I was born in Castro Valley and raised throughout the entire Bay Area. I couldn't really say where I've lived the longest between San Jose, Sunnyvale, Hayward, Foster City, San Francisco and Oakland, but, whenever anyone asks me where I'm from, I say, "Oakland".
Perhaps it is the fact that I spent my formative years, from 5-8, in Oakland that I look upon the place, not as a step sister to "The City" across the bridge, yet, as a glimmering, bustling melting pot of ideals and action.
Maybe it was all of the old Oakland Raiders, Marv Hubbard, Raymond Chester and Freddy B that I got the chance to meet growing up.
Long summer hours spent in the old Oakland A's parking lot talking with Dusty Baker, Jose Canseco and Bill Bathe definitely added to my affinity for "The Town".
Whatever the reason, there is a feeling of inclusion for all who embrace Oakland the City, which Oaklandish was quick to point out and market, and it's sports teams.
The Black Hole, The Drummers, The Left and RF Bleachers, there is something original about every aspect of what is created in Oakland. Even "The Wave", as much as we may distain it, was created here.
Here is a great article that I read today about how the Oakland A's marketed the Bernie Lean once the fans started making it trendy.
Recently I had the pleasure of working with G&E and Pretty Lights on a music video for their single, "All These Lights". My first thought was to pay tribute to Grouch and I's hometown of Oakland and once the word got out, people from all over Oakland were down to help because it was seen as an "Oakland" project. MC Zumbie, Hopie and Phesto came for free cameos. Allan Young who owns the Tribune building let us use his amazing Oakland landmark and the Heiros gave us their warehouse.
It was as if we all knew that by rallying around Oakland, things would work out, or, that if an Oaklander turned down another Oaklander they would lose their credibility. That is it, we are bonded, and bound to "The Town".
The final video from this project is below. I hope you enjoy our look at the Bay from the eyes of those of us who grew up here.
What is it about Oakland, our love for the town, the connection between us and the fanatical support of our teams? Let me know what it means to you in the comments below.
Much Respect and Go Raiders!!!