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In the Bay, legends never die, and nobody forgets. Collective memory here keeps Mac Dre’s verses spinning on the radio, the Black Panthers marching in the streets, the hustle of our forebears in our minds as we seek our desires. We even have specific holidays, for posterity.
Soul Beat TV was a unique Oakland creation: an independent, Black-owned and -led television station founded in 1978 that launched a generation’s media careers, and bolstered many more, before it shuttered in 2003. This Saturday, those behind and in front of the screen will congregate for the second annual Soul Beat Day celebration at the New Parish from 2 to 7 p.m., for a day party of music and memories.
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In addition to a slew of DJ sets by artists like DJ Mind Motion and DJ Touré of Hieroglyphics, OG fans and newcomers alike can expect live performances from the Luniz, the duo best known for the 1995 Oakland anthem “Got 5 on It,” and Keak da Sneak’s 1990’s group 3X Krazy. There will also be appearances by Dru Down, and the doors are open for any local celebrities who want to brush shoulders with fans, community leaders and old friends.
On a recent livestream with Keak, Dru, Numskull of the Luniz, and other regional OGs hosted by former Soul Beat host Chuck Johnson (who worked for but is not related to late Soul Beat founder Chuck Johnson), Yukmouth of the Luniz said it best: “We grew up on Soul Beat. Soul Beat put us on … the first video station to play ‘Ice Cream Man.’ Without Soul Beat, there wouldn’t be no Luniz, period.”
The Soul Beat Day celebration featuring the Luniz and 3X Krazy takes place from 2-7 p.m. Saturday at the New Parrish, 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. To find tickets, $30-$40, and to learn more about the history of the Soul Beat television network, visit https://soulbeatnetwork.com/.