established the visual aesthetic of Oakland’s Hip Hop culture, and put The Town on the map in what is now the fastest growing art movement in human history.

This event marks ten years since Dream was tragically murdered, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Akil Francisco, Dream’s only son, now 10 years old. The TDK crew is also proud to announce the forthcoming book on Dream’s art and life: “The Title of My Book Reads: Advanced Vandalism.”

All proceeds benefit the Dream Book Fund and the Dream Legacy Fund for his son Akil, 10, who recently lost his mother to breast cancer.

If you are unable to attend and want to support, please make checks out to The Dream Trust Fund, or Akil Francisco.

Art Show 6pm-9pm, All Ages, Free
Showtime 9pm-2am, $10 (dontations accepted) All Ages (with parent)

Here’s the original story of when Dream was taken from us…
RIP Dream…
One of Hip Hop’s best is Gone!
by – Billy Jam
2/22/00 9:39:57 AM
The Bay Area hip hop community was in mourning over the weekend with the tragic news of the murder of Mike “Dream” Francisco who was shot and killed on Thursday night, Feb. 17th, in a robbery in West Oakland. Dream was 30 years old and is survived by his family, his girlfriend Nikki and their infant child. Dream, a prominent and prolific graffiti artist since the late eighties, was best known for his association with the TDK [Those Damn Kids] graffiti crew and the Hobo Junction hip hop collective. (Note: a photo of a bombed Amtrak train by Dream graced the cover of Saafir’s 1994 album “Boxcar Sessions”). The ever prolific Dream had done literally thousands of pieces over the years from throw ups all around Oakland and the Bay to works on canvas or paper for such entities as the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, 11/5, Hip Hop Slam, KMEL and Dogday Records. In recent years he had earned a reputation as an equally talented tattoo artist operating out of East Oakland tattoo studio Built To Last with partner Done Carlo. “I’m just in shock. I can’t believe it,” said Done outside La Pena cultural center on Saturday night where a last minute benefit/tribute to Dream was held with such friends/performers as Naru, Company of Prophets and Boots from the Coup all paying their respects.

 “Dream was a very humble and charismatic writer,” said Refa 1; Dream’s close friend and graffiti partner with whom Dream had scheduled a new show at Oakland’s Asian Resource Center (310 8th Street @ Harrison) this week. “He put so much love and dedication into a form that many of us had taken for granted and he had taken it to new heights,” said Refa 1. “He excelled in that and he gave the world so many beautiful pieces coz he himself was a beautiful person. And he always loved the culture!” The one day art show, scheduled for Thurs 2/24 5PM to 8PM, will now become a memorial and its pieces, no doubt, will take on profound new meaning. “In the new exhibit there’s a piece dedicated to 2Pac and Plan B and now I’m gonna have to do a piece dedicated to him,” said Refa 1 shaking his head.

 Sunday (2/20) at the Future Primitive Sound Session at the Fillmore in San Francisco friend and fellow graffiti artist Doze titled his live onstage graffiti installment “DREAM” in his honor. “He wasn’t just a great artist. He was also a great person,” said Doze. Later that night onstage DJ Disk, another longtime friend of Dream’s, paid homage to the slain artist by stopping the music and leading the soldout crowd in a moment of silence. In fact all weekend, all over the Bay people, touched by Dream’s art and ever warm personality, were shocked as news of his sudden death reached them. Many pointed to the sad irony of how Dream always made mention in his art to Plan B who was also slain.

 Emcee/graffiti artist & fellow Hobo Junction member Plan B (real name Jesse Hall), who was murdered in 1992, was a close friend of Dream’s and often the topic of his art. The PBS documentary “Jesse’s Gone” from a few years ago about the death of Plan B, which features interviews with Dream, will rebroadcast on KQED San Francisco on Tuesday Feb 22nd. In an interview broadcast on Hip Hop Slam in 1993 from at the anti-police brutality art exhibit “No Justice No Peace” Dream noted that for many of the attendees at the downtown Oakland art gallery that this was their first exposure to graffiti as art and a dose of “reality” for them. “But to brothers like us reality is watching people die on the streets everyday, everyday,” he said. Billy Jam (2/21/00)

 (NOTE: for updates on Dream’s memorial service and other info related to the artist call the Hip Hop Slam offices at (510) 658-4293, ext 2 or e-mail


Update-Army Puts Smash on Hip Hop Soldier Sends him to Iraq for Court Martial

Before reading this update, u may wanna refamiliarize yourself w/ this story by peeping the first article we ran

Immediate Iraq tranfser and court martial announced in violation of military regulations

By the Friends and Family of Spc. Marc Hall.
February 3, 2010
Donate | Sign the petition |

Today, Fort Stewart, Georgia officials confirmed that the Army will attempt to separate Spc Marc A Hall from both his civilian legal team and his established military defender Capt. Anthony Schiavetti by sending him to Iraq “within a few days” to face court martial.

The Army declared that, “The jurisdiction transfer ensures a full and fair trial for both Spc. Hall and the United States.” Nothing could be farther from the truth, at least for Spc. Hall.

“It is our belief that the Army would violate its own regulations by deploying Marc and it would certainly violate his right to due process by making it far more difficult to get witnesses. It appears the Army doesn’t believe it can get a conviction in a fair and public trial. We will do whatever we can to insure he remain in the United States,” explains attorney David Gespass of Birmingham, Alabama.

Spc. Marc Hall produced and distributed an angry hip-hop song in July 2009 when he discovered that he would not be allowed to leave active duty due to the Army’s “stop-loss” policy. Spc. Hall continued to serve with his unit for the next four months undergoing command and mental health counseling as requested. “I explained to [my first sergeant] that the hardcore rap song was a free expression of how people feel about the Army and its stop-loss policy. I explained that the song was neither a physical threat nor any threat whatsoever. I told him it was just hip-hop,” explained Spc. Hall.

