Progression, the art of increasing your value in an already saturated market. The Bay Area, specifically Oakland, houses more artists per capita than any other American city. Seemingly everyone raps, designs, DJs, or produces music in some capacity; begetting the inevitable question of how do you stand out in a sea of individuals operating in the same lane. Boundless Heights Part 2 on September 5th at the Oakland Terminal was, in a humble opinion, the most accurate reflection of creative artistry both through music and visual art. As many of you know, the first Boundless Heights pop-up was shutdown early because the venue couldn't accommodate the large amount of people that showed up. Oakland Terminal ended up creating the perfect setting, giving the event-goers ample space to navigate the visual art of Veej, Vavi, Loady, Eric Look, Amanda Flowers, Moxie and Ben G without feeling too closed in. Another dope installation that we featured, was the Digital Tombogo Pong game, a recreation of Atari's Pong, coded by the incomparable Ben Geselbracht. The drinks were flowing, the dro was burning with the complementing sounds provided by Kawasaki P, Dj Aux Cord, Shruggs, Dj Burr and SpencerxStevens enhancing an already buzzing atmosphere.
The musical lineup acted as the true draw of the event, featuring an eclectic showcase of incredible talent hosted by SF native Show Banga. The first artist to hit the stage was Lucky, an East Oakland upstart who gave a passionate and energetic performance despite dealing with technical difficulties with the speakers halfway through his set. Once the speaker situation was sorted out, resident HBK artist Dave Steezy gave a surprise two song set off his upcoming project 'Fashionably Late', injecting energy into the crowd with towering stage presence. Down2Earth and Calimade representative Dayvid Michael was up next delivering an extremely dope and intimate set, performing unreleased D2E tracks. Elujay, one of brightest young artists coming out of Oakland, hit the stage next, backed by a two piece drum and guitar band. Elu started his set with the Dayvid Michael assisted banger 'Numerology' off his upcoming project 'Afrocentrik'. The Oakland rhyme-slinger brought soul, hip hop with a drop of funk to a lively performance that got the crowd excited for what this young star's future holds. LA native, Iman Europe, is a crown jewel on the come-up, giving off an almost Lauryn Hill like vibe possessing the dual sword ability of rapping and singing. Iman tore the stage down, and I we whole-hardheartedly say that she sold the crowd.
As the night continued and the Moet, Hennessy and Bogo juice started to run out the buzzing atmosphere never dissipated, especially with the last two artists of the night to grace the stage. The first of the two, 1-O.A.K. and the Highrollers Band, created a very soulful ambiance with their feel-good music. 1-O.A.K. has been making waves locally for quite some time, and is poised for an inevitable break. Larry June, Frisco's prodigal son, blessed the stage last at 12:45 AM, capping off an already turnt night. Quite possibly the highlight of the evening - Larry performing his current hit 'Glock 40' and subsequently being joined onstage by Iamsu!. We had to close-up at 1:15 on the dot, putting an end to a historic night for the company as well as the creative arts renaissance going on in Oakland. Shoutout to Oakland Terminal and all other involved parties that made this event possible. The follow-up to 'Boundless Heights 2' will be major, in the meantime be on the look-out for the Fall/Winter drop, slated to hit the internet in a matter of weeks.
Photos by Hot Nick & Moses Kinnah