L.A. music fans (as well as heads the world over) are reeling from the recent losses of J Dilla and DJ Dusk. And now the call has gone out that an artist whose name you may not know, but whose handiwork you’ve likely admired for a while now, is in dire straits: 33-year-old graphic designer Keith Tamashiro, half the heart and soul behind the Soap Design Co. and the man responsible for album art for artists including Jurassic 5, Beat Junkies, Mia Doi Todd, Herbie Hancock, Kinky, Damian Marley and countless others, suffered a brain aneurysm in January. Like many of his fellow Americans, he had no health insurance, and the costs of his treatment have been astronomical. In response, “I See You,” a sprawling three-day multimedia benefit that includes two different all-star hip-hop concerts has been pulled together on his behalf, featuring many of the artists with whom Tamashiro has worked. All proceeds go toward his health care.
The show tonight, Thursday, May 25, at the Mayan is a West Coast hip-hop head’s wet dream. All on one stage will be Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, the Beat Junkies, MC Supernatural, Cut Chemist and, in his first L.A. appearance in four years, DJ Shadow. For the first time since 2001, Shadow and Cut Chemist will perform part of their collaboration from Brainfreeze. Special guests for the night include Money Mark, Madlib and MF Doom. This is a legendary night in the making, and we can only hope that someone is recording it.
Closing out the festivities are two shows Friday, May 26. The first, at Temple Bar, hosted by Chocolate City’s Garth Trinidad, features Kim Hill, Dwight Trible & the Life Force Trio, Abstract Rude, Adam Rudolph, Prince Po and many more. On the other side of town, at the Little Temple Bar in Silver Lake, will be Mia Doi Todd, Daedelus, Ammoncontact, DJ sets by the Dublab Soundsystem and friends, and more. The Mayan, 1038 Hill St., downtown; Temple Bar, 1026 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; Little Temple, 4515 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake. For info, go to myspace.com/ktgetwell.