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3 Artists to Watch

The local music and art scene in Long Beach rarely gets boring, with emerging artists and new projects constantly popping up. A key part of the scene, as with any city, is collaboration and innovation - the artists on this short list all exemplify deep and meaningful, yet accessible vibes that anyone can get into (unless you specifically hate urban art). 1) Meingo

This female neo-soul / hip-hop duo is also a collaboration with a few really excellent beat producers (including Cptn Kirk and Long Beach / Soulection staple NiceguyxVinny, who just repped the LBC at Low End Theory last month). Their new mixtape is on Bandcamp now.

The beats are soupy and lush, and the vocal cuts show an versatile flow between the two vocalists, straddling parallels to the emerging sounds of Georgia Anne Muldrow on the West Coast and NoName on the East. They're playing at my favorite wine bar monthly, Mind Machine, next Tuesday with Cptn Kirk (who's also got some mean verses) and local emcee Mchl. 2) Bodeck Hernandez and the DREAMERS installation​

Bodeck's collaborative mindset is nicely matched by his unique vision. His art installations weave together invocations of the innocence of youth, the influx of digital influence, and notions of displacement, migration, and home. Using pastel and earthy colors, digital pixelations, and life-like landscapes and humans, his murals (like the "Golden Boy" in Cambodiatown next to Church's Chicken, or the one on 3rd and Redondo - recently featured on Travel Channel's social media), tie together beautifully. ​

​ His work on the installation underneath the 7th street entrance to the 710 freeway caps off the most interesting mural project Long Beach has ever seen - Dreamers in Long Beach by Street Artists in Residence. His piece caps the entrance / exit to the underpass, reminding us to "keep the dream alive."

3) Ocean Deep

Rene Francois, founder of Tall Robot, has been working ardently to bring together some of Long Beach's most promising emcees and producers under the moniker Ocean Deep on the heels of T'mons release on their namesake - and they're ready to launch this Saturday at The Que Sera with a free show and a killer lineup. There's so much talent in this collective that any hip hop lover would be amiss to ignore them.

On the production side, subterranean beats by HanceDigg, boom bap bangers from Average Thought, and fresh heat from RyanXavier and NiceguyxVinny make the collective quite multidimensional. On the lyrical front, styles range from Senay's (The Natives) sardonic wit and Rael (formerly Rahspect)'s fusion of LB life and spiritual evolution, to T'mon's strong stances against police brutality and living in a matrix and Long Journey's fusion of all of the above.

​​ While their launch party on Saturday is a free show, you can get limited edition Ocean Deep swag by RSVP-ing in advance here.

There's also some sparse Soundcloud songs here and there, but my favorite is still the 4-year-old "Long Beach Boogiemen" playlist put together by Action Figure, which just goes to show these folks have been at it for awhile.

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