Memorial Day Weekend already? Almost June! Damn, this year is really flying along. But already there are tons of great new hip-hop albums, including several that will no doubt be making this Amoeblogger's 2008 Best Of list: some of which are included in the three new Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five Charts kindly submitted this week by Tunde (Amoeba Berkeley), Luis (Amoeba SF), and Kate Shantar (Amoeba Hollywood).
Still holding strong, several weeks after its release, is The Roots' ninth album Rising Down which continues to sell briskly in both Berkeley and Los Angeles. Also still popular with fans is the Bay Area's Lyrics Born's latest Quannum joint Everywhere At Once as well as The Coup's older Wild Pitch albums being reissued by Universal (Genocide and Juice + Kill My Landlord).
A new entry on the Berkeley Top Five chart this week comes from Naledge and Double O who make up The Kidz In The Hall. The duo have certainly stepped to the plate with this, their second album The In Crowd, which is all that and more and features appearances from such talents as Guilty Simpson, Buckshot, The Cool Kids, Phonte, Sean Price, Pusha T, Black Milk, and Bun B. Speaking of Bun B, this half of the former group UGK (spill a lil on the curb for his late partner in rhyme Pimp C) just dropped his new album this week II Trill on Rap-A-Lot.
BERKELEY AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE
1) The Roots Rising Down (Def Jam)
2) Kidz In The Hall The In Crowd (Duck Down Records)
3) The Coup Kill My Landlord (reissue by Universal)
4) Gnarls Barkley The Odd Couple (Atlantic)
5) Lyrics Born Everywhere At Once (Quannum)
Although it is was first released three years ago, the album The Dusty Foot Philosopher by Somalian-Canadian rapper K'naan (pictured at the top of the page), who has a rich musical family legacy, is selling briskly at the San Francisco store. According to Luis, who works in the hip-hop department at the Haight Street Amoeba Music, the spike in interest in this unique talent has something to do with the current buzz on him since it was announced he will be playing all the big music festivals this summer including Bonaroo, Lollapalooza, All Points West, and Outside Lands.
Another older release back on the charts this week is the 1995 album Liquid Swords (Geffen) by Genius/Gza of Wu Tang fame which, according to Kate at the Hollywood Amoeba, is selling very well at the SoCal location. Likewise for Raleigh, North Carolina producer 9th Wonder of Little Brother fame. And also still selling well in LA are the newest releases from Atmosphere and Gnarls Barkley. Also, the brand new Yay Area rap release, which dropped on Tuesday from Jacka, AP 9, and Fed X is doing well at Amoeba SF. And number one in sales at Amoeba SF is Raashan Ahmad who, according to Luis, rocked it ("He has so much stage presence -- it is awesome") at his Amoeba Music instore earlier this week when he was joined on the Haight Street stage by Headnodic and Woodstock.
SAN FRANCISCO AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE
1) Raashan Ahmad The Push (OM)
2) The Coup Genocide & Juice (reissue)
3) Lyrics Born Everywhere At Once (Quannum)
4) K'naan The Dusty Foot Philosopher (BMG)
5) Jacka, AP9, FED X Mob Trial 3 (The Verdict) (Million Dollar Dream/Sumo)
In other new releases news, LL Cool J has a brand new album called Exit 13 coming soon and featuring the great lead single "5 Boroughs'" with cameos from KRS-One, Jim Jones, Lil Kim, and Method Man, repping Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Also on the way is a new Tupac Shakur tribute album dropping next month, put together by Kendrick Lasane (Pac's first cousin) of Blakworld Management and titled This One's For Pac, which will feature artists who have worked with the late great rap talent including Outlawz, Thug Life, Lazy Bone, Young Problems, and Heartless.
HOLLYWOOD AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE
1) The Roots Rising Down (Def Jam)
2) Gnarls Barkley The Odd Couple (Atlantic)
3) 9th Wonder The Wonder Years (Asylum)
4) Atmosphere When Life Gives You Lemons, You Turn That Shit Into Gold (Rhymesayers)
5) Gza Liquid Swords (Gefffen)
And finally Russell Simmons is one of the main players behind the new website www.globalgrind.com, which Simmons, the site's major investor, calls a "place to connect the hip-hop generation - motivate them politically and socially" with a hope that it will mobilize youth to get involved in the upcoming election. Since Simmons is backing Barack Obama, expect a lot of space given to the presidential hopeful. The site also includes sections on music, gossip, entertainment, news, sports, tech and gaming, and other items of interest for its desired demographic.