Hiero Day began in 2012 as a block party and has grown into a major Oakland music festival. This year’s gathering was different from past iterations, however. Because of pandemic concerns, the all-out crowd crush of 20,000 people or more would not have been a good idea.
Instead, the Hieroglyphics crew partnered with main sponsor Smoakland to produce a legal cannabis marketplace in front of Oakland City Hall on Monday Sept. 7. The market featured local dispensaries, food trucks, DJs, and live performances by up-and-coming rap artists Big Hongray, Lxgit, Daghe Digital, and Grand Nationxl.
The event allowed for social distancing and amplified music in a laid back fashion, while still honoring the spirit of what Hiero Day has come to represent.
Del the Funky Homosapien (left), Domino (center), and Karen Dere “backstage” at Hiero Day’s outdoor concert.
DJ Siri deep in concentration while performing in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Souls of Mischief’s A-Plus poses next to a poster of himself and the Hieroglyphics crew’s symbol.
Hip Hop TV CEO Shawn Granberry pays homage to Blackalicious emcee Gift of Gab, who passed away in June.
Rapper Big Hongry opened the show in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
DJ Breakbeat Lou, of Ultimate Breaks and Beats fame, warms it up.
Rapper Lxgit, a new signee to the Hiero label, rhymes in a cipher before his set.
Oakland rap legend CMG of the Conscious Daughters reppping for Shock G.
Moving the crowd with hip-hop and Afrobeats.
Tajai Massey of Souls of Mischief next to a portrait of himself painted by Shomari Smith.
All smiles at the Hiero merch booth.
Chuck Johnson and James “Old School” Copes.
Daghe Digital ripped their set.
Grand Nationxl’s Dame Drummer looks out at the socially distanced audience.
Grand Nationxl perform during Hiero Day.