When Spc. Hall continued to express strong objections to redeploying to Iraq, his unit used the hip-hop song as a pretext to incarcerate Spc. Hall on Dec. 12, 2010. The command likely believed Spc. Hall would refuse to deploy anyway creating discomfort among other soldiers.


Spc. Hall was charged Dec. 17, 2009, with five specifications in violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Conduct, two of those for wrongfully communicating a threat based on song lyrics. Article 134 is the vague rule that outlaws anything “to the prejudice of good order and discipline.”

Brenda McElveen, Spc. Hall’s mother notes, “Marc served his tour of duty to Iraq honorably. To his dismay, he was told that he would be deployed again. When Marc voiced his concerns over this matter, his concerns fell on deaf ears. To let his frustration be known, Marc wrote and released the song. Marc is not now nor has he ever been violent.”

On Feb. 1, 2010 Spc. Hall underscored his non-violent outlook by formally applying for discharge from the Army as a conscientious objector. His application explains the transformation he went through during his year-long deployment to Iraq. The Army’s attempts to now deploy him violate AR 600-8-105 (Military Orders) and the Army’s Conscientious Objector regulations among other errors.

“The Army seeks to disappear Marc and the politically charged issues involved here, including: the unfair stop-loss policy, the boundary of free speech and art by soldiers, and the continuing Iraq occupation. The actual charges are overblown if not frivolous, so I’m not surprised the Army wants to avoid having a public trial,” explained Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist (, an organization working in collaboration with Iraq Veterans Against the War ( to support Spc. Hall. Supporters have created to support Spc. Hall and pay for his legal defense.

Ft. Stewart Public Affairs Chief Kevin Larson, (912) 435-9879, announced today that he will no longer provide information regarding Spc. Hall. Media should instead contact Iraq-stationed LTC Eric Bloom via email only at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This alone underscores the lack of a fair and public trial available to Spc. Hall in Iraq.

The Army continues to implement its stop-loss policy despite President Obama’s promise to end the unfair practice that involuntarily extends the active duty service term of many soldiers. According to the Pentagon 120,000 soldiers have been affected by stop-loss since 2001 and 13,000 are currently serving under stop-loss orders.

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BlackHistoryFacts: Every Place Has a Story to Tell-Early LA Hip Hop


Rich Cason & Formula V

When it comes to Hip Hop every city has its own pioneers and their own unique special history.. Some of it was influenced by what was going on in New York, a lot of it was homegrown and came to light once things started to bubble up from NY in the early 80s.. In other words, in places like LA and the Bay Area there was already a thriving street dance scene where people were tutting, popping and roboting which had nothing to do with New York..  Funk and later Uptempo dance records  were the gems that galvanized people..

Below are some of the first records I recall hearing out of LA back in the early days of LA rap, which I should add was different from the Bay which has its own unique history.. What I liked about LA’s history was many of the artists started off as DJs..  People like Arabian Prince, DJ Unknown, Egyptian Lover, Chris The Glove Taylor, Tony G, Joe Cooley , Julio G, Uncle Jamms Army etc..

In the video below you see Chris the Glove who produced the cut Wreckless and featured Ice T is shown in this 1983 video along with Egyptian Lover demonstrating deejaying..

A lot of the music in LA’s early Hip Hop days was classified as electrofunk and is often associated with the sound Afrika Bambaataa established with his song Planet Rock. However, when speaking with the eraly DJs from LA, they say they were already into that sound way before hearing Planet Rock. Egyptian Lover explained that he was influenced by early Prince and Kraftwerk.. and that he had been deejaying in a crew since the mid 70s.. Folks in LA will recall how Egypt who was part of Uncle Jamms Army used to do huge parties at the LA Coliseum where they would work 4 turn tables at a time which was pretty major back at that time..

Here’s an interview we did with Egypt where he breaks all this down

Uncle Jamms Army  ‘Naughty Boy’

Other pioneering figures  had already been playing in bands and were producers.. Rich Cason is a one such pioneer. You can’t talk about LA Hip Hop without proppin him up.. He’s a key foundation… The first records I heard from LA that I associated with Hip Hop was Killer Groove by Formula V, Gigiolo Rapp and Bad Times by Captain Rapp were all produced by Cason. His legacy goes way back to the  60s. In fact his group Formula V had been putting out records since 1973.

Killer Groove by Formula V w/ producer Rich Cason

Captain Rapp Bad Times..

Captain Rapp Gigolo Rapp

Arabian Prince

Arabian Prince who was an original member of NWA is another pioneering figure in LA Hip Hop who was deejaying in a crew since the 70s.  He started out as a DJ and later went on to produce. He’s unique in the sense that he was a pioneering figure in Hip Hop’s electro-funk movement as well as pioneering figure in Hip Hop’s gangsta rap movement. A quick look at his track record will show you that he produced landmark tracks for everyone ranging from JJ Fad to Bobby Jimmy and the Critters as well as NWA.  Here’s an interview he did with him.

Tons of things have been written about the World Class Wrecking Crew which was home to Dr Dre… They had a bunch of hit songs and Dre helped elevate the deejay game before he went on to start producing..

Wrecking Crew w/ Dr Dre Surgery

 Here are some other early cuts I recall from back in the days..Now please keep in mind this is just a taste of a city that is steeped with stories.. No, we haven’t touched on the dance scene and influence. We haven’t talked about KDAY and the Mixmasters which go back to ’83 and 84.. We haven’t touched on the Good Life or any of that..  This is just a sample.. A great place to go to get some good info on early west coast is my folks from germany who run

LA Dream Team ‘Rockberry’

Ice T 6 in the Morning..

